Sunday’s Game Report: Cardinals 9, Red Sox 1
By Rob Rains
Andrew Knizner and Nolan Arenado made one fact clear in the Cardinals’ game on Sunday night against the Red Sox in Boston.
After needing rallies in the ninth inning to come from behind and win the first two games of the series, no rally was needed on this night as the Cardinals blew out the Red Sox to complete a sweep of the three-game series.
Knizner and Arenado led the way, with Knizner hitting a two-run homer and also scoring a second run after a single while Arenado homered for the third consecutive game. He also had a two-run single in the sixth and finished with four RBIs.
Knizner’s homer gave the Cardinals a 4-1 lead in the fourth before Arenado’s homer came in a three-run eighth that put the game away.
The win was the sixth in the Cardinals’ last seven games and left them with a 5-1 record on the trip to Chicago and Boston.
Here is how Sunday night’s game broke down:
At the plate: Leadoff hitter Lars Nootbaar had two doubles and a single and scored three runs … Paul DeJong also homered for the Cardinals, who had seven of their 14 hits go for extra bases … Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Gorman also contributed a double as the Cardinals were retired in order only once in the game … Arenado finished the three games in Boston with seven hits in 14 at-bats, including the three homers, and drove in seven runs. He raised his average from .233 at the start of the series to .256.
On the mound: Miles Mikolas turned in a quality start, working six innings, as he picked up the first win by a Cardinals’ starter since April 27. He only allowed four hits, two of which came when the Red Sox scored their only run in the first inning. He did not record a strikeout … Genesis Cabrera got himself into a bases-loaded jam in the seventh on two walks and a single but was able to get out of the inning without giving up a run …. Jordan Hicks had three strikeouts, interrupted by a walk, in the eighth and Chris Stratton worked a 1-2-3 ninth.
Key stat: Knizner has been the starting catcher for the last nine games, during which the Cardinals were 6-3. Knizner went 9-of-32 in those games, a .281 average, with more than half of his hits going for extra bases with two homers and four doubles.
Worth noting: Dylan Carlson had to leave the game in the third inning because of a sprained left ankle. He was hurt trying to get out of the batter’s box after singling in the second inning. He played the field in the next half inning before exiting. The Cardinals said his status was day-to-day.
Looking ahead: Jack Flaherty will get the start on Monday night as the Cardinals return home to open a three-game series against the Brewers. Willson Contreras is expected to start at catcher for the first time since May 4. The homestand also includes four games against the Dodgers.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains