Thursday’s Game Report: Cardinals 16, Dodgers 8
By Rob Rains
When the Cardinals were swept by the Dodgers in Los Angeles last month, they scored a combined total of six runs and did not hit a home run in the three games.
It was payback time on Thursday night.
The Cardinals tied a franchise record by hitting seven home runs, including two each from Willson Contreras and Nolan Gorman, to pound the Dodgers in the opener of a four-game series at Busch Stadium.
Four of the home runs came in the third inning, including back-to-back-to-back blasts from Juan Yepez, Gorman and Paul DeJong after Contreras had hit his first of the game earlier in the inning.
The Cardinals had a 9-2 lead at one point in the game but the Dodgers pulled within 9-8 before a seven-run eighth inning put the game away, including the second homers of the night from Contreras and Gorman.
Gorman has 12 home runs for the year, tied for third in the NL, and his 36 RBIs ranks second in the league, two more than Arenado.
The big offensive night helped Adam Wainwright pick up his first victory of the season and the 196th win of his career.
It was only the second time the Cardinals hit seven homers in a game at home; the other coming on May 7, 1940 at Sportsman’s Park – against the Brooklyn Dodgers. That was also the last time the Cardinals scored 16 or more runs in a game against the Dodgers, winning 18-2.
The combined total of nine homers were the most in game at Busch Stadium 3.
The win was the ninth in the Cardinals’ last 11 games.
Here is how Thursday night’s game broke down:
At the plate: Both of Contreras’ home runs were three-run shots, tying his career high of six RBIs … Nolan Arenado also homered, his sixth in the last seven games, a two-run blast in the fourth that allowed him to match his career high by driving in at least one run in eight consecutive games … Gorman’s first home run of the night was the first of his career off a lefthanded pitcher … Yepez’s home run came as a pinch-hitter … Oscar Mercado, recalled from Memphis on Wednesday, got the start in left field and went 3-of-4 with two stolen bases, including a delayed steal of home, and scored three runs … The only other time the Cardinals hit four home runs in an inning at home was on June 6, 1948 and this was the first time since 1957 the Cardinals had multiple innings in which they scored six or more runs.
On the mound: After allowing two runs in the first inning, Wainwright pitched into the sixth inning, when an error by Goldschmidt led to a third run … After Wainwright left the game, Genesis Cabrera gave up a grand slam to Freddie Freeman and a leadoff homer to Max Muncy in the seventh that reduced the Cardinals lead to 9-8 … Drew VerHagen allowed two hits but got out of the seventh without allowing the tying run and Jordan Hicks retired the Dodgers in order in the eighth, also protecting the one-run lead.
Key stat: The Cardinals have now hit 20 home runs over their seven games and 33 so far in their first 16 games in May, tying them with the Yankees and Braves for the most in the majors this month.
Worth noting: Edman had to come out of the game with what was described as “lower abdominal soreness” after he and Lars Nootbaar collided in the outfield in the second inning while chasing a fly ball, which Edman caught … The last time the Cardinals hit seven homers in a game was July 12, 1996 against the Cubs in Chicago … The errors by Goldschmidt and Paul DeJong were the first committed by the Cardinals in their last 10 games … After losing the first game of each of their first 11 series of the season, the Cardinals have now won the first game of their last four series … The three stolen bases extended the Cardinals streak without having a runner caught stealing to 19 steals in a row, dating back to April 26 … Contreras became the first Cardinals’ catcher with six RBIs in a game since Tom Pagnozzi did it in 1991.
Looking ahead: Steven Matz will get the start on Friday night in the second game of the series.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains