Wednesday’s Game Report: Cardinals 1, Rangers 0

Wednesday’s Game Report: Cardinals 1, Rangers 0

By Rob Rains

The Cardinals could do almost nothing with most of Jon Gray’s 100 pitches for the Rangers on Wednesday night. All that mattered, however, was what Alec Burleson did with one of them.

Burleson’s home run with two outs in the eighth inning broke up a scoreless duel and gave the Cardinals the win in Texas, salvaging the final game of a road trip when they had lost the first five games.

Jack Flaherty, Jordan Hicks, Giovanny Gallegos and Ryan Helsley combined for the shut out against the top scoring team in the majors.

The Cardinals had only four hits against Gray, who got the rare complete-game loss despite finishing with 12 strikeouts. He also did not issue a walk.

It was the first time the Cardinals won a 1-0 game on a home run in the eighth inning or later since Gary Gaetti hit a walk-off homer in the ninth inning against the Padres on Aug. 7, 1996.

Here is how Wednesday night’s game broke down:

At the plate: Through the first 7 2/3 innings the Cardinals’ only hits off Gray were by Nolan Arenado, his former Colorado teammate, who singled in the second and doubled in the fifth. He was thrown out at third in the fifth trying to advance on a flyball. Their only other baserunner came when Jordan Walker was hit by a pitch in the sixth. Walker added the Cardinals’ fourth hit, a single, leading off the ninth … Burleson’s homer, his fifth of the season, came on the first pitch, a line drive over the wall in right.

On the mound: Flaherty was able to pitch around five walks, including walking the bases loaded with one out in the first before he got out of the inning on a strikeout and groundout … Flaherty only allowed three hits while striking out eight. He stranded eight runners, including two on third base … Hicks allowed a two-out double in the seventh before Gallegos and Helsley retired the Rangers in order over the final two innings, although one of the outs off Gallegos came on a fly ball caught by Tommy Edman at the center field wall.

Key stat: In Flaherty’s six starts since May 9, he has allowed a combined eight earned runs in 35 innings, a 2.06 ERA, but has earned only one win while getting five no-decisions. The team, however, has won five of those six starts.

Worth noting: Dylan Carlson was 0-of-4 and drew a walk while serving as the designated hitter for Memphis on Wednesday night. He is scheduled to start for the Redbirds again on Thursday night … The 1-0 win for the Cardinals improved their record in one-run games to 7-14 and was their first 1-0 win of the season.

Looking ahead: After Thursday’s day off, the Cardinals will host the Reds on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series. Jordan Montgomery will get the start.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

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