Tuesday’s Game Report: Cardinals 5, Marlins 2 (10 innings)

Tuesday’s Game Report: Cardinals 5, Marlins 2 (10 innings)

By Rob Rains

Nolan Arenado could not have picked a better time to hit the Cardinals’ first extra-inning home run of the season.

Arenado’s three-run blast in the 10th inning gave the Cardinals their fourth win in a row and also moved them out of last place in the National League Central.

The Cardinals had been either fifth or tied for fourth in the division standings since May 28 but the win moved them a game in front of the Pirates.

The four wins in a row matches the Cardinals’ longest streak of the season. They have now won seven of their last nine games.

Here is how Tuesday night’s game broke down:

At the plate: The Cardinals were held to just five hits through nine innings, but two of them were a home run by Brendan Donovan leading off the sixth inning, his 11th of the year, and an RBI double by Nolan Gorman in the seventh, which drove in Dylan Carlson from first with the run that tied the game 2-2. Carlson had drawn a pinch-hit walk to lead off the inning … In the 10th, Paul Goldschmidt was intentionally walked with one out and the automatic runner on second. Lars Nootbaar hit into a fielder’s choice for the second out before Arenado launched his 21st homer of the season. It was his fourth career walk-off homer, first since 2019.

On the mound: Jordan Montgomery allowed one run over six innings, coming in the fifth on a leadoff triple and sacrifice fly. He left with the game tied at 1 … In the seventh, a leadoff walk, stolen base and wild pitch from Chris Stratton set up a two-out single that gave the Marlins a short-lived 2-1 lead … Jordan Hicks allowed consecutive singles to open the ninth before getting out of the inning with two strikeouts and a groundout … JoJo Romero got the ball in the 10th and retired the Marlins in order with two strikeouts, to strand the automatic runner on second.

Key stat: When Montgomery retired the Marlins in order in the first inning, it extended the Cardinals streak to eight consecutive games in which their starter has retired the first three batters of the game, a total of 24 consecutive batters.

Worth noting: Tyler O’Neill did not come off the injured list on Tuesday as had been expected. Manager Oli Marmol explained that with a bullpen game scheduled for Wednesday, the Cardinals wanted to keep all of their pitchers available through the game, delaying O’Neill’s return until Thursday. They have not decided if they will drop a position player or pitcher to make room for O’Neill … Adam Wainwright made the next step toward his return to the mound by throwing a 30-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday. He will throw a live batting practice next week, then a determination will be made on his next step.

Looking ahead: The Cardinals will try to complete the sweep of the Marlins in the 1:15 p.m. game on Wednesday that will conclude the homestand. Dakota Hudson will make his first start of the season.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

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For the latest news and features in St. Louis Sports check out STLSportsPage.com. Rob Rains, Editor.