Wednesday’s Game Report: Cardinals 6, Rays 4

Wednesday’s Game Report: Cardinals 6, Rays 4

By Rob Rains

Coming up with a key hit when they needed it has been a  problem almost all season for the Cardinals, and that had been especially true in their recent games going into Wednesday night’s contest against the Rays.

In their previous five games, four of them losses, the Cardinals had been a collective 3-of-34 with a runner in scoring position.

They saw the impact of those hits in this game. The Cardinals had three hits with a runner on second or third before the fourth inning was over, helping them score five runs, as they went on to win the game in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The win allowed the Cardinals to snap a five-game losing streak at Tropicana Field, where they had lost seven of their previous eight games dating back to 2011.

Here is how Wednesday night’s game broke down:

At the plate: One of those hits with runners in scoring position was a two-run single by Paul Goldschmidt in the fourth … The other hits were RBI singles by Nolan Arenado and Jordan Walker in the third inning … The Cardinals had only one hit after Goldschmidt’s single in the fourth, a leadoff home run from Lars Nootbaar in the seventh as the Rays retired 16 of the Cardinals last 18 batters …The Cardinals’ last eight home runs have all come with nobody on base, and 13 of their last 15 homers have been solo shots.

On the mound: Dakota Hudson allowed three runs over five innings, on a pair of home runs by Jose Siri … The only run allowed by four relievers was a home run by Wander Franco off Drew VerHagen in the seventh … JoJo Romero retired four of the five hitters he faced before Giovanny Gallegos closed out the win with a 1-2-3 ninth.

Key stat: Before his two-RBI singles in the fourth, Goldschmidt had driven in a combined two runs over his previous 48 plate appearances dating back to July 27. He was just 8-of-44 in that stretch, a .182 average.

Worth noting: For the second night in a row Tyler O’Neill was in the original lineup but had to be scratched before the game because of a sore left knee, apparently aggravated when he warmed up before the game on the artificial turf … Luken Baker hit his 32nd home run for Memphis on Wednesday night, the most in the minor leagues, and drove in five runs to increase his RBI total to 94 … Drew Rom, one of the pitchers acquired at the trade deadline from Baltimore, made his Cardinals debut at Memphis and recorded 10 strikeouts in five innings, giving up only one hit … Ryan Helsley and Jake Woodford were scheduled to make rehab appearances at Double A Springfield on Wednesday night but the game was rained out.

Looking ahead: Matthew Liberatore, drafted in the first round by the Rays in 2018 before he was traded to the Cardinals in 2020, will make his first appearance against the Tampa Bay organization when he gets the start in Thursday’s series finale.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

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