Wednesday’s Game Report: A’s 8, Cardinals 0

Wednesday’s Game Report: A’s 8, Cardinals 0

By Rob Rains

The sequel didn’t go the way Matthew Liberatore or the Cardinals hoped it would go on Wednesday night.

In his first start since pitching the best game of his career, shutting out the Rays for eight innings on just two hits, Liberatore was rocked by the A’s as they salvaged the final game of the three-game series at Busch Stadium.

Liberatore gave up five hits and walked a batter in the first inning, leading to four Oakland runs.

It was a tough loss for the Cardinals in more ways than on the scoreboard, as both Lars Nootbaar and Tommy Edman were hit by foul balls and later had to come out of the game. The extent of their injuries was not immediately known.

Here is how Wednesday night’s game broke down:

At the plate: The Cardinals did have one runner cross home plate when Luken Baker slid home on a double by Andrew Knizner in the seventh inning. He originally was called safe but the call was challenged by the A’s and overturned after a video review … The Cardinals had the bases loaded with one out in the second inning and didn’t score, and again with two outs in the ninth but also failed to get a run home … It was the ninth time this seasn that the Cardinals have been shut out.

On the mound: Liberatore pitched into the fifth inning, allowing six runs, five earned, on 10 hits and three walks … Casey Lawrence made his Cardinals debut, covering the final 4 2/3 innings, allowing a home run and two runs.

Key stat: The 0-of-3 night with the bases loaded dropped the Cardinals’ team average in those situations to .184 (18 of 98), the lowest average in the National League.

Worth noting: The Cardinals already were without Nolan Gorman, who missed all three games of the series because of tightness in his lowe back, and Willson Contreras, who had to leave Monday night’s game with tightness in his right hip and did not play Tuesday or Wednesday. The status of both players is said to be day-to-day … Lawrence became the 26th pitcher to appear in a game this season for the Cardinals and their 45th player overall.

Looking ahead: Adam Wainwright gets another crack at his 199th career victory on Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series against the Mets at Busch Stadium. Wainwright’s last win came against the Mets on June 17. Game time is 6:15 p.m.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

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