Tuesday’s Game Report: Cardinals 6, Padres 5 (10 innings)
By Rob Rains
Late-inning comebacks have been few and far between for the Cardinals this season. It’s even more rare when they do it against Josh Hader.
Hader came out of the Padres bullpen to begin the 10th inning on Tuesday night with the automatic runner on second base. With two strikes, Richie Palacios dropped down a perfect sacrifice bunt to advance Masyn Winn to third.
The Padres intentionally walked Paul Goldschmidt and the Cardinals countered by bringing Tommy Edman off the bench to pinch-hit for Nolan Gorman.
One pitch later, the game was over, with the Cardinals celebrating the comeback from a 5-3 eighth-inning deficit and hanging on a loss on Hader.
It was the first run they had scored against Hader since 2019. Since he came into the majors in 2017, Hader had allowed only 16 hits in 135 plate appearances against the Cardinals, who broke a four-game losing streak with the walk-off win at Busch Stadium.
The Cardinals had tied the game in the eighth on a two-run homer by Willson Contreras, his second of the game, which came with his parents in the stands for the first time this season. Their record when they were losing going into the eighth inning this season had been 2-64.
It was their third walk-off win of the season, only the second since April 16.
Here is how Tuesday night’s game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals also manufactured their first two runs on an RBI single by Gorman in the third and a sacrifice fly by Jordan Walker in the fourth, which scored Contreras … Contreras’ first home run came in the sixth to cut San Diego’s lead to 4-3 before the Padres added a run in the top of the eighth … That lead lasted for three batters in the bottom of the inning, before Contreras, following a leadoff single by Goldschmidt, launched a two-out, 0-2 pitch over the wall in center field to tie the game.
On the mound: Zack Thompson allowed the first three Padres runs, one of them unearned, over four innings … Casey Lawrence allowed two runs in 3 2/3 relief innings … JoJo Romero gave up a one-out single to Fernando Tatis Jr. in the ninth before getting a double play and stayed in the game to pitch the 10th, getting two strikeouts and stranding the potential go-ahead run at third base.
Key stat: Contreras and Nolan Arenado both came into the game hitless in their last 13 at-bats. Contreras was 0-of-2 before his first home run of the night. Arenado was 0-of-4, extending his hitless streak to 17 at-bats, and dropping his average in August to .253 (24-of-95).
Worth noting: The Padres’ record in extra innings fell to 0-11 … Gorman’s RBI was his first that did not come on a home run since July 19 … Matthew Liberatore and Jake Woodford made rehab appearances on Tuesday night in Memphis. Liberatore allowed five runs, issuing five walks, in 3 2/3 innings while Woodford followed him to the mound and allowed one run in 3 1/3 innings … Lars Nootbaar is expected to play two games in Memphis on Wednesday and Thursday and could be activated by the Cardinals on Friday, when rosters can expand from 26 to 28 players.
Looking ahead: Miles Mikolas, who hasn’t won since July 17, will get the start in the series finale on Wednesday. First pitch is set for 1:15 p.m.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains