Friday’s Game Report: Padres 4, Cardinals 2
By Rob Rains
In his first six games as a reliever, Matthew Liberatore had not allowed a run over eight innings before he was called on for his toughest assignment yet on Friday night.
In a 2-2 game in the eighth inning against the Padres in San Diego, Cardinals manager Oli Marmol called on Liberatore to enter the game to face Juan Soto with one out, and Manny Machado on deck.
It turned out to be another learning experience for Liberatore, who allowed a ground-rule double to Soto before Machado, with first base open, drilled his second home run of the night to give the Padres the victory.
Soto had three hits and Machado was 4-of-4 with the two home runs, accounting for seven of the Padres’ 11 hits in the game.
The loss dropped the Cardinals to a season-low 20 games under .500 at 67-87.
Here is how Friday night’s game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals tied the game at 2 in the top of the eighth on a leadoff single by Paul Goldschmidt and a triple by Jordan Walker, but they could not bring him in … Their first run came on a home run by Masyn Winn in the sixth, his second of the season, before the Cardinals left the bases loaded in that inning … The Cardinals were 1-of-10 with runners in scoring position, hit an infield single by Richie Palacios in the sixth that loaded the bases before Ivan Herrera flied out to end the inning.
On the mound: Dakota Hudson allowed the first two San Diego runs over his six innings as he scattered nine hits. A walk – his only one of the game – came around to score in the second before Machado hit his first home run leading off the sixth. Hudson recorded 12 ground ball outs, also getting two strikeouts.
Key stat: The loss dropped the Cardinals to 3-9 in the first game of a road trip for the season and 15-35 in the first game of a series.
Worth noting: Nolan Arenado (lower back spasms) joined Willson Contreras as the latest Cardinals to go on the injured list Friday, ending their seasons. Outfielder Michael Siani and infielder Irving Lopez were called up from Memphis. Siani entered Friday night’s game as a pinch-runner and if Lopez gets in a game, it will increase the number of players the Cardinals have used this season to a franchise-record 52 … Outfielder Victor Scott II and pitchers Tekoah Roby and Cooper Hjerpe headline a group of eight players who will represent the Cardinals in the Arizona Fall League that begins next week. Also joining the Scottsdale Scorpions will be catcher Jimmy Crooks, shortstop Jeremy Rivas and pitchers Edwin Nunez, Andre Granillo and Inohan Paniagua.
Looking ahead: Jake Woodford will get the start on Saturday night in the second game of the series in San Diego.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains