photo: Yadier Molina via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
On Thursday, the St. Louis Cardinals fell one inning short of a doubleheader sweep, settling for a split with the visiting Detroit Tigers. Yadier Molina hit an emotional two-run home run on Roberto Clemente Day.
The St. Louis Cardinals bats came alive with five home runs in the first game of a twin bill against the Detroit Tigers at Busch Stadium on Thursday afternoon. The contests made up the postponed contests originally scheduled for August 5 and 6.
The day’s scoring began with a two-run home run off the bat of Yadier Molina in the second inning following a walk by Rangel Ravelo. Molina, wearing the number 21 to celebrate his late countryman Roberto Clemente, took the fifth pitch he saw from Detroit starter Tarik Skubal and sent it over the left field wall.
The Cardinals’ big inning was the third. Kolten Wong led off with a walk. Tommy Edman doubled to left to bring in Wong. Paul Goldschmidt drew a walk and Paul DeJong singled and scored Ravelo’s sac fly. Tyler O’Neill blasted a two-run home run to left center field to bring the score to 7-0. Harrison Bader slapped a line drive single to left and Lane Thomas followed with a two-run long ball to left center to increase the lead to 9-0.
The Tigers got on the board with two runs in the top of the fourth inning. The Cardinals responded by adding a 10th run in the bottom half of the inning on a solo home run by Goldschmidt. The final two scores were added in the sixth on a two-run blast by Ravelo.
Starter Jack Flaherty pitched five innings and yielded two runs on four hits to earn his third win. The right hander fanned six and walked two. Flaherty was not efficient with his pitches, however, as he threw 95 pitches, 63 for strikes.
Seth Elledge and the day’s 29th man, Nabil Crismatt, each tossed one inning of scoreless relief.
O’Neill stole his first base of the season.
The Cardinals led for much of the second game of the doubleheader, but things went south in the final inning. Austin Gomber was the Game 2 starter and he tossed three scoreless innings. The left hander allowed five hits, struck out six and walked one.
Alex Reyes relieved in the fourth, escaping a bases-loaded with no out jam. The right-hander pitched two scoreless innings with one hit allowed and two strikeouts. Genesis Cabrera yielded a solo home run in the sixth and with one out, Gant finished the frame with no further damage.
Giovanny Gallegos started the seventh. The closer walked his first batter and gave up single to the second. The third Tiger hitter, Jonathan Schoop, singled on a ground ball to center. Harrison Bader threw home and the throw was offline, allowing the runners to advance to second and third. The game was then delayed as Gallegos was taken out due to a groin injury.
Ryan Helsley took over on the mound as Miguel Cabrera was intentionally walked to load the bases. The next batter singled and two runs scored to give Detroit the 4-3 lead. After a double play off the bat of the next hitter, Helsley gave up a back-breaking two-run home run to Jeimer Candelario and the Tigers led 6-3. The injured Gallegos took the loss.
The Cardinals scored their first run in the second inning. Paul DeJong led off with a single and later scored on Matt Carpenter’s single. DeJong crossed the plate again in the fourth when he drew a walk and was again plated by Carpenter, this time on a double to center field.
The third run was added in the fifth inning on a solo home run by Tommy Edman. The Cardinals carried their 3-1 lead into the seventh inning when the wheels came off the bus. Edman and Carpenter had two hits each.
Edman was caught stealing for the third time this season. The aforementioned throwing error by Bader was his second of the season.
The Chicago Cubs won Thursday evening and their National League Central Division lead over St. Louis is three games.
Friday’s game: vs. Reds at 7:15 pm. Adam Wainwright (4-0, 2.68) vs. Luis Castillo (1-5, 3.95), FOX Sports Midwest/KMOX/WIJR
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