St. Louis Cardinals MLB Game Recap – Monday, August 31, 2020

photo: Dakota Hudson via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Monday, August 31, 2020 – St. Louis 7 at Cincinnati 5

Paul DeJong’s first career grand slam backed Dakota Hudson’s strong start as the St. Louis Cardinals (13-13) held off a late rally and topped the Cincinnati Reds, 7-5, in the series opener at Great American Ballpark Monday evening.

DeJong’s big blast came with his team holding a 3-1 fourth-inning advantage and was one of the shortstop’s two hits in four at-bats.  The bomb plated Kolten Wong, who had lined a one-out single up the middle before Paul Goldschmidt and Brad Miller worked back-to-back walks with two gone.

Paul DeJong via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Goldschmidt was an on-base machine, reaching base five times (for the 21st time in his career!) by going 3-for-3 with a double, walk, hit-by-pitch, steal, run scored and RBI.  Tommy Edman joined DeJong and Wong with two hits in five at-bats apiece. DeJong swiped a bag and Edman doubled once.  The visitors garnered 10 hits in all to go with five bases-on-balls.

Over on the mound, Dakota Hudson hurled a gem, fanning seven Reds over seven frames while limiting them to just one earned run, two overall, on four hits.  It was only the second time the right-hander had gone seven innings in a road game in his career.  Hudson did not issue a free pass.

While DeJong’s home run gave the Cardinals a seemingly comfortable 7-1 lead, history has shown no lead is safe in this park.  That came to pass in the ninth inning.

After facing the minimum in the eighth, Austin Gomber yielded a lead-off single to Joey Votto the next frame.  That brought Jake Woodford into the game and the rookie was not able to escape unscathed.  Woodford struck out Nick Castellanos on a foul tip but allowed a single, putting two on for Eugenio Suarez who planted his eighth long ball of 2020 over the center field wall.  That was the first run scored off Gomber in 10 2/3 innings over seven appearances this season.

Giovanny Gallegos via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Now facing a save situation, St. Louis turned to closer Giovanny Gallegos, who made quick work of both Mike Moustakas and Aristides Aquino.  The 29-year-old struck out both batters swinging on nine total pitches.

With the Chicago Cubs off Monday, the Cardinals’ second consecutive win returned them to three games back of the National League Central Division leaders.

Tuesday’s game:  at Cincinnati (15-20), 5:40 p.m. CDT, Kwang Hyun Kim (1-0, 1.08) vs. Sonny Gray (5-1, 1.94), FOX Sports Midwest // KMOX

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