photo: Dakota Hudson via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
The St. Louis Cardinals blew past the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday night in the second contest of the three-game weekend set at Busch Stadium. The offense took off on the strength of long balls by four different St. Louis hitters, backed by a strong outing from starter Dakota Hudson.
Hudson earned the win, his third of the season, while lowering his 2020 ERA to 2.92. The right-hander hurled six innings and yielded one run on just one hit. Hudson fanned four and walked four, including three in the third inning, a jam he evaded with just one run with the help of an inning-ending double play.
Genesis Cabrera went out to relieve Hudson in the seventh, but a fingernail came off before he threw a pitch, which sent him back to the clubhouse. Tyler Webb followed and tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings, with one hit allowed and two Reds strikeouts. Andrew Miller got the final two outs of the eighth before Rob Kaminsky pitched a scoreless ninth.
The Reds took an initial 1-0 lead in the third inning. Brad Miller led off the Cardinals fourth with a solo shot to deep center field to knot the score. Paul DeJong drew a walk and Matt Carpenter singled to left center. Austin Dean followed with a walk to load the bases. Matt Wieters’ ground out brought DeJong home and the Cardinals led 2-1.
In the bottom of the sixth, the floodgates opened for St. Louis. Carpenter thumped his team’s second long ball, this one to right center, to increase the lead to 3-1. Dean walked and Wieters was hit by a pitch. With two on, Harrison Bader blasted an on the black outside fastball over the right center field wall for the back-breaking three-run home run. Two batters and an unassisted double play later, Paul Goldschmidt sent the fourth St. Louis long ball into their bullpen in right field. The Cardinals led 7-1 and kept that lead until the end.
In his first start, left fielder Dean reached four times on a double and a trio of free passes. Tommy Edman and Carpenter had two hits apiece. Bader plated three. Edman and Kolten Wong each stole a base. It was Edman’s second of the season and Wong’s third.
The Cardinals remain three games back of the Cubs after Chicago came back to defeat the Brewers, 4-2.
Sunday’s game: vs. Reds at 1:15 p.m., Carlos Martinez (0-2, 12.27) vs. Tyler Mahle (1-2, 3.89), FOX Sports Midwest/KMOX/WIJR
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