St. Louis Cardinals MLB Game Recap – Sunday, August 23, 2020

photo: Yadier Molina and Paul DeJong (TOPPS, Inc.)

Sunday, August 23, 2020 – St. Louis 6, Cincinnati 2

Yadier Molina’s four-hit performance paced the St. Louis Cardinals to a 6-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in Sunday’s series finale at Busch Stadium.  St. Louis (9-8) claimed the weekend set over Cincinnati (11-15), three-games-to-one.

Molina’s big day was the 19th four-hit performance of his career and first against the Reds.  The veteran catcher went 4-for-5 with a run scored and two driven in, accounting for a third of his team’s 12 total hits.

Cincinnati broke through on the scoreboard first, scoring twice against St. Louis starter Daniel Ponce de Leon in his initial inning of work.  It took the righty 29 pitches to navigate the first, during which he issued two of his four free passes and yielded a two-run bomb.  Ponce de Leon was finished after 93 pitches over 4 2/3 frames, yielding three hits and hitting one batter.

However, the Cardinals answered with a two-run knock of their own, as Harrison Bader went yard for the second time in as many games.  His drive over the wall in center scored Dylan Carlson (force), knotting the game a 2-2.

Molina’s bat put St. Louis up for good the next inning after he lined a single to center with two gone.  That hit brought Paul Goldschmidt across home after the latter opened the frame with his second double of 2020.

The contest remained a tight 3-2 affair until the home half of the seventh when the Redbirds broke it open.  Matt Carpenter led off with a double, his second hit of the game in four at bats, advancing to third via Tyler O’Neill’s fly out to deep right.  Molina once again came through with another single up the middle, making the score 4-2.  After Paul DeJong lined out to right, in his return to action from the Injury List, Carlson launched his first Major League home run over the right center wall for the final score.

St. Louis had four players with a multi-hit effort:  Molina, Carpenter, Carlson and Bader.  Carpenter and Carlson each went 2-for-4, the former working a base-on-balls, while Bader added his third double of the season to his two-run shot in three at bats with a walk.

The bullpen was stellar once again, yielding no hits over the final 4 1/3 frames.  Genesis Cabrera (W, 2-1) issued one walk against six outs before John Gant retired his only batter.  Andrew Miller tossed a 1-2-3 eighth and Alex Reyes used a 3-6-3 double play to erase a one-out walk at the game’s finish.

Genesis Cabrera

The Cardinals improved to 9-8 on the season, three games behind the Cubs. St. Louis is 3-1 on the current homestand and 7-5 since their return.

Monday’s game:  vs. Kansas City (11-16), 7:15 pm CDT, Jack Flaherty (1-0, 3.12) vs. Brad Keller (3-0, 0.00), FOX Sports Midwest / KMOX

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