photo: Yadier Molina via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
The St. Louis Cardinals took the opener of their five-game set against the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium. Kwang-Hyun Kim and Dylan Carlson starred and Yadier Molina reached a very significant career milestone Thursday evening.
The St. Louis Cardinals’ final series of the regular season began on Thursday against the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium. This first of five contests ended with a Cardinals victory against one of the best pitchers in the National League, Corbin Burnes.
St. Louis’ offense got the Burnes in the third inning. It started with back to back singles by Kolten Wong and Tommy Edman. Paul Goldschmidt singled to drive in Wong.
The Brewers knotted the game up 1-1 in the top of the fourth. In response the Redbirds scored two in the bottom half of the inning. Dexter Fowler drew a walk and Dylan Carlson blasted a ball long and high into right field, but just fair for a two-run home run. The Cardinals led 3-1.
Carlson once again plated the fourth and final Cardinals run in the sixth following another Fowler free pass. This time it was a double into the left center field gap that brought Fowler home.
The Brewers made it closer in the ninth with one run to make it 4-2, but St. Louis prevailed. Edman and Carlson each had two hits.
One other Cardinal had two hits, and the second one was very special. Yadier Molina’s 2,000th career hit was a line drive single to center. He became just the 12th catcher in MLB history to reach the 2,000 hit milestone and the sixth Cardinal, following Stan Musial, Lou Brock, Rogers Hornsby, Enos Slaughter and Albert Pujols.
The offense had numerous opportunities to put the game away, but continued to misfire in scoring situations. The Cardinals hitters stranded 11 baserunners and went just 1-for-16 with runners in scoring position.
Kwang-Hyun Kim was St. Louis’ starter on the mound. The left hander tossed five innings and allowed one run on five hits, escaping a key two-on, two-out jam in his final frame. Kim struck out three and walked two.
Giovanny Gallegos pitched a scoreless, hitless sixth and Genesis Cabrera followed with 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Alex Reyes took over with one out in the eighth and got the final two outs. The right hander returned to start the ninth, struck out one hitter but yielded two singles. Andrew Miller came in and surrendered a single, but struck out the final two hitters to seal the victory. His fourth save protected Kim’s third win.
The victory positioned the Cardinals a half-game ahead of the Reds, who were off. It also put the Cardinals 2.5 games back of the Cubs, which lost to the Pirates. The Cardinals are two games over .500 with a record of 28-26.
Friday’s games: vs. Brewers at 4:15 p.m., RHP Jack Flaherty (4-2, 4.84) vs. RHP Josh Lindblom (2-3, 4.81) (Game 1), RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon (0-3, 5.74) vs. TBA (Game 2).
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