photo: Dakota Hudson via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
The St. Louis Cardinals staged an unlikely ninth-inning comeback, scoring four runs to edge the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday evening at Busch Stadium. Dakota Hudson threw six innings of two-run baseball to keep the Cardinals in the game as the offense again had trouble bringing runners home.
Wednesday, August 26, 2020 – St. Louis 6, Kansas City 5
Down three runs with three outs to go, the St. Louis Cardinals rallied for a 6-5 walk-off victory over the Kansas City Royals (12-19) in the series finale at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals (11-9) claimed two of the three-game set over their cross-state rivals.
The final rally ignited when Paul Goldschmidt worked a free pass with one gone, advancing to third via Brad Miller’s ground-rule double. Another free pass, to Paul DeJong, jammed the sacks full for pinch hitter Max Schrock, who helped elevate Royals closer Trevor Rosenthal’s pitch count to 34 before striking out.
Schrock’s at bat finished the former Cardinal Rosenthal’s night and his replacement, Randy Rosario, did not retire any of the four batters he faced. Yadier Molina was hit by a pitch, scoring Goldschmidt to make the score 5-3. Tyler O’Neill’s high line drive bounced off the third baseman into left field, plating Miller and DeJong and knotting the contest at 5-5. Back-to-back walks to Dylan Carlson and Kolten Wong forced Molina across the plate for the winning margin.
Overall, St. Louis’ offense garnered nearly as many bases-on-balls (eight) as hits (nine). The hitters had a very difficult night overall, going just 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position and stranding 11 runners on base.
Molina and O’Neill were the only Cardinals with a multi-hit effort, each going 2-for-4. Matt Carpenter joined Molina and Wong by reaching base three times. Carpenter was plunked twice to Molina’s once while Wong worked two walks to go with his one single in four at bats.
On the mound, Dakota Hudson struggled early but settled down to toss the initial six frames, yielding two runs on three hits and three walks. Both scores resulted from a home run. The 25-year-old threw only 49 of his 83 pitches for strikes and finished his stint with his team tied 2-2.
Genesis Cabrera worked around a two-out free pass for a clean seventh but could not duplicate it the next frame. Cabrera surrendered a lead-off bomb that broke the tie then got the hook after giving up a double.
Alex Reyes (W, 1-0) stranded the baserunner via a pop out, ground out, intentional walk and pop out, holding the deficit at 3-2. But the right-hander was dinged for two ninth-inning tallies when a two-out double glanced off the glove of left fielder O’Neill. Two baserunners, who reached on a single and base-on-balls, respectively, came home.
Since Chicago lost in Detroit Wednesday evening, the Cardinals have closed the gap in the National League Central to two games.
Thursday’s games: vs. Pittsburgh (7-19). Game 1 – 2:15 p.m. CDT, Kwang-Hyun Kim (1-0, 1.69) vs. Chad Kuhl (1-1, 2.84) / Game 2 – Johan Oviedo (0-0, 3.60) vs. Cody Ponce (0-1, 5.40) / Make up of August 10th and 11th postponements / FOX Sports Midwest/KMOX
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