photo: Daniel Ponce de Leon via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
Two extra-inning affairs generated different results for the St Louis Cardinals (21-21) as they split Monday’s doubleheader at Milwaukee, dropping the opener, 2-1, but claiming the finale, 3-2. Starters Kwang-Hyun Kim and Daniel Ponce de Leon excelled.
Monday, September 14, 2020 – St. Louis 1 at Milwaukee 2 (8 innings) – Game 1
In the opener, the visitors squandered a stellar performance by starter Kwang Hyun Kim in his return from the Injured List. Kim blanked the opposition on three hits and three walks, one intentional, over the regulation seven frames while striking out six. The southpaw has not been scored upon in his last four MLB starts covering 24 innings.
The Cardinals offense could not back Kim’s outstanding effort, however, managing just four hits through seven innings and sending the game into extra innings. St. Louis finally broke through in the eighth after Tommy Edman’s two-out single brought home Tyler O’Neill, who began the frame on second.
Ryan Helsley (L, 1-1) (BS,2) was not up to the task of holding the 1-0 advantage. The righty allowed a game-tying double with one gone, bringing Austin Gomber into the game. With a runner at third thanks to a throw home on the run-scoring play, Gomber issued a free pass and sac fly that ended the contest.
St. Louis mustered five total hits, all singles, with no player having more than one. Paul DeJong and Edman both reached base twice. DeJong went 1-for-2 with a hit-by-pitch and Edman added a base-on-balls to his RBI single in three at-bats.
Monday, September 14, 2020 – St. Louis 3 at Milwaukee 2 (9 innings) – Game 2
The closing contest shaped up to end much the same way as the opening defeat with St. Louis trailing 2-1 and three outs to go. A last-gasp rally by the Cardinals, however, knotted the game at 1-1, triggering another extra-inning decision.
Paul Goldschmidt doubled to lead off the seventh, his second hit in five at bats and the only one of his squad’s 10 hits to go for extra bases. Brad Miller’s single to left drove in Goldschmidt, sending the game into extras.
After neither team broke through in the eighth, DeJong’s third single of the game brought Edman across home after the latter began the frame at second. DeJong’s three hits in five at bats led St. Louis’ offense. Catcher Matt Wieters and Goldschmidt had two hits apiece and Edman worked two free passes, scoring both times.
Daniel Ponce de Leon tossed his strongest effort of 2020, striking out nine over six-plus innings. The only damage against the right-hander was via a two-run home run by former Cardinal Jedd Gyorko in his final inning of work, one of only four hits and a walk permitted.
Alex Reyes struck out the side in the seventh, walking one and leaving Ponce de Leon’s final runner on base. Genesis Cabrera (W, 4-1) matched Reyes’ stats the next frame with three K’s and a free pass but hit a batter that jammed the sacks full before his last strikeout. Tyler Webb (S, 1) used a 6-4-3 double play to erase the lead-off free pass he issued then notched a swinging K for the save.
In Game 2, the Cardinals set dual strikeout high-water marks in 2020. The offense collectively fanned 16 times as St. Louis pitchers set down 16 Brewers by strikes.
The victory prevented the Brewers from tying the Cardinals for second-place in the National League standings, instead leaving them two games behind St. Louis with three games to go in the series.
Tuesday’s game: at Milwaukee (21-25), 6:40 pm CDT, Jack Flaherty (3-1, 3.08) vs. Brett Anderson (2-3, 4.64) FOX Sports Midwest/KMOX
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