In a game that was back and forth with several bizarre plays mixed in, the Cardinals were able to defeat the Dodgers by an 11-7 final score on Thursday. And with the win, St. Louis swept Los Angeles and extended its winning streak to five games.
Sweep \ swēp \ verb: to win all the games or contests.— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) April 11, 2019
Example: The Cardinals brought out the brooms to sweep. pic.twitter.com/WIDsWKUNyv
The lone afternoon game of this four-game series featured one of the most attractive pitching matchups in Michael Wacha and Walker Buehler. The two right-handers got into trouble early - and often. Wacha allowed a run on sacrifice fly in the top of the first and two solo homers from David Freese and Buehler in the second. With that, the Dodgers held a 3-0 lead.
A strange turn of events came in the bottom of the second inning, as Buehler surrendered base hits to Jose Martinez and Tyler O’Neill before Jedd Gyorko walked to load the bases with nobody out. Buehler then hit Harrison Bader to force in a run, and Matt Wieters (in his first start with the Cardinals) tacked another run on the board with a sacrifice fly. Wacha’s successful bunt pushed Gyorko to third and Bader to second with two outs. With Kolten Wong batting, Buehler unleashed a wild pitch to score Gyorko and Bader, and the Cardinals took a 4-3 lead.
The Dodgers put up a four-run frame of their own in the third inning, highlighted by Enrique Hernandez’s two-run homer. Now at seven runs after the third inning, it seemed the Dodgers were just getting started. Little did we know it would be the Cardinals from this point forward.
Gyorko drove in a run in the bottom of the third, and St. Louis put up their second four-run inning of the afternoon in the fifth. Pedro Baez entered the game in relief of Buehler and allowed base hits to the first three Cardinals he faced. Baez hit Bader with a pitch, and the Dodgers’ lead shrunk to one run. Bader is the first player in nearly 14 years to be a hit by a pitch twice in the same game with the bases loaded.
Wieters came up next and poked a ground ball to right for a two-run single to put St. Louis ahead, 8-7. A costly miscue by Dodgers second baseman Max Muncy allowed another run to score, and the Cardinals lead went on to score two more runs in the sixth to total 11 runs on Thursday.
Martinez went 4-for-5 on Thursday, and he and Paul DeJong scored three runs apiece. Wieters had three runs batted in and one of two stolen bases for the Cardinals; Wong had the other, and both came in the fifth with Baez on the mound.
After Wacha was pulled with two outs in the fourth inning, Giovanny Gallegos pitched 1 1⁄3 scoreless innings to earn his first win the Majors. Gallegos’ outing was the start of a very effective day for the bullpen, as Tyler Webb, John Gant, and Andrew Miller each followed with scoreless appearances. Miller looked very sharp in the ninth, as he recorded all three outs with strikeouts.
The Cardinals will be off on Friday and gear up for a two-game series against the Reds in Monterrey, Mexico. The first game is on Saturday, and Adam Wainwright is in line for the start.