After dropping the first two games of the series against the Padres with lackluster offense and unreliable pitching, the Cardinals improved in both departments and enjoyed a 4-1 win in St. Louis on Sunday.
A rough start in Pittsburgh in his first outing of the season, Adam Wainwright turned in one of his best outings of recent memory. Wainwright worked six innings and was able to work around four Padres doubles (from Hunter Renfroe, Matt Strahm, Manny Machado, and Manuel Margot) to limit the Padres to just one run. Wainwright fanned nine batters and didn’t walk anybody after walking four in his four-inning start against the Pirates.
Wainwright was followed out of the bullpen by John Brebbia, who worked the seventh inning and recorded one out in the eighth. With a runner on, Andrew Miller entered to face the left-handed-batting Eric Hosmer and got him to line out to center. Jordan Hicks followed and logged the final four outs of the game to pick up his first save of the year. With three strikeouts, Hicks and Wainwright combined for 12 punchouts on Sunday.
Apparently, Hicks is as tough to face as he looks. In the eighth inning with the then-tying run at the plate in Manny Machado, Hicks battled through a nine-pitch affair to eventually get the Padres third baseman swinging on a nasty slider. Machado gave the 22-year-old a nod of his helmet, acknowledging that Hicks got the best of him.
Game recognize game. Machado v. Hicks was a 9-pitch battle with some serious firepower. Hicks won it with a 3-2 slider. Machado, who has been red-hot, could only tip his cap. Literally. pic.twitter.com/qAwA6AAdTw— AJ Cassavell (@AJCassavell) April 7, 2019
At the plate, the Cardinals had 10 hits, including a 3-for-4 day for Yadier Molina. With three hits on Sunday, Molina now has 1,857 hits in his career to move to eighth on the all-time Cardinals hits list. Molina passed Ken Boyer this afternoon, and his next obstacle is Ozzie Smith, who is seventh with 1,944 knocks.
Molina, Matt Carpenter, Harrison Bader, and Paul DeJong each had a double, and DeJong’s double drove in two of the four runs. The Cardinals did go just 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position and strand eight runners on base, but it’s probably worth noting that a team doesn’t necessarily have to hit with RISP to be successful. The Padres were a combined 4-for-25 on Friday and Saturday and won both games.
The Cardinals will welcome the Dodgers in for a four-game series on Monday. Miles Mikolas will make his first home start of the season at 6:45 PM Central time against Hyun-Jin Ryu.