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Cardinals Score Eight Early Runs off Gio Gonzalez in 12-2 Win over Brewers

Wainwright takes 90 pitches to get through only 3.2 IP, but Cards’ offense bails him out, with Ozuna, DeJong and Molina getting 3 RBIs each.

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Milwaukee Brewers Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

After sweeping the Colorado Rockies in a 4-game series, the Cards returned to their regular uniforms tonight with hopes to take advantage of the struggling Brewers, who were 10-11 in August going into this game. Brewers’ starter Zach Davies left last night’s game after 4 innings requiring the bullpen to throw 5. With Kolten Wong still nursing his banged up toe, the Cards went with the same lineup that netted them an 11-4 win yesterday, with Tommy Edman at 2B and Matt Carpenter at 3B. The Cards did not disappoint. Although Adam Wainwright was pulled from the game after 90 pitches in only 3.2 IP, the game was already in hand, as the Cards torched Brewers’ lefty Gio Gonzalez for 8 runs in the first two innings. Four Cardinal relievers only allowed 3 H and 1 BB in 5.1 IP, and the Cards cruised to an easy victory in the first game of the series.

Dexter Fowler led off the game by blooping a changeup to shallow right. The ball looked like it was going to drop in front of Christian Yelich, but 2B Keston Hiura ran out and made the catch over his shoulder. Tommy Edman lined an outside fastball for a base hit to right field. Yelich had to move to his left to get the ball that was veering towards the line. Edman hustled all the way and made it in safe with a double before Yelich could spin around and throw. Paul Goldschmidt walked on 4 pitches. Marcell Ozuna struck out swinging at an up-and-in fastball that would have been a ball had he let it go. With 2 out, Paul DeJong walked on 4 pitches to load the bases. After Yadier Molina fouled off a curveball that bounced to the plate, he lined a low-and-away curveball to left-center for a base hit. Edman and Goldschmidt both scored to give the Cards a 2-0 lead.

With DeJong at 3rd base, Matt Carpenter grounded out to the 1st baseman to end the inning. Yasmani Grandal walked on 5 pitches with 1 out in the bottom of the 1st. Yelich waited on a 2-0 curveball from Adam Wainwright and sharply grounded it through the right side for a base hit to move Grandal to 2nd. Wainwright reached back for something extra and blew a 93 mph fastball past Hiura on a 3-2 pitch to strike him out. Mike Moustakas softly lined a center-cut fastball to Ozuna in left to end the inning.

To lead off the top of the 2nd, Bader absolutely smoked a center-cut changeup for a hot shot grounder to Moustakas at 3rd base that was 107.3 mph off the bat. Moustakas couldn’t come up with it, and it bounced off of Moustakas’ wrist, with Bader reaching on an infield hit. After Wainwright sacrificed Bader to 2nd base, Gio Gonzalez tried to pick Bader off of 2nd base, but threw the ball past Hiura into center field for an error. Bader moved to 3rd on the play. Fowler lined a high 3-2 fastball into center for a base hit to score Bader and extend the Cards’ lead to 3-0.

Edman grounded a center-cut changeup through the hole to left for a base hit to move Fowler to 2nd. Goldschmidt walked on 5 pitches to load the bases again. Ozuna lined a first-pitch outside fastball down the right field line into the corner for a double to clear the bases and give the Cards a 6-0 lead.

DeJong worked a 3-2 walk on a pitch that just missed up-and-in. Molina chopped a curveball towards the 3rd base line that Moustakas fielded over the bag with his momentum taking him into foul territory. He made a long throw to 1st that Eric Thames couldn’t come up with on the bounce. A non-bounced throw would have retired Molina by a step, and for that reason, apparently, the scorer charged Moustakas with a throwing error. With the bases loaded again and still only 1 out, Carpenter struck out. The Cards have now batted around in the inning, and the damage continued when Bader lined a hanging curveball to left that bounced on the track and over the wall for a ground rule double. Ozuna and DeJong scored to give the Cards an 8-0 lead. Wainwright popped to out 3rd in foul territory to end the inning.

With 1 out in the bottom of the 2nd, Thames lined a hanging curveball just inside the 1st base line into the corner for a triple. Corey Spangenberg got jammed on a fastball off of his fists and squibbed it to the shortstop area. But because the Cards were in the shift for the lefty, Spangenberg had an infield hit and Thames scored to cut the Cards’ lead to 8-1. The pitcher Gonzalez struck out for the 2nd out and Lorenzo Cain struck out looking on a close low fastball to end the inning. For the top of the 3rd, Hernan Perez came in to play SS in the #5 spot, with Spangenberg moving from SS to 3B, and Moustakas came out of the game with an injured wrist. With 1 out in the bottom of the 3rd, Yelich walked on 4 pitches. After Hiura popped up to 2nd, Perez chopped a curveball through the hole to left for a base hit to move Yelich to 2nd. Ryan Braun lined a shot to deep right-center but Fowler caught it at the track to end the inning.

In the top of the 4th, Gonzalez struck out both Ozuna and DeJong to start the inning. The strikeout of DeJong was on a 3-2 changeup that DeJong let go, thinking it was a ball low-and-inside and started to trot to 1st before getting punched out. But with 2 out, Molina hit a center-cut fastball into the seats in left field for a solo HR to give the Cards a 9-1 lead.

Carpenter struck out to end the inning. With 1 out in the bottom of the 4th, Spangenberg skied a middle-in fastball to the gap in right-center for a double. After Gonzalez tapped a ball back to the mound, Cain lined a fastball to the gap in right-center. Fowler went to his left to try to grab it, but the ball sailed over his glove and bounced to the wall for a double. Spangenberg scored to cut the Cards’ lead to 9-2. After Grandal worked a 3-2 walk, Shildt pulled Wainwright, who had already thrown 90 pitches, and brought in John Gant to pitch to Yelich. Gant walked Yelich on a 3-2 changeup in the dirt to load the bases, but Hirua softly popped an inside fastball to Wong to strand the bases loaded.

After hitting for himself in the top of the 5th, Gant came back out for the bottom half and retired the Brewers in order on 12 pitches, including a strikeout. Gonzalez lasted as long as he could with 102 pitches in 5 IP, and the Brewers brought righty Jay Jackson out to pitch the top of the 6th. After Goldschmidt struck out, Ozuna lined a base hit to center. DeJong crushed an outside fastball over the wall off of the Miller Lite under the scoreboard in straightaway center field for a 2-run HR to extend the Cards’ lead to 11-2.

Statcast had that HR only traveling 429 feet, but it sure looked longer. In any case, Molina flied out to left and Carpenter struck out to end the inning. Gant retired the Brewers in order again in the bottom of the 6th, this time with 2 strikeouts. Having pinch hit for Jackson in the previous half-inning, Trent Grisham stayed in the game in CF in the #9 spot and lefty Alex Claudio came in to pitch in the #1 spot, retiring the Cards in order in the top of the 7th. Lane Thomas pinch hit for Gant in the top of the 7th, and he stayed in the game in the #9 spot for the bottom of the 8th, with Dominic Leone coming in to pitch in the #1 spot. With 1 out, Yelich sliced a high-and-outside fastball to left for a base hit, but he was erased when Hiura grounded a cutter into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.

For the top of the 8th, the Brewers made several changes on defense. Manny Pina came in to catch in the #3 spot, with Grandal moving from C to 1B, Thames moving from 1B to RF and Yelich coming out of the game. Edman grounded a base hit through the right side to lead off the inning. Matt Wieters pinch hit for Goldschmidt and walked on 4 pitches. Ozuna grounded into a 6-4 force for the 1st out with Edman moving to 3rd. DeJong flied a center-cut fastball that Grisham caught up against the wall right at the yellow line. Edman scored on the Sac Fly to extend the Cards’ lead to 12-2. DeJong missed a HR by a few inches. After Molina worked a 9-pitch plate appearance for a 3-2 walk to load the bases, the Brewers brought in righty Ray Black to pitch to Bader. Bader popped out to 2nd to strand the bases loaded. For the bottom of the 8th, Wieters stayed in the game in the #3 spot to catch with Molina moving from C to 1B and Goldschmidt coming out of the game. Leone came back out for the bottom of the 8th. With 2 out, Thames lined a cutter to the gap in right-center that eluded Thomas’s dive and dropped for a double. The Cards then made a double switch to bring in Andrew Miller to pitch in the #5 spot with Yairo Munoz coming in to play SS in the #1 spot. With the Cards’ bench now emptied (with Wong unavailable), Miller struck out the lefty Spangenberg on a slider to end the inning.

Black hit Thomas on the left elbow with a 99 mph fastball to start the top of the 9th, but he retired the rest of the side in order with 1 strikeout. Miller stayed out on the mound to start the bottom of the 9th to pitch to the lefty Grisham, who grounded a slider opposite the shift that hit the 3rd base bag for an infield hit. The righty Orlando Arcia pinch hit for Black and grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. For some reason, Shildt decided to make a pitching change to bring in Carlos Martinez to pitch to the switch-hitting Grandal. CMart struck Grandal out swinging at a high 95 mph fastball to end the game. Shildt would explain in the post-game press conference that both Miller and Martinez were going to pitch regardless of the score because they had both been on 3 days of rest and he wanted to keep them sharp.

Odds and Ends

Tommy Edman has more hits than any other Cardinal for the month of August with 28...X-rays on Brewers’ 3B Mike Moustakas were negative, and the club is calling it a left hand contusion. He will be day-day-to-day and almost certainly out of the lineup for tomorrow’s game...The Cards now have a 3-game lead over the Cubs and a 5.5 game lead over the Brewers for 1st place in the division...The Cubs had the day off and travel to New York tomorrow for a 3-game series with the Mets...The Pirates had a 4-2 lead over the Phillies with 2 out in the bottom of the 8th before Richard Rodriguez gave up a solo HR to Bryce Harper and a 2-run HR to Corey Dickerson. Josh Bell tied the game with a solo HR in the top of the 9th off of Hector Neris to tit the game and Bryce Harper struck out with the bases loaded in the bottom half. But Sean Rodriguez hit a walkoff HR in the bottom of the 11th off of Michael Feliz to give the Phillies the 6-5 win. Reds’ starter Sonny Gray walked 5 in 6 IP, but the Reds still beat the Marlins 6-3, largely with the help of Freddy Galvis’s 3-run HR in the 5th...The 65-67 Memphis Redbirds have still not been officially eliminated from the playoff race, as the Iowa Cubs’ magic number is 3 with 8 to play, all on the road. Memphis’s game tonight was postponed due to wet grounds, and they will play a doubleheader at New Orleans tomorrow. Springfield lost 10-7 in 10 innings to Frisco with Tyler O’Neill in RF and Jose Martinez at DH for the bulk of the game. O’Neill went 1 for 5 with a single and 2 SO before being lifted for Lars Nootbaar in the top of the 10th. Cafecito went 1 for 3 with a double, a walk and 2 RBIs. Chris Chinea pinch hit for him in the bottom of the 9th. Springfield had a 7-5 lead after a 4-run bottom of the 8th, but reliever Roel Ramiez allowed 2 runs on 2 singles and a Sac Fly to blow the lead in the top of the 9th. But catcher Brian O’Keefe allowed 2 passed balls to score 2 runs in the bottom of the 10th. Austin Gomber started the Springfield game with 1 IP, threw 11 pitches and gave up 1 single amongst 3 outfield flies...Palm Beach got crushed by Bradenton 10-1. The only bright spot was Luken Baker’s 2 for 4 day with 2 doubles. Starter Edgar Gonzalez allowed 5 ER and 5 BB in 2.1 IP...Peoria beat Cedar Rapids 6-5 in 11 innings. They had a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the 9th, but 5th round draft choice Connor Thomas blew the lead with 2 walks and a double. After both teams scored in the 10th, Jonatan Machado singled in the winning run in the top of the 11th, with Evan Sisk getting the win in the bottom half.