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Cards Sweep Twin-Bill With 6-3 Win Behind O’Neill’s Homer

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MLB: Game Two-St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago White Sox Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

For Game 2 of the doubleheader, Dexter Fowler, Kolten Wong and Andrew Knizner took a seat. This allowed Dylan Carlson to slide over from LF to RF, Matt Wieters to come in and catch, Max Schrock to make his major league debut at 2B and Brad Miller to make his Cardinal debut at 3B. Rookie Jake Woodford found out he was going to start the game about 30 minutes before first pitch, and he held his own just fine. He hung one pitch that was crushed for a homer, but otherwise he showed especially good breaking pitches, and of the 9 outs he recorded, 3 were strikeouts and 6 were groundouts. The Cards could not have asked for much more from the rookie, who was making his major league debut and had not seen game action this season.

It was also nice to see the hustle by Harrison Bader that ended up changing the course of the game, Alex Reyes throwing gas and Dylan Carlson and Max Schrock getting their first major league hits.

Righty Matt Foster opened the game for the White Sox. The Cards put their road grays on for this game. Tommy Edman grounded a 1-2 changeup to 1st to lead off the game. Matt Carpenter sharply grounded a 3-1 fastball into the shift at 2nd for the 2nd out. Paul Goldschmidt struck out swinging at a good low-and-in change to end the inning. Jake Woodford started things off for the Cards and made his major league debut. He got his first out by inducing Tim Anderson to ground an outside 2-0 slider to short. Yoan Moncada fisted an inside slider towards the middle. Edman raced over to his right from his position near the bag and made a great throw across his body to nip Moncada by a step. Yasmani Grandal grounded an inside fastball to Goldschmidt, and Woodford retired the side in order in his first inning in the majors.

Tyler O’Neill grounded out to short to start the top of the 2nd. Brad Miller tapped a nasty changeup back to the mound for the 2nd out, and Dylan Carlson struck out swinging at a 2-2 change to end the inning. Woodford struck Jose Abreu out swinging at an up-and-in 2-2 fastball to lead off the bottom of the 2nd. Eloy Jimenez grounded a first-pitch fastball to 2nd, and James McCann grounded a 1-0 slider to 3rd to end the inning.

Righty Codi Heuer came on in relief in the top of the 3rd, with it being a bullpen game for both clubs. Matt Wieters ripped a fastball for a grounder right to the 2nd baseman into the shift to start the inning. Max Schrock made his first ever MLB plate appearance and struck out looking at a 2-2 98-mph fastball on the inside corner. Harrison Bader tapped a 97 mph fastball to Moncada at 3rd. Moncada’s throw was wide and bounced off of the dugout screen. Bader raced for 2nd and slid in safely after Abreu’s throw was too high. The play was ruled a two base E5. Edman worked an 8-pitch 3-2 walk after being behind in the count, but both runners were stranded when Carpenter flied out to center to end the inning. To lead off the bottom of the 3rd, Luis Robert bombed a 1-0 hanging slider over the right-center field wall for a solo HR to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead. Nomar Mazara grounded out to 2nd on a 1-2 change. Danny Mendick struck out swinging at a 3-2 low-and-away fastball, and Anderson struck out swinging at a 1-2 center-cut fastball to end the inning.

Righty Zack Burdi came out to pitch the top of the 4th for the White Sox. Goldschmidt crushed a tailing 96 mph fastball over the left field wall to tie the game 1-1.

O’Neill struck out swinging at an outside slider. B. Miller grounded an inside slider towards the right side hole, but Mendick dove for it, and made a nice play for the out. With 2 out, Carlson worked a 3-2 walk, but he was stranded at 1st when Wieters grounded an 0-1 hanging change to 1st to end the inning. Genesis Cabrera came out to pitch the bottom of the 4th to get his first taste of MLB action with the Cards this season. He struck Moncada out swinging at a high fastball to start the inning off. Grandal worked a 5-pitch walk. Abreu chased a high fastball and lined it to Bader in center for the 2nd out. Next, Jimenez used an inside-out swing to drive a first-pitch low-and-in fastball just barely over the right-center field wall for a 2-run HR to give the White Sox a 3-1 lead.

McCann struck out swinging at a 2-2 changeup low-and-away and out of the zone to end the inning.

Righty Jimmy Cordero came out to pitch the top of the 5th. Schrock flied a hanging change to short right. The 2nd baseman Mendick went out to chase it. The right fielder Mazara was playing deep, initially broke back on the ball, and half-way jogged towards it when he corrected himself. The ball dropped in between the 2 fielders for Schrock’s first career hit.

Bader grounded a middle-in fastball to 3rd for what was ruled a 5-4-3 double play. The Cards challenged the call and on review, the call was overturned, and it was determined that Bader just barely beat 2nd baseman Mendick’s throw to 1st. It just turned out to be a force play at 2nd, and now there is only one out. This was the turning point in the game. Cordero hit Edman on his right elbow pad with a 1-1 inside fastball. Then, with Carpenter at the plate, Cordero threw a 1-0 fastball for a wild pitch that bounced in the dirt just beyond the plate that got away from McCann and allowed the runners to advance to 2nd and 3rd. Carpenter grounded a high-and-outside change to 2nd that scored Bader to cut the White Sox lead to 3-2 and moved Edman to 3rd. Righty Evan Marshall came in to pitch to Goldschmidt, who grounded a high fastball up the middle. Mendick, who was playing near the 2nd base bag, raced over and tried to make a backhand grab, but the ball went off the heel of his glove for an infield hit. Edman scored to tie the game 3-3. O’Neill then smoked a low-and-in 0-1 tailing changeup over the left field wall for a 2-run HR to give the Cards a 5-3 lead.

B. Miller blooped a 2-2 low-and-away change for a base hit to left-center. Carlson roped a low change to right field. Mazara had to go to his left to get it. Carlson hustled all the way out of the box and slid in safely with a double, his first career MLB hit.

Lefty Jace Fry came in to face Wieters and struck him out swinging at a low-and-away cutter to end the inning.

Alex Reyes came in to pitch the bottom of the 5th for the Cards in his first 2020 action. He struck out the side. Robert went down swinging on a 99 mph center-cut fastball. Mazara went down looking at a 3-2 98 mph low-and-in fastball. And Mendick struck out swinging at an inside 98 mph fastball. Here’s a video of the heat from Reyes:

Schrock grounded a 1-1 cutter up the middle to lead off the top of the 6th with his 2nd base hit of the day. Bader grounded a low cutter towards the 3rd base line into another 5-4-3 double play, and this time he was out. Edman struck out swinging at a cutter in the dirt to end the inning. Tyler Webb came in to pitch the bottom of the 6th for the Cards. Anderson grounded a center-cut fastball to 3rd. After Moncada worked a 3-2 walk, Grandal popped a 1-1 fastball to 2nd and Abreu tapped a low 3-0 change back to the mound to end the inning.

Righty Steve Cishek came out to pitch the top of the 7th. Carpenter used an inside-out swing on an inside fastball to beat the shift with a base hit up the middle. After Goldschmidt flied out to right, O’Neill lined a hanging slider to the left-center field gap. Robert cut it off, but he had to run far to his left to do so, and O’Neill slid in safely with a double with Carpenter moving to 3rd. B. Miller skied an inside fastball to deep right center that Mazara caught with his back against the wall. He missed a home run by a foot or two. Carpenter scored on the SAC FLY to extend the Cards lead to 6-3 and O’Neill moved to 3rd. Carlson lined a low slider to the track in left-center but Robert made a running catch to end the inning.

Andrew Miller came out to close it out for the Cards in the bottom of the 7th. Kolten Wong also came out to play 2nd base in the #8 spot. Jimenez grounded an outside fastball up the middle for a base hit. McCann struck out swinging at a high-and-outside 3-2 fastball, a pitch that would have been ball 4. Robert flied a low slider to center. Edwin Encarnacion pinch hit for the lefty Mazara. Miller threw a 1-0 slider literally between Encarnacion’s legs for a wild pitch that went to the backstop. Jimenez went to 2nd, but it didn’t matter, as Encarnacion struck out swinging at a 3-2 low-and-in slider to end the game. Miller picked up the save.

Woodford 3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO, 1 HR; Cabrera (bottom 4) 1 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO, 1 HR; Reyes (bottom 5) 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO; Webb (16 days rest, bottom 6) 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 SO; A. Miller (16 days rest, bottom 7) 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO.