After wrapping up a volatile series with the Mets, the Cardinals continued their homestand on Thursday, beginning a four-game set with the Diamondbacks. Dakota Hudson started for St. Louis and turned in another good start, throwing six shutout innings and giving up one hit and three walks while striking out four (highlights below). The combination of Aaron Brooks and Nick Wittgren handled the last three innings in which three Diamondbacks scored, but it turned out to be trivial as the Cards’ bats got to work early agains D-Backs starter Humberto Castellanos and plated eight runs on fifteen hits, cruising to a (mostly) relaxed 8-3 win.
Daulton Varsho flew out to center to start the game. Pavin Smith somehow topped a slider at the top of the zone and grounded out into the shift. David Peralta extended the inning with a five-pitch walk, but Christian Walker struck out on six pitches to retire the D-Backs.
Tommy Edman drew a leadoff walk and advanced to third on a single by Paul Goldschmidt. Tyler O’Neill followed with a flyout to right that was deep enough to score Edman to put the Cards up 1-0.
Nolan Arenado, who got served a two-game suspension for his involvement in the dust-up with the Mets but was eligible to play Thursday, reached on an infield single to short as Nick Ahmed’s throw to first was off-line. Goldschmidt took third on the throw to first, putting runners on first and third. Corey Dickerson flew out to center, scoring Goldschmidt with the Cardinals’ second sac fly in the inning and doubling the lead to 2-0. Dylan Carlson got under a first-pitch slider, popping out to short to end the inning.
Seth Beer pulled a low slider into left field for a routine flyout. Ketel Marte flew an outside changeup into right, where Dickerson easily caught it for the second out. Carson Kelly rolled a sinker to Arenado, who threw to first to put Arizona down in order.
Bader slapped a curveball the other way for a leadoff single. Yadier Molina hit a hard grounder to Geraldo Perdomo, who knocked it down and threw to first to get Yadi. Bader, watching the play on his way around second, took third on the throw. Paul DeJong wore a sinker off his back elbow, putting runners at the corners. Edman smoked a changeup into left-center for an RBI single, extending the lead to 3-0. Goldschmidt then knocked in DeJong with another single to make it 4-0, leaving runners at the corners.
O’Neill hit a hard line drive straight at Varsho in center, scoring Edman on yet another sac fly as the Cards piled on to 5-0. Arenado popped out to right for the third out.
Ahmed opened the third with a groundout to short. Perdomo worked a six-pitch walk but was stranded at first as Varsho struck out and Smith flew out to center, where Bader made a phenomenal jumping catch at the wall.
Corbin Martin came out of the ‘pen in relief for the D-Backs and retired Dickerson on a popout to third. Carlson tipped a 2-3 fastball into Kelly’s glove for out number two. Bader topped a slider to short for a groundout, ending a quick third inning.
Peralta grounded a slider to Goldschmidt, who flipped to Hudson covering for the out. Walker struck out on a tough slider-curveball-slider sequence. Beer rolled a curveball to Goldschmidt, ending an efficient inning from Hudson.
Yadi tore a 1-2 fastball back up the middle as the Cards got their leadoff hitter on base for the third time in four innings. DeJong snuck a grounder through the infield to put two on. Edman grounded into a 4-6-3 double play, moving Yadi to third. Goldschmidt then grounded out, sending the game to the fifth.
Hudson sat the D-Backs down in order again, getting Marte to ground out, Kelly to strike out, and Ahmed to flyout to right.
O’Neill lined out to left to open the bottom of the frame and Arenado did the same to center. Dickerson singled but was left at first after Carlson flew out to center.
Perdomo led off the sixth with a soft groundout to second. Varsho then singled and Smith walked to put two on, but the D-Backs’ threat failed to yield results as Peralta flew out to deep center and Walker grounded out to short.
Bader reached above the zone and drove a fastball into right field for a hit. He stole second on the first pitch to Yadi, who beat a wide throw to first from Marte for an infield single (Yes, you read that correctly.). Yadi then stole second on the 0-2 pitch to DeJong to put runners on second and third (Yes, you read that correctly, too. Here’s the video evidence.).
DeJong struck out chasing a curveball in the dirt for the first out. Edman singled back up the middle to score Bader for the Cardinals’ sixth run and took second as a lazy lob to the infield from Varsho went over Ahmed’s head.
Taylor Widener replaced Martin on the mound, and Goldschmidt welcomed him with a two-RBI single as the Cards continued to pile on at 8-0. O’Neill grounded into a fielder’s choice before Arenado notched another single to put two on again. Dickerson followed and flew out to right, ending the sixth.
Aaron Brooks got the call to pitch the seventh and struck out Beer for the first out. Marte rolled over a changeup and grounded out into the shift. Kelly hit a sinker hard but straight at O’Neill for the final out.
Carlson struck out to open the bottom of the frame, frozen by an 0-2 fastball in the heart of the zone. Bader worked a ten-pitch walk but was left on first after Yadi flew out to center and DeJong flew out to left.
Ahmed reached base on a ground ball back up the middle. Perdomo lifted a sinker to left for a flyout, and Varsho did the same to center. Smith got a hold of a belt-high sinker and put it into the Cardinals’ bullpen, getting Arizona on the board 8-2. Peralta struck out swinging at a changeup in on the hands to end the top of the eighth.
Tyler Holton took the mound for the D-Backs and retired Edman on a groundout to short. Brendan Donovan, in for Goldschmidt, singled into right for his first MLB hit.
O’Neill followed with a single of his own to center. Edmundo Sosa, in for Arenado, struck out chasing a 1-2 changeup in the dirt. Dickerson took a slider the other way into left but was robbed of a hit as Peralta made a sliding catch for the last out.
Walker led off the ninth with a double off the wall in right-center. Beer flew out to deep center, allowing Walker to move to third. Marte blooped out to DeJong for the second out. Kelly then singled home Walker to make it 8-3.
Nick Wittgren replaced Brooks and surrendered a ground-rule double to Ahmed that put runners on second and third. Perdomo walked as the D-Backs tried to make a game of the evening, but it was too little, too late as Varsho was called out on strikes to put the lock on the 8-3 victory for the good guys.
The Cards move up to 11-7 on the season while the Diamondbacks drop to 8-12. The Cardinals are scheduled to play the second of the four-game set against Arizona on Friday at 7:15 CT. Veterans Adam Wainwright and Madison Bumgarner are the probable starters so it should be a good one.
Final Pitching Lines
Hudson (W, 2-1): 6 IP / 1 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 3 BB / 4 SO / 0 HR
Brooks: 2.2 IP / 4 H / 3 R / 3 ER / 0 BB / 2 SO / 1 HR
Wittgren: 0.1 IP / 1 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 1 BB / 1 SO / 0 HR
Castellanos (L, 1-1): 2 IP / 5 H / 5 R / 5 ER / 1 BB / 0 SO / 0 HR
Martin: 3.1 IP / 6 H / 3 R / 3 ER / 0 BB / 2 SO / 0 HR
Widener: 1.2 IP / 2 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 1 BB / 1 SO / 0 HR
Holton: 1 IP / 2 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 0 BB / 1 SO / 0 HR