Facing a pitcher making his third career start and one day after losing, you had to hope St. Louis would hit the gas pedal hard in Boston. They did that, scoring 11 runs — including six in the sixth inning — en route to an 11-2 victory over the Red Sox.
Dakota Hudson didn’t look great, walking five batters over five innings, but it didn’t matter because the offense jumped all over Kutter Crawford and the Boston bullpen. Both Nolans homered, Tyler O’Neill had three hits including a homer, and Zach Thompson gave the Cardinals quality innings behind Hudson to help save the bullpen for the coming days.
Here’s how it went down at Fenway:
Leading off once again, Tommy Edman got an elevated, cream puff cutter in a great spot but swung under it, flying out to center field. Brendan Donovan worked the count full, but struck out on Kutter’s 91 mph cutter on his hands. Paul Goldschmidt singled to left with two outs, and then — for the second night in a row — Nolan Arenado put a ball into the seats on top of the big, green monster. His 13th homer of the season traveled 382 feet and gave the Cardinals a 2-0, first-inning lead. Nolan Gorman then broke his bat and grounded out to first base for the third out.
Dakota Hudson worked a three up, three down top of the first on nine pitches. Jarren Duran grounded out to Donovan at second base, Rafael Devers grounded out softly back to Hudson, and J.D. Martinez flew out to Harrison Bader in center field.
Tyler O’Neill led off the second inning with a single to right field, against a shifted infield. Down 1-2, O’Neill took off for second and Dylan Carlson pulled a line drive down the first base line for a double. Our Canadian friend scored easily, and Carlson had his 16th RBI of the season (Dylan’s looked great the past week or so, in my opinion).
Bader popped out to first baseman Bobby Dalbec in foul territory for the first out of the inning. Andrew Knizner — who is the starting catcher officially now with Yadier Molina on the IL — popped out to Devers at third for the second out. Edman grounded out to Xander Bogaerts at short for the final out of the inning stranding Carlson in scoring position.
Hudson dealt with some traffic in the bottom of the second, but was able to wiggle out of it with minimal damage. Bogaerts led off the inning with a single to left field. Trevor Story struck out swinging for the first out, and Franchy Cordero drew a five-pitch walk with Hudson missing inside three times. Dalbec then dug a 2-0 slider from his ankles and blooped it into center, scoring Bogaerts and getting Boston on the board. But Jackie Bradley Jr. grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning, stranding two runners and keeping the Cardinals lead at two.
Crawford had his first three up, three down inning of the game in the third. Donovan struck out looking, Goldschmidt popped out to third base, and Arenado struck out swinging.
Kevin Plawecki — who is hitting .141 with an OPS under .500 — drew a five-pitch, leadoff walk from Hudson. Duran grounded into a force out, with Donovan erasing Plawecki at second for the first out. Devers flew out to deep center field for out number two. Martinez pounded a sinker into the ground towards third base, and Arenado fired over to first to close the book on the third inning.
After falling behind 1-2 in the count, Gorman obliterated a waist-high changeup 440 feet to dead center for his fourth homer of the season. The missile made it 4-1 Cardinals in the fourth.
O’Neill grounded out to third base for the first out of the inning. Carlson grounded out to Story at second base for the second out. After falling behind 0-2, Bader hit a line drive to the base of the green monster in left field that Cordero wasn’t able to hold on to, and it fell for a double. But Knizner grounded out to shortstop on the first pitch he saw to end the inning, with the Cardinals leading 4-1.
Crawford’s final line: 4 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 3 K’s (85 pitches, career-high)
Bogaerts was called out on strikes for the first out in the bottom of the fourth. Story then singled to right field, and moved to second when Cordero hit a ground ball to Goldschmidt and his throw to second hit Story in the back. Cordero was out at first, but Story was safe at second with two outs. Hudson then walked Dalbec and Bradley back-to-back to load the bases for Plawecki.
Hudson completely lose the zone here, and walked the light-hitting Plawecki on four pitches as well. It forced in a run, and the score was 4-2 St. Louis. The walk of Plawecki was Hudson’s fifth of the evening and 32nd of the season (over 69.1 innings).
Duran then worked the count 2-2 and was probably thinking he’d draw another bases loaded walk, but he grounded out to Arenado at third base for the final out of the inning.
Right-hander Ryan Brasier took over in the fifth inning in relief of Crawford, who lasted four frames. Edman leading off the inning hit a ground ball up the middle that Story snagged and then — on a Jeter-esque jump throw — nailed Edman at first base. Donovan then drew a five-pitch walk Goldschmidt struck out swinging for out number two, Arenado flew out to deep center field for the third out in the Cardinals’ half of the fifth.
Devers worked the count full against Hudson leading off the bottom of the fifth and then struck out swinging. Martinez grounded out to Edman at short for the second out, but Bogaerts’ seeing-eye ground ball snuck up the middle between Donovan and Edman for a two-out base knock. Story then grounded out to Arenado at third, who chose to get the force at second base to end the inning.
Hudson’s final line: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 5 BB’s, 3 KO (93 pitches)
Hansel Robles took over on the mound in the sixth inning. Gorman struck out swinging for the first out, and then O’Neill pummeled Robles’ first-pitch slider 410 feet into the center field seats, about five rows shorter than Gorman’s a few innings earlier. It was our Canadian friend’s fourth homer of the season, and it made the score 5-2 St. Louis.
Carlson drew a four-pitch walk, which was his fifth time reaching base over the first two games of this series. Bader reached on an infield single that Devers and Robles both hoped would roll foul, but it stayed fair for Bader’s second hit of the game. Knizner then walked on seven pitches, giving Tommy Edman a shot with the bases loaded.
Alex Cora went out and took the ball from Robles and brought in Japanese right-hander Hirokazu Sawamura, who was greeted by Edman whacking a single back up the middle to score Carlson and Bader. Edman’s two-run single made it 7-2 Redbirds in the sixth.
Still with only one out, Donovan hit a ground ball to Dalbec at first base that he botched and let roll behind him, and Dalbec was unable to pick it up and get to the base in time. Donovan beat him to the bag, loading the bases once again for Golschmidt. Goldy singled to center, driving in two more runs and making it 9-2 Cardinals, and there was still only one out.
Arenado worked it to 2-2 and then singled to right field, scoring Donovan and making it 10-2 St. Louis. That meant Gorman came up to bat with two runners on and one out, and the Cardinals had officially batted around in the sixth inning.
Gorman flew out to the warning track in center for the second out, which meant that Gorman recorded both the first and second outs of the sixth inning (Goldschmidt tagged to third). O’Neill worked a walk to load the bases for the third time during the inning, which meant Carlson had a chance to do some two-out damage. Unfortunately he did not, as Sawamura struck him out looking. St. Louis scored six runs in the sixth, made Boston throw 49 pitches, and led 10-2 heading into the bottom of the sixth.
Oli Marmol went to rookie left-hander Zack Thompson in the sixth, hoping to get the final four frames from the southpaw. Cordero flew out to Bader in left-center field for the first out, Dalbec grounded out to Arenado at third for the second out, and Bradley struck out swinging.
Austin Davis, the left who got beat up pretty good in the ninth inning of last night’s game, took the mound for Boston in the seventh. Bader flew out to left field for the first out and then Knizner drew his second walk of the game. Edman grounded into a 4-3 double play to end the inning, with Story corralling the ground ball, stepping on second, and firing to first for the third out.
Thompson struck out Plawecki, and Duran, and Devers grounded out to Goldschmidt at first base to end the seventh inning.
Donovan struck out for the third time in the game, which was his first career three strikeout game. Goldschmidt flew out to the warning track in dead center field for the second out of the inning, and then Arenado worked a two-out walk. Marmol had Albert Pujols pinch-hit for Gorman in what may have been his final at-bat in Fenway Park. Pujols worked an 11-pitch at-bat against Davis, but eventually struck out swinging.
Martinez grounded out to Edman at short, Bogaerts struck out swinging, and Story grounded out to Donovan at second.
O’Neill led off with a clean single to left, his third hit of the game. Carlson struck out looking, and then Bader singled to right field — which was also his third hit of the game. Andrew Knizner followed with a ground-rule double to right field, which scored the beefy Canadian and made it 11-2 St. Louis. Edman hit with two runners in scoring position and took ball four outside on a full count, but the home plate umpire Chad Whitson was getting tired and called it strike three instead. Donovan flew out to left field to end the top of the ninth.
After a rough outing in Friday’s game, Marmol signaled for left-hander T.J. McFarland to close out the game with a nine-run lead. Pinch-hitter Rob Refnsyder greeted him with a line drive single off the green monster. Dalbec grounded out to Edman at short, with Refsnyder advancing to second. Bradley grounded out to Edman as well, with Refsnyder moving to third. Plawecki flew out to O’Neill to end the game.
FINAL: Cardinals 11, Red Sox 2
After Saturday’s win, the Cardinals (38-29) go for the rubber match victory Sunday afternoon. Andre Pallante (2-1, 1.46 ERA) gets his third career start. He gave up one earned run over 9.1 innings over his first two starts, but took the loss in relief Wednesday night against Pittsburgh. Nick Pivetta (6-5, 3.50 ERA) gets the start for Boston (35-31). Pivetta went eight innings against Oakland his last time out, yielding just one earned run. First pitch is set for 12:35 p.m.
Around the Central
Giants 7, Pirates 5 - The Giants are once again doing that thing where they play really well without pretty much any established superstars.
Brewers 7, Reds 3 - The Brewers go for a sweep tomorrow, and seem to have stopped the bleeding after that long losing streak.
Cubs 6, Braves 3 - Atlanta’s 14-game winning streak is now a 2-game losing streak, and Chicago’s 10-game losing streak is now a 2-game winning streak.
Pickle #101 - 6/9
— Recent slap victim. —