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Arizona mauls Montgomery in the fourth, hangs on late to hand Cardinals 8-7 loss

St. Louis late offensive surge not enough to overcome rough start from Montgomery.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

It’s early, but the Cardinals entered Tuesday’s game against Arizona in a rather unfamiliar spot — last place. At 7-10, St. Louis trailed the Reds by half of a game entering tonight’s contest, but have already fallen five games behind the division-leading Brewers.

Jordan Montgomery had been rock solid in his first three starts of the season, but folks, things did not go well for the left tonight.

Diamondbacks starting lineup:

  1. Ketel Marte, 2B
  2. Josh Rojas, DH
  3. Lourdes Gurriel, LF
  4. Christian Walker, 1B
  5. Evan Longoria, 3B
  6. Jake McCarthy, RF
  7. Nick Ahmed, SS
  8. Gabriel Moreno, C
  9. Alek Thomas, CF

Drey Jameson - SP

And the Cardinals, with Nolan Arenado getting a day off and Brendan Donovan out of the lineup with a bruised shin sustained sometime before today’s game:

  1. Lars Nootbaar, RF
  2. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  3. Alec Burleson, DH
  4. Willson Contreras, C
  5. Nolan Gorman, 2B
  6. Tyler O’Neill, LF
  7. Dylan Carlson, CF
  8. Taylor Motter, 3B
  9. Tommy Edman, SS

Jordan Montgomery - SP

It was another tough night for Cardinals pitching, and once again the Diamondbacks did them in with one big inning. Tonight, it was the fourth inning, as the Snakes scored six times before Jordan Montgomery could record an out.

The Cardinals tallied three runs in the ninth inning and got the tying run on base, but it was too little, too late in another loss to the Diamondbacks.

1st Inning

Marte, who drove in the first run of the game yesterday in the top of the first inning, led off today’s game with a triple to right field off Montgomery.

However, the Cardinals’ lefty walked the tight rope and somehow escaped the first without allowing that run to score. First, Rojas hit a soft ground ball up the middle that Edman dove for and grabbed, stopping Marte from breaking for home plate. Edman made the throw over to first and Marte held at first.

Gurriel hit a soft ground ball back to Montgomery with one out, and the Cardinals were able to trap Marte in a rundown between third and home. Marte was eventually tagged out, with Gurriel winding up on second base. Montgomery struck out Walker with a big curveball in the dirt to escape the jam.

After leadoff man Lars Nootbaar grounded out to start today’s game, Goldschmidt pulled his hands in and somehow turned on a full-count slider (that would’ve been ball four is he had not swung) into the left field seats for a homer. Goldschmidt's second homer of the season traveled 403 feet and put the Cardinals up 1-0 in the first.

Burleson grounded out for the second out of the inning, and Contreras flew out to McCarthy in deep right field.

2nd Inning

Montgomery threw up a goose egg in the second inning on nine pitches, getting Longoria to fly out, McCarthy to ground out, and Ahmed to fly out.

Gorman grounded out to Marte at second base to start the bottom of the second, but O’Neill followed with a booming double off the wall in left-center field to put a runner in scoring position for Carlson. The aforementioned Carlson drew a walk, as did Taylor Motter behind him to load the bases for Edman. Tommy got a center-cut fastball down the middle in a 1-1 count but popped it up, with Longoria making the grab on the edge of the infield for out number two.

With two outs, Nootbaar reached out and hit a ground ball to the right of the shortstop, Ahmend. Ahmed tried to go the short way to second base for the force out, and initially Motter was called out as he ran directly through the bag rather than sliding.

However, the Cardinals challenged the play, claiming Motter beat the throw and the run should count. The play was overturned, and the Cardinals took a 2-0 lead in the second inning on Nootbaar’s infield single.

The bases remained loaded for Goldschmidt, who struck out on six pitches to end the second inning.

3rd Inning

Gabriel Moreno led off the top of the third and doubled on a ground ball down the left field line. Thomas struck out right after, and Marte flew out to Carlson in center field, with Moreno staying put at second. With two outs, Rojas singled to left, scoring Moreno to make it 2-1 St. Louis. Rojas was thrown out at second base trying to stretch it into a double, as it appeared he over-slid the bag and was tagged on the leg to end the top of the third.

Burleson grounded out back to the pitcher Jameson for the first out. Contreras grounded out to Walker at first base for out number two. Gorman and O’Neill drew back-to-back walks to give Carlson a chance to add some insurance, but Dylan grounded out to Marte to end the inning.

4th Inning

The inning from hell began with a Gurriel base hit to left field, and Walker followed him up with a double into the left-center field gap that drove in Gurriel and tied this game at two runs apiece. The double jumped off of Walker’s bat at 112 mph, and earned him his 10th RBI of the season.

Longoria struck a sharp single to center field, and Walker had to hold up at third as Carlson almost had a chance to make a play on it before letting it bounce. McCarthy followed and hit a ground ball to Goldschmidt at first, who immediately went home with the throw and the Cardinals caught the (not fleet-footed at all) Walker in a rundown between third and home. Contreras ran him to third and threw to Motter, who missed the tag on Walker as the D-Backs’ first baseman slid safely back into third base.

This put Nick Ahmed in a spot to give Arizona the lead, and he did so in the most ridiculous way possible. In a 2-2 count, Montgomery bounced a curveball in the dirt, and Ahmed swung and hit it off the bounce, cricket-style or Vladimir Guerrero-style, whichever you prefer. Ahmed’s unlikely double dropped into shallow left field, allowing two runs to score. 4-2 Snakes.

After a mound visit from Dusty Blake, Montgomery left a 1-0 changeup too high in the zone and Moreno clobbered it for a three-run home run to left field, making it 7-2 Arizona with still zero outs. It was Moreno’s second career home run, and it just cleared the wall in left field at 399 feet.

Alek Thomas flew out to left field and Montgomery finally had an out, but it was only a brief reprieve as Marte struck a one-out base hit to right field. Rojas grounded into a force out for the second out of the inning, with Gorman flipping to Edman at second base.

Gurriel singled up the middle with two outs, with Rojas — who reached on the fielder’s choice — moving to second. Walker flew out to Carlson in center to mercifully end the top of the fourth.

Jameson returned for the fourth after a long break and struck out Motter and Edman before being removed for left-handed reliever Kyle Nelson. Nelson walked Nootbaar with two outs, but struck out Goldschmidt to send this game to the fifth.

Montgomery’s final line: 4 IP, 10 H, 7 ER, 0 BB, 2 K’s (79 pitches)
Jameson’s final line: 3.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 4 BB’s, 3 K’s (71 pitches)

5th Inning

Chris Stratton took over on the mound in the fifth, hoping to eat a few innings in a game the Cardinals looked destined to lose after four innings. He was able to work a 1-2-3 inning on 11 pitches, including a strikeout of Longoria.

Nelson returned for the fifth and struck out Burleson and Contreras, followed by a fly out to right field for Gorman.

6th Inning

Stratton got through the sixth on 14 pitches, with two groundouts sandwiched around a deep Alek Thomas flyout.

The Cardinals put one on the board in the sixth, but missed the opportunity to do more than that. O’Neill led off, facing right-hander Kevin Ginkel who had taken over on the mound after 1.1 innings from Nelson. Bro reached out and made weak contact with a slider down in the zone, but it blooped into right field for a leadoff single.

Carlson followed and scorched a ball off the center field wall for an RBI double — his second of the season. O’Neill scored to make it 7-3.

Motter grounded out to shortstop for the first out, making Carlson hold at second. Edman drew a one-out walk, and that was it for Ginkel. Arizona made a change, and it was left-hander Joe Mantiply coming in to face Nootbaar.

Mantiply struck out Nootbaar and got Goldschmidt to hit a 108 mph line drive directly at Thomas in center field to get out of the inning with a four-run lead still, 7-3.

7th Inning

Rojas and Gurriel each reached base with hits to start the seventh, and a well-hit fly ball to right field by Walker went for an out but allowed Rojas to tag to third base.

Marmol made a move, bringing in the recently recalled JoJo Romero to face Longoria. Longoria welcomed Romero with open arms, knocking an RBI single to left field to make it 8-3 Arizona. McCarthy grounded into a 1-6-3 double play to end the inning, with Romero fielding the grounder and throwing to Edman at second to start it off.

Burleson flew out for the first out after the seventh inning stretch, and Contreras followed him with a mammoth home run into left field — his first as a Cardinal. It traveled 441 feet, but the Cardinals still trailed 8-4.

Gorman grounded out, and Arizona switched pitchers again to avoid the left-handed Mantiply facing the right-handed O’Neill. Scott McGough made his eighth appearance of the season already, striking O’Neill out with an up and in splitter.

8th Inning

Ahmed led off the eighth inning against Romero and grounded out to third. Moreno drew a five-pitch walk, Thomas struck out swinging, and Marte grounded out to Motter at third base.

St. Louis went down without a whimper in the bottom of the eighth — Carlson strikeout, Motter ground out, Edman ground out.

9th Inning

Jordan Hicks entered the game in a very low-pressure situation and struck out three in a scoreless ninth, working around a two-out single from Walker.

Arizona went to their closer Andrew Chafin with a four-run lead, but the Cardinals did not go quietly into that good night — not at all.

After a pitchcom malfunction that caused Chafin to take a pitch clock violation for ball one, Nootbaar drew a leadoff walk. Goldschmidt followed with a double into the corner in right field, with Nootbaar advancing to third base. Burleson grounded out to second base for the first out of the inning, scoring Nootbaar to make it 8-5. Goldschmidt also advanced to third with one out.

Contreras stepped in and took four straight balls, but the fourth one — a fastball that missed the zone by a few inches — was called a strike. The fifth pitch was much closer to the zone, and Contreras clobbered it just beyond the right field wall below the foul pole for a two-run homer. It was Contreras’ second homer of the game, and suddenly the Cardinals only trailed by one, 8-7.

That was it for Chafin, and Miguel Castro jogged in from the bullpen to shut down the rally and win the series for Arizona.

Nolan Arenado pinch-hit for Gorman and flew out harmlessly to center field, but O’Neill drew a walk to put the potential game-tying run on base. Carlson grounded out to Ahmed at short for the final out. Ballgame.

FINAL: Arizona 8, St. Louis 7

Up Next

The Cardinals (7-11) will try their best to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Diamondbacks (11-7) tomorrow afternoon at Busch, and perhaps stop the bleeding that has been the entire month of April thus far.

Former World Series MVP/current baseball curmudgeon Madison Bumgarner (0-2, 7.90 ERA) will throw for Arizona. Despite being in the league for roughly 18 years, MadBum is still still just 33 years old. Opposing Bumgarner will be Jake Woodford (0-2, 5.65 ERA), who pitched well enough in his last start against the Pirates (5.1 innings, 7 hits, 0 earned runs) to guarantee himself at least one more start.

First pitch is set for 12:15 p.m.

Around the Central

Rays 10, Reds 0

Pirates 5, Rockies 3 — Bottom 9

Cubs 0, A’s 0 — Top 6

Mariners 4, Brewers 4 — Bottom 6

Today’s Pickle

MLB Pickle #405 - 2/9