The St. Louis Cardinals came into Saturday night’s game losers of four in a row, and having scored just three runs over their last three games on top of that. Oli Marmol stacked the lineup with right-handed hitters against Milwaukee lefty Eric Lauer, whom the Cardinals beat twice last season. History repeated itself Saturday.
- Tommy Edman, SS
- Dylan Carlson, LF
- Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
- Nolan Arenado, 3B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Tyler O’Neill, CF
- Taylor Motter, 2B
- Jordan Walker, RF
- Juan Yepez, DH
Jordan Montgomery - SP
And Milwaukee’s lineup, with a few changes from Friday’s game:
- Mike Brosseau, 3B
- Willy Adames, SS
- Christian Yelich, LF
- William Contreras, DH
- Luke Voit, 1B
- Brian Anderson, RF
- Owen Miller, 2B
- Joey Weimer, CF
- Victor Caratini, C
Eric Lauer, SP
Montgomery stepped up in a big way, delivering the Cardinals’ first quality start of the season, as St. Louis broke the losing streak and set themselves up to potentially win the series on Easter Sunday. Jordan Walker extended his hitting streak to eight games and Arenado hit his 300th career home run in the shutout victory.
Like they did multiple times last season, the Cardinals gave Lauer some real trouble on Saturday night. Edman led off and hit a grounder into the 5.5 hole, but Adames was able to pick it and make a play. However, after stumbling a bit, his throw wasn’t in time to beat Edman, who reached on an infield single. Carlson followed Edman with a single to left, and a deep flyout by Goldschmidt allowed Edman to tag to third base with one out. The Cardinals used their outs methodically to manufacture their first run, as an Arenado sac fly to center field scored Edman and got the Redbirds on the board first, 1-0.
The elder Contreras fell behind 1-2 against Lauer before looping a hit into shallow center field. Carlson was able to score on the bloop single and make it 2-0 Cardinals, having tagged up front first to second moments earlier on Goldschmidt’s flyout. O’Neill followed Contreras and got ahead of Lauer 0-2, but eventually struck out looking on a 92 mph fastball on the outer edge of the zone.
Montgomery posted a shutdown inning in the bottom of the first, getting Brosseau to fly out to shallow center field, Adames to fly out to deep left field at the track, and Yelich to ground out up the middle to Edman.
Taylor Motter drew a leadoff walk in the second, followed by a swinging punchout from Walker. Yepez hit a high fly ball to Yelich in left, but it went higher than it did far, settling into his glove in left field for the second out of the inning. With two outs, Edman singled into left for his second hit in two innings — setting up Carlson to extend the lead. The Cardinals’ left fielder tonight worked the count full before striking out on a foul tip to end the top of the second.
Montgomery worked another quick and clean inning in the second. The younger Contreras struck out swinging at a curveball in the dirt, Voit flew out to Walker in right field, and Anderson grounded out to Edman at short.
The Cardinals went yard not once but twice in the third inning, with the first coming from a future Hall of Famer and the second coming from a guy who looks like he could be in the early stages of a Hall of Fame career already.
Goldschmidt led off the third with a screaming double off the left field wall, and Arenado one-upped him with a his 300th career home run — a towering blast to left field — that made it 4-0 St. Louis with still no outs.
Willson Contreras struck out on three pitches for the first out, and O’Neill drew just his second walk of the season right after. Motter struck a ball about 370 feet to center field, but Wiemer settled under it in the deepest part of the ballpark for the second out of the inning.
With two outs, Walker took a hack at Lauer’s first pitch and ripped a 110 mph line drive that just had enough to get out, scraping off the yellow line at the top of the left field wall and bouncing back into left field for a two-run homer. It was Walker’s second dinger of the season, and put the Cardinals up a half-dozen runs in the third inning. Yepez followed and swung at the first pitch as well, but his 106 mph grounder was snagged by Brosseau and thrown to first for the third out.
Montgomery struck out Miller looking on a sinker that was relatively center-cut to start the bottom of the third, as the Milwaukee second baseman must’ve been looking for something else in that spot. Wiemer (who actually grew up about 10 minutes from me in Sylvania, Ohio) got ahead of Montgomery 3-0 and eventually hammered a one-out double off the right field wall that Walker was unable to get to. Caratini struck out swinging for out number two, but an infield single by Brosseau and a walk to Adames loaded the bases for former the former MVP, Yelich.
However, Montgomery got lucky and Yelich rolled over on a center-cut fastball, hitting a candy hop grounder to Motter at second base to end the inning and strand the bases loaded.
Edman was retired for the first time in the game leading off the fourth when he flew out to Wiemer in center field. Carlson drew a five-pitch walk with one out, but Goldschmidt flew out and Arenado grounded out to end the top half of the fourth.
Montgomery kept on shoving. He struck out Contreras, Voit, and Anderson in order in the bottom of the fourth.
Lauer’s final line: 4 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 3 BB’s, 4 K’s (93 pitches)
Contreras and O’Neill each flew out to Wiemer in center field for the first and second outs of the fifth against relief pitcher Gus Varland, but back-to-back singles from Motter and Walker got something cooking with two outs. Yepez flew out to Anderson to end the threat and strand both runners.
The Brewers continued to struggle against the Cardinals’ starter. Miller hit a soft grounder back to Montgomery leading off the bottom half of the frame, and he tossed over to first for the out. Wiemer popped out to Contreras for the second out. Caratini drew a six-pitch walk, but it resulted in nothing as Brosseau struck out moments later to end the fifth inning.
Milwaukee got their first 1-2-3 inning of the game in the top of the sixth. Varland froze Edman with a fastball on the inside portion of the plate for strike three, Carlson grounded out to first base, and Golschmidt’s hot grounder up the middle was snared by Miller before throwing him out at first.
Montgomery struck out Adames with a generous called strike three call on the inside half of the plate, and then he also ran down and caught a short popup from Yelich for the second out. Contreras singled to right field with two down, but Montgomery struck out Voit on three pitches — his ninth strikeout of the evening.
Panamanian right-hander Javy Guerra took over in the seventh and kicked things off by walking Arenado on four straight pitches. He was erased, however, when Contreras grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. O’Neill hit a soft line drive to Miller at second base for the third out.
Montgomery returned for the seventh and put up one more scoreless frame, this time on nine pitches. Anderson grounded out to Goldschmidt, Miller grounded out to Motter at second, and Wiemer flew out to right field.
Montgomery’s final line: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB’s, 9 K’s (100 pitches)
Zach Thompson was the first Cardinal out of the bullpen in the eighth after not pitching at all the last four days. He faced Caratini first, who hit a line drive destined for left field before Edman dove out and snagged it.
Brosseau hit a soft ground ball in front of the plate that Willson Contreras hopped on and fired to first base for the second out. Adames and Yelich reached on back-to-back singles, and the younger Contreras brother drew a walk to load ‘em up with two outs. But Thompson buckled down and struck out Voit on three pitches to end stop the threat and hand Voit a hat trick.
Joel Payamps replaced Guerra in the ninth and, despite a little traffic on the bases, put up a clean inning and kept it at 6-0. Goldschmidt grounded out for the first out, and then Nolan hit a scorcher to shortstop that popped off Adames’ glove for a base knock. Willson Contreras struck out swinging, but O’Neill followed with a hot shot down the third base line that Brosseau dove and stopped, but couldn’t throw out the fleet-footed Bro at first. Motter was called out on strikes looking at a pitch several inches outside the zone, taking this game to the bottom of the ninth.
Drew VerHagen closed the door for the Cardinals, setting the Brewers down in order in the bottom of the ninth to end it.
FINAL: St. Louis 6, Milwaukee 0
St. Louis (3-5) will try to lock up a series win tomorrow afternoon in Milwaukee against the Brewers (6-2). Jake Woodford (0-1, 12.46 ERA) will attempt to bounce back from a tough start against the Braves, where he was bombed for six earned runs over 4.1 innings in a loss. Freddy Peralta (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will go for Milwaukee. He threw six shutout innings in his season debut on Monday. First pitch is set for 1:10 p.m.
Around the Central
Cubs 10, Rangers 3
Phillies 3, Reds 2
White Sox 11, Pirates 5
MLB Pickle #395 - 7/9