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Cardinals win at Tropicana Field for the first time since 2014

Many people are saying it was the biggest, most noteworthy, and historically significant game of the night across all of baseball!

St. Louis Cardinals v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

St. Louis hadn’t won a game at Tropicana Field since 2014, and hadn’t won a game — period — since Saturday. They were looking to change both of those things Wednesday night, with Dakota Hudson on the mound against one of the American League’s best teams.

Here are the lineups for the Cardinals and the Rays Wednesday evening:


  1. Lars Nootbaar, DH
  2. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  3. Nolan Arenado, 3B
  4. Nolan Gorman, 2B
  5. Willson Contreras, C
  6. Jordan Walker, RF
  7. Alec Burleson, LF
  8. Dylan Carlson, CF
  9. Tommy Edman, SS

Dakota Hudson - SP

And the Rays:

  1. Yandy Diaz, 1B
  2. Wander Franco, SS
  3. Brandon Lowe, 2B
  4. Randy Arozarena, LF
  5. Isaac Paredes, 3B
  6. Luke Raley, RF
  7. Jose Siri, CF
  8. Josh Lowe, DH
  9. Rene Pinto, C

Jalen Beeks - SP

Dakota Hudson pitched... well, more like Dakota Hudson this time, but it was enough to win on a night when the St. Louis offense scored half a dozen runs off of the Tampa Bay relief corps. Jordan Walker had multiple hits, Lars Nootbaar had a homer and stole third base, as the Cardinals set themselves up to potentially win a series in Tampa tomorrow night.

Here’s how tonight’s win went down:

1st Inning

He was held to a pitch limit of roughly 40, but Jalen Beeks was able to set down all three Cardinals hitters in the top of the first on 11 pitches. Lars Nootbaar grounded out, Paul Goldschmidt struck out swinging, and Arenado grounded out to third.

Yandy Diaz led off after his huge game yesterday, but grounded out to third to start the bottom of the third. Wander Franco singled up the middle with one out, but Brandon Lowe flew out and Arozarena muffled a slider directly into the dirt around home plate, with Contreras jumping on it and throwing Randy out at first to end the inning.

2nd Inning

Nolan Gorman fell behind 0-2 against the left-handed Beeks to start the second before rifling an 0-2 fastball back up the middle for a leadoff base hit. Contreras popped out to Lowe at second base for the first out of the second inning. Jordan Walker poked his 11th double of the season to right field, advancing Gorman to second and therefore putting two runners in scoring position with one out.

Alec Burleson hit next, and although he did not reach base, his ground ball to first was enough to score Gorman from third to get St. Louis on the board.

Carlson hit next and worked a seven-pitch at bat against Beeks before ultimately drawing a walk, to put runners on first and third with two outs. Tommy Edman grounded into a force out at second base to end the top of the second.

Hudson hit Paredes with the first pitch of the inning to put a man on, and was erased a second later when Luke Raley hit into a force out at second base. With one out, Hudson grooved a 1-1 sinker right down the middle at 91 mph, and Jose Siri clobbered it just like a major league hitter should do to a batting practice fastball. Siri’s 22nd homer of the season went 429 feet to dead center, scoring Raley as well to put the Rays back up, 2-1.

After the homer, Josh Lowe hit a weak grounder back towards Hudson on the mound. He took a step to the right and threw over to first, but the throw was not in time and it went as an infield single for Lowe. It was not a bad throw, Hudson just took too long to make the throw and did not put enough juice on it to get Lowe, who ranks in the 87th percentile in baseball in spring speed, according to Baseball Savant.

Rene Pinto hit a ground ball to Edman at short, who turned it into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.

3rd Inning

Beeks came back out for the third to face Nootbaar, but after a leadoff single from Noot, Kevin Cash went out to grab his opener, who was at 32 pitches. Right-hander Kevin Kelly entered the game, making his 45th appearance of the season.

Kelly got Goldschmidt to ground out to first, moving Nootbaar to second base with one out. After stealing third on Kelly with no throw at all, Nootbaar scored the tying run on Arenado’s ground ball base hit to left field through Tampa’s drawn-in infield.

Kelly struck out Gorman for the second out, and then the Cardinals got to work with two outs. Contreras ripped a 106 mph single to left field, moving Arenado to second base. Walker got ahead 2-1 and then poked a base hit through the hole on the right side of the infield, with the ball taking 10 hops on the turf until it got to Raley in right. The throw was not in time to get Arenado at home, and St. Louis went ahead 3-2.

Burleson hit the ball hard, but flew out to Arozarena in left field to end the top of the third.

Hudson came back out in the bottom of the third and got Diaz to fly out before walking Wander Franco. Brandon Lowe struck out swinging at a slider in the dirt for the second out, but a two-out single by Arozarena put Tampa Bay in another run-scoring situation. Paredes, who homered on Tuesday, grounded out to Arenado at third base to end the inning.

4th Inning

Kevin Kelly really didn’t fool the Cardinals in the third, and he didn’t start fooling them in the fourth, either. Dylan Carlson started the inning by drawing his second walk of the game, followed by a Tommy Edman base hit to left field. Lars Nootbaar flew out to deep right-center field, where Raley made the catch. However, Raley doesn’t have a strong arm, so both runners astutely tagged up and moved into scoring position. A Paul Goldschmidt base hit to right field moments later scored both runners, putting St. Louis up 5-2 in the fourth.

Arenado then hit a 110 mph ground ball to third, where Paredes started an inning ending double play, 5-4-3.

Luke Raley grounded out for the first out in the bottom of the fourth. Hudson nearly hit Siri in the head with his first pitch, brushing him back as the baseball flew to the backstop and hit the padding. Two pitches later, Siri launched his second homer of the game, this time to left field. His 23rd homer of the season made it 5-3.

Josh Lowe hit next and hit a double down the third base line, bringing the tying run up once again. However, Pinto lined out to Gorman at second base, and Yandy Diaz grounded out to Tommy Edman at short (after a nice diving stop) to end the inning, with St. Louis still up a pair of runs.

5th Inning

Right-hander Shawn Armstrong, the owner of a sub-1.00 WHIP this season, took over in the fifth with his Rays down a pair of runs. He quickly struck out the side — the victims were Gorman, Contreras, and Walker.

Franco reached against Hudson with a leadoff single, but the Cardinals’ starter didn’t have any trouble beyond that in the fifth. Brandon Lowe flew out to center, Arozarena struck out swinging at a slider, and Paredes grounded out to third.

Hudson’s final line: 5 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K’s (73 pitches)

6th Inning

Burleson hit a 103 mph missile into center field, but Siri ran it down in center field for the first out of the inning. Dylan Carlson flew out to Arozarena in foul territory, and Edman grounded out.

Left-hander John King, acquired in the Jordan Montgomery trade from Texas, took over in the sixth inning. Luke Raley, Jose Siri, and Josh Lowe all grounded out.

7th Inning

Former Reds pitcher Robert Stephenson became the fourth Rays pitcher in the seventh. He faced Nootbaar first, and elevated a cutter that was too tantalizing for Noot to pass up. He crushed it 403 feet, sending it into the right field seats for his 12th homer of the season. That solo shot made it 6-3 St. Louis.

After the homer, Goldschmidt, Arenado, and Gorman each grounded out to send this one to the seventh inning stretch.

Drew VerHagen took over in the seventh after King pitched a scoreless sixth. He struck out Pinto and Diaz and was looked to be cruising, but Wander Franco quickly got that run back with a massive homer, 448 feet into right-center field. It came off a first-pitch sinker that was pretty much dead center from VerHagen.

Oli Marmol went and got VerHagen and brought in JoJo Romero to face Brandon Lowe. He struck out Lowe on four pitches to send thi game to eighth, with St. Louis up 6-4.

8th Inning

Left-hander Colin Poche was the fifth Rays pitcher of the game in the eighth inning. Contreras flew out, Walker grounded out, and then Burleson drew a walk in the lefty-on-lefty matchup. That brought up Carlson, who grounded out.

Romero came back out for the eighth, and struck out Arozarena — who threw the bat at Romero’s 0-2 changeup and missed. Paredes flew out to center field for the second out. Harold Ramirez pinch-hit for Raley to avoid the lefty-on-lefty matchup, and he ripped a line drive to left field for a single. Romero struck out Jose Siri to end the eighth.

9th Inning

Left-handed journeyman Jake Diekman pitched the ninth for Tampa Bay, and retired all three hitters he saw — Edman flew out, Nootbaar grounded back to Diekman, and Goldschmidt struck out swinging.

Giovanny Gallegos pitched a scoreless ninth for the win, locking up the Cardinals’ first win at the Trop in nine years. Pinch-hitter Curtis Mead struck out, another pinch hitter Manuel Margot grounded out, and Yandy Diaz grounded out as well.

FINAL: Cardinals 6, Rays 4

Up Next

The Cardinals (50-65) won their first game at Tropicana Field in nine years tonight, and they’ll look for their first series win there since 2005 tomorrow night when they take on the Rays (69-47). Matthew Liberatore (1-4, 6.93 ERA) will throw for the Cardinals against the team he was traded from. Zack Littell (2-2, 4.04 ERA) gets the start for Tampa Bay. First pitch is set for 5:40 p.m.

Around the Central

Braves 5, Pirates 5 - BOT 7

Mets 4, Cubs 2 - TOP 7

Marlins 5, Reds 4

Brewers 7, Rockies 6

Today’s Immaculate Grid

Immaculate Grid #129 - 6/9
Rarity - 415