Coming off of series wins against the Reds and Braves — both winning teams — St. Louis has an opportunity to take a third straight series against good teams if they can upset (?) Baltimore a few times at Camden Yards this week. Game one featured an all-time nasty pitching matchup of Dakota Hudson vs Dean Kremer. Game two, however, will feature an intriguing matchup between Adam Wainwright — who is still seeking 199 — against John Means, who is making his return from April 2022 Tommy John Surgery.
Here are the lineups for the Cardinals and Orioles Monday night:
- Lars Nootbaar, LF
- Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
- Nolan Gorman, 2B
- Nolan Arenado, 3B
- Willson Contreras, C
- Alec Burleson, DH
- Jordan Walker, RF
- Tommy Edman, CF
- Masyn Winn, SS
Dakota Hudson - SP
And the Orioles:
- Adley Rutschman, C
- Gunnar Henderson, SS
- Anthony Santander, DH
- Ryan O’Hearn, RF
- Ryan Mountcastle, 1B
- Cedric Mullins, CF
- Aaron Hicks, LF
- Adam Frazier, 2B
- Ramon Urias, 3B
Dean Kremer - SP
The Cardinals bats showed some real life over the first five innings, popping back up as the Orioles showed why they’re one of the very best teams in baseball. But things absolutely unraveled in the fifth inning for Dakota Hudson and Andre Pallante, and that was all she wrote.
It’s encouraging to see Contreras’ bat really pick up down the stretch, even if it’s in games that mean very little
Kremer got two quick outs to start the game with Nootbaar grounding out to third and Goldschmidt hitting a 106 mph line drive directly into the glove of Ramon Urias. Gorman and Arenado each worked two-out walks after that to cook up a rally, and Contreras roped a base hit into left field to score Gorman and put the Cardinals up 1-0 in the first. After the Contreras base hit, Burleson grounded out to end the top of the first.
Dakota Hudson walked Adley Rutschman to start the game and wasn’t particularly close with anything. However, he got Gunnar Henderson to ground into a 4-6-3 double play to erase that leadoff walk, and Anthony Santander grounded out to second as well to send this game to the second.
Like the first inning, the Cardinals didn’t get anything going until Masyn Winn drew a two-out walk. But right after Winn drew the walk, Kremer caught him leaning too far towards second, and was picked off first by Kremer.
Hudson got O’Hearn and Mountcastle to each ground out, but Mullins woke everyone up with a base hit to right field — Baltimore’s first hit of the game. With two outs, Hicks poked a base hit to center, and Edman tried to throw out Mullins at third.
That was never going to work, but when Arenado recieved the throw to third base he realized Hicks had decided to try and stretch it into a double. IF Arenado’s throw was on the money he would’ve gotten Hicks easily at second and ended the inning. Instead, his throw was wide right, flew into right field, and both Mullins and Hicks moved up another base (Mullins scored).
Frazier drew a walk with two outs, and Urias poked a base hit to center to score Hicks and put Baltimore back up, 2-1. Rutschman flew out to shallow left field to end the second.
Lars Nootbaar led off the third inning with a double off the right field wall. Goldschmidt struck out looking for the first out of the third inning, but Nootbaar stole third base — his tenth steal of the year — on strike three. Gorman fell behind 0-2 against Kremer, but ended up battling back and eventually working a nine-pitch walk to put two runners on with one out. Arenado hit next and swung at the first pitch he saw, blooping a cutter into center field for an RBI single, tying the game 2-2. Gorman got a great read on the popup and went first to third.
With runners on the corners once again, Contreras swung at a 2-2 cutter that was well outside the zone and chopped a little swining bunt up the third base line. Kremer did not have a play on it, and it became another RBI single with Gorman crossing the plate — Cardinals lead, 3-2.
Burleson popped out in foul territory deep down the first base line, far enough that Arenado was able to tag up and advance to third base. That heady move paid off when Jordan Walker pulled a seeing-eye single into left field, scoring Nolan to make it 4-2. Edman flew out to left field to end the top of the third.
The Orioles went down in order in the third, giving Hudson a shutdown inning and his first 1-2-3 frame of the game. Henderson flew out, Santander grounded out, and O’Hearn flew out.
St. Louis kept the two-out schtick going in the fourth, although it did not lead to a run. Winn grounded out to short and Nootbaar struck out looking for the first two outs of the inning. Goldschmidt went the other way with a soft, looping single to right field, just out of reach of Frazier at second. But Gorman flew out to right field for the third out.
Hudson got two outs in the fourth and then ran into some trouble (the story of the game to this point was two-out hitting, clearly). He struck out Mountcastle looking with a full count curveball at the knees, and then got Mullins to ground out right back to himself on the mound.
But Hicks doubled to left field with two outs, and Frazier drove him in with a base knock to right field. St. Louis’ lead was cut to 4-3 in the fourth. Urias hit a high chopper to the left side with two outs, but Arenado was able to charge it and make the throw to first base in time to end the inning.
Kremer returned for the fifth inning, and faced Arenado first. Arenado hit a ground ball that Frazier was able to get to and make a throw across his body back to first, but it bounced and Arenado beat it out for his second hit of the game. Contreras grounded out softly to third, moving Arenado into scoring positon with one out.
Baltimore went to the bullpen with one out, bringing in left-hander DL Hall to face Burleson. The move didn’t pay off, with Burleson knocking an RBI single to center field, scoring Arenado and making it 5-3 St. Louis.
Hall got the next two, getting Walker to ground out and striking out Tommy Edman to send this one to the bottom of the fifth.
The bottom of the fifth is where everything got out of hand.
Rutschman and Henderson each got on base with singles to start the inning. Hudson struck out Santander, but O’Hearn’s sinking line drive got down in front of a diving Edman, and the ball popped up in the air off his glove. Rutschman scored, O’Hearn made it a double, and Henderson stopped at third with Baltimore trailing by just one run.
Hudson walked Mountcastle to load the bases with one out, and Oli Marmol decided that was enough. Andre Pallante (who had a WHIP right around 1.00 against lefties before this game) entered the game to face Cedric Mullins, who promptly deposited a 1-2 slider into the second row of the right field bleachers for a grand slam. 8-5 Baltimore.
After the grand slam, Hicks reached with a base hit to center — his third hit of the game. Frazier grounded out for the second out, and Urias struck out to end the fifth inning.
DL Hall came back out for the sixth and got Winn to ground out and Nootbaar to fly out. The Orioles went back to the bullpen and brought in right-hander Jacob Webb to face Goldschmidt, who also grounded out.
Down three, Pallante came back out for the sixth hoping to just keep things right where they were at. That.... did not exactly happen.
After Rutschman grounded out for the first out of the inning, Gunnar Henderson dug down and golfed an 0-1 curveball dep into the right field stands — 422 feet to be exact — for his 25th homer of the season. That made it 9-5 Baltimore.
Pallante got both Santander and O’Hearn to ground out to end the inning.
Nolan Gorman led off the seventh and hit a ground ball back to Webb on the mound. Webb’s throw was too far left, and it pulled Mountcastle off the bag. Gorman reached, and Webb was charged with an error. Arenado flew out to right field for the first out, but Contreras picked up his third hit of the game with a 106 mph base hit to center field. Burleson’s deep fly ball died near the warning track in center, where Mullins made the catch and Gorman tagged to third base.
Right-hander Jorge Lopez jogged in from the bullpen to face Walker, and got him to fly out to right field to end the scoring threat.
Drew VerHagen was the second Cardinals’ reliever in the seventh inning. His start was less than ideal, walking the first two batters he faced in Mountcastle and Mullins.
With two on and nobody out, Hicks got jammed by a 1-1 changeup. He made contact but the ball barely got past home plate, so Contreras hopped on it and threw down to third base for the force out. Arenado then pivoted and threw across to first, getting Hicks as well to complete the rare 2-5-3 double play. Frazier popped out to Winn at shortstop to end the eighth.
Jorge Lopez got Edman to ground out to second base, and then Winn went the other way with a ground ball base hit to right field. Brandon Hyde went out and pulled Lopez in favor of St. Louis-native Danny Coulombe. Nootbaar beat the lefty with a base knock to left field, putting two runners on. But Coulombe got out of it, getting Goldschmidt to pop out for the second out and then was saved by Austin Hayes in left with an outrageous diving play on a Gorman fly ball into the corner that was destined to be a two-run double.
Left-hander Andrew Suarez entered in the bottom of the eighth for St. Louis. Urias grounded out to start the inning, but a walk to Rutschman and a Henderson base hit put runners on the corners with one out.
Suarez walked Santander to load the bases with one out, and Marmol yanked him in place of right-hander Jacob Barnes.
After robbing Gorman of a two-run double in the top half of the inning, Austin Hayes (who entered the game as a defensive replacement in the seventh) ripped a two-run single to left field with his only at-bat of the game, making it 11-5 Baltimore.
Mountcastle hit a ground ball right back to Barnes with one out, and the Cardinals’ righty turned it into an inning-ending double play.
Right-hander Shintaro Fujinami, aka “Mount Fuji” entered the game in the ninth with a six-run lead. After nearly hitting Arenado with the first pitch, Fujinami battled back and got Arenado to fly out to left (although Nolan did take ball four inside in a 3-1 count that was called a strike). Richie Palacios pinch-hit and struck out swinging, which meant Alec Burleson was the Cardinals’ last chance, down a half dozen.
He poked a base hit to left. With the tying run in the deep-deep-deep hole, Walker drew a walk, but Edman grounded into a fielder’s choice at third to end the game.
FINAL: Orioles 11, Cardinals 5
St. Louis (63-81) will go to bat for Adam Wainwright and try to help Uncle Charlie lock up win number 199 tomorrow against Baltimore (91-52). Wainwright (8-11, 8.19) will take his 12th crack at win number 199 on Tuesday night. Left-hander John Means makes his long-awaited return to the mound after rehabbing Tommy John Surgery for the past 17 months. It will be his first start since April of 2022. First pitch is set for 5:35 p.m.
Around the Central
Nationals, 6 Pirates 2
Brewers 11, Marlins 0 - TOP 8
Cubs 1, Rockies 1 - TOP 4