Dexter Fowler nailed the go-ahead, two-run triple in the seventh inning as the Cardinals crushed the Pirates, 11-7, in Pittsburgh. With the Cardinals trailing 5-4 with one out in the seventh inning, Fowler tripled down the right field line off reliever Joaquin Benoit to give St. Louis a 6-5 lead. Yadier Molina followed with an RBI single to make it 7-5.
“I feel healthy,” Fowler said. “I was actually telling Chris Carpenter when I came back that this is actually the first time since we went into spring training that I feel like I’m healthy.”
Tommy Pham and Jedd Gyorko belted home runs, and Randall Grichuk added a two-run triple for the Cards. Sam Tuivailala earned the relief win and St. Louis ended a three-game slide.
Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright lasted just three innings for the second time in his past three starts allowing five runs on seven hits. Wainwright would likely be sent back to St. Louis on Friday to be evaluated. He came off the 10-day disabled list on Aug. 6 after recovering from back tightness.
The Cardinals face the Pirates again today in the second of a four-game series in Pittsburgh. Carlos Martinez is on the mound for St. Louis, while the Bucs sent out Trevor Williams.
— Central Division —
W L PCT GB Streak
Cubs 63 57 .525 0 -1
Brewers 63 59 .516 1 4
Cardinals 62 59 .512 1.5 1
Pirates 58 63 .479 5.5 -5
Reds 51 71 .418 13 1
Dexter Fowler snapped a 3-3 tie with a grand slam in the seventh inning and the Cardinals held on to beat the Royals 8-6 at Busch Stadium. Fowler had five RBI for St. Louis, which overcame a 3-0 deficit after five innings to sweep the four-game, home and home series with KC. Tyler Lyons picked up the win in relief of starter Lance Lynn.
The Royals were outscored 37-9 in the series, but led in all four games. The Cardinals have won six in a row.
Neftali Feliz retired none of the four batters he faced and surrendered the grand slam to Fowler. Brandon Moss had a pinch two-run double which came off Seung-hwan Oh in the eighth inning. Moss just missed a grand slam, with his ball landing just inches below the top of the wall in right center. Lorenzo Cain had four KC hits.
Trevor Rosenthal worked out of the eighth inning jam and then closed out the ninth for his tenth save.
Lynn is okay after taking a line drive off his head against the Royals. It happened in the top of the third off the bat of Lorenzo Cain. Lynn tried to duck, but the ball appeared to glance off his head and go into center field for a hit. Lynn popped up, rubbed his head, and, after conferring with the trainer, stayed in the game.
— AL Central Division —
W L PCT GB Streak
Indians 60 52 .536 0 -2
Twins 57 56 .504 3.5 5
Royals 57 57 .500 4 -4
Tigers 52 62 .456 9 -1
White Sox 44 68 .393 16 3
— NL Central Division —
W L PCT GB Streak
Cubs 59 54 .522 0 -2
Cardinals 59 56 .513 1 6
Brewers 59 58 .504 2 -5
Pirates 57 58 .496 3 1
Reds 48 67 .417 12 2
The plot thickens. After “Rally cat” twinkle toe’d its way past Lorenzo Cain into the centerfield before being scooped up a brave member of the Cardinals grounds crew, Yadier Molina delivered a grand slam off Royals relief pitcher Peter Moylan. After the game manager Mike Matheny said someone had stepped forward to claim the kitty…now the cat is missing!
The Cardinals released a statement on Thursday afternoon.
As everyone observed during last night’s game, Lucas Hackmann, a member of our grounds crew, secured the stray cat in the outfield and exited the playing surface at the left field gate and walked up towards the main concourse at Gate 3. He then let the cat down outside of Gate 3 near the Stan Musial statue and went immediately to first aid to attend to his scratch and bite injuries. At that point, as our ushers tried to contain the cat, a fan grabbed it and claimed it was hers. As she left the ballpark, our security team caught up with her and asked her some questions. She then abruptly left with the cat. We understand from media accounts that the woman intended to take it home and care for it, but lost track of it in City Garden. We are hopeful someone will find the cat and contact us so we can properly care for it. Our grounds crew is working on developing a stray animal protocol to ensure the safety of both crew and animal should this happen again. In the meantime, the Cardinals are looking to scratch and claw their way back to the top of the division standings.
In 2011 it was the “Rally Squirrel.” In 2017 we have the “Rally Cat.”
With the bases loaded and two outs, Yadier Molina was at the plate facing Royals reliever Peter Moylan. KC was up 5-4, when a kitten ran out onto the field making its way to Lorenzo Cain in center field. A Busch Stadium employee retrieved the cat and on the very next pitch, Molina hit a grand slam putting the Cardinals up for good for an 8-5 victory.
It was the Cardinals fifth straight win, pushing them into a second place tie with Milwaukee and now just 1 1/2 games out of first place behind the Cubs.
Molina and Mike Matheny comment on the kitty
Jose Martinez also homered for the Cards. Matt Bowman got the win in relief and Trevor Rosenthal posted his ninth save.
KC starter Trevor Cahill did not make it out of the third, giving up three runs on four hits and five walks. He has an 8.18 ERA in three starts with the Royals. Whit Merrifield had four hits and Melky Cabrera homered and drove in three runs.
Jedd Gyorko’s three-run homer capped off a six-run fifth inning as the Cardinals offense continues to roll in a 10-3 win over the Royals in Kansas City. Yadier Molina homered and drove in three and Randal Grichuk also went deep. The Cardinals won their fourth in a row and pulled to within one game of Milwaukee for second place and now are just 2 1/2 games behind the Cubs, who lost late Tuesday night in San Francisco.
The Cardinals have won four in a row.
Meanwhile the slide continues for Jason Vargas and the Royals. Vargas was knocked around again, giving up six runs in less than five innings. Vargas is just 1-and-3 in his last six starts to fall to 13-and-6 overall, after entering the All-Star break with a 12-3 record.
Infielder Cheslor Cuthbert is back with the Royals. He was recalled from Triple-A Omaha. He started at third base, allowing Mike Moustakas to DH. Cuthbert finished 2-for-4. His three-run double in the fourth inning turned a 1-0 deficit into a short-lived 3-1 lead. Cuthbert turned on a Wacha fastball that he laced down the left field corner. Wacha ran into trouble walking two hitters, but the Cardinals’ bats quickly responded.
Grichuk homered to make it 3-2 and then Vargas was chased after hitting Matt Carpenter and giving up infield hit to Tommy Pham. Molina put the Cardinals on top when his grounder towards third, hit the base and bounced into left field scoring two runs. Mike Minor later gave up a three-run homer to Gyorko to cap a six-run fifth inning.
The Royals are just 3-8 following their nine-game win streak and dropped to four games behind Cleveland. The Royals are in a three-way tie with Seattle and Tampa Bay for the second and final wild card spot. Baltimore and Minnesota are 1 1/2 games behind, creating a five-team log jam for the final wild card spot.
Matt Carpenter’s three-run homer capped a six-run fourth inning as the Cardinals cruised to an 11-3 win over the Royals in Kansas City in the first of four games between our in-state teams. Kolten Wong and Paul DeJong added two-run shots for St. Louis, which has won three in-a-row. Carlos Martinez pitched eight innings of two-run ball to run his record to 8-9.
Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer and Brandon Moss all hit solo homers for KC, which has lost six of its last eight games. Ian Kennedy took the loss, allowing seven runs, six earned to drop to 4-8 on the season. For Moose, it was his 32nd homer of the season, closing to within four of Steve Balboni’s franchise record of 36 in a season.
Royals All-Star catcher Salvador Perez is hoping to be back once his 10-day stint on the disabled list is up. “Salvy” left Friday’s game with a strained right side after a swing and a miss. Perez has been bothered by nagging issues with both sides of his torso since May. Drew Butera has taken over behind the plate in Salvy’s absence.
Dexter Fowler was activated from the disabled list last night and went 1-for-3 with a triple, a walk and two runs scored. Fowler had been out since July 24th with a strained left forearm. He’s hitting .242 with 14 home runs overall. Outfielder Stephen Piscotty was optioned to Triple-A Memphis.
The Cardinals and Royals meet again tonight in Kansas City. Michael Wacha will start for St. Louis and Jason Vargas for the Royals. After tonight, the two teams meet for two more games tomorrow and Thursday at Busch Stadium.
—AL Central Division —
Indians 59 50 –
Royals 57 54 3
Twins 54 56 5.5
Tigers 51 60 9
White Sox 41 68 18
—NL Central Division —
Cubs 59 52 –
Brewers 59 55 1.5
Cardinals 56 56 3.5
Pirates 55 57 4.5
Reds 46 66 13.51
Cubs catcher Willson Contreras hit a tiebreaking two-run homer of Michael Wacha, and Chicago beat the Cardinals 5-3 on Sunday night. The loss snapped a personal four-game win streak for Michael Wacha as the Cardinals wrapped up this ten-game road trip 4-6. If there is a silver lining after this first trip back from the All-Star break, the Cardinals moved from down 5 1/2 games to 4 1/2 games in the division.
The downside is the Pirates moved past the Cardinals for third place and as the club returns home for a seven-game homestand, they face Colorado and Arizona, the wild card front runners from the NL West.
Coming off his first career shutout, Wacha (7-4) was charged with five runs and six hits in six innings in his first loss since May 30. The right-hander was 4-0 with a 1.01 ERA in his previous four starts. Wacha was up 3-2 in the fourth after a Paul DeJong homer, but Kyle Schwarber tied it in the bottom half of the inning. That was the score when Kris Bryant hit a leadoff double in the sixth. With one out, Contreras just cleared the wall in left for his 15th of the year to put the Cubs in front.
“I fell behind a couple of guys and didn’t make a pitch on a few guys when I needed to,” Wacha said. “That pretty much cost us.”
Randal Grichuk hit a two-run homer for the Cardinals. Since his return from the DL, he went 5-for-11 with three homers and five RBIs in this series.
This was a good old fashioned pitcher’s duel for starters Adam Wainwright and Jon Lester. The way baseball used to be played, when starters actually try to finish. Wainwright limited the Cubs to four hits over 7 2/3 innings, and was pulled with a 2-1 lead and two outs. But the Cubs rallied with hits off Matt Bowman and Brett Cecil for a 3-2 win on Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field.
After Paul DeJong and Randal Grichuk homered off Lester in the eighth to put St. Louis up 2-0, the Cubs strung a couple of hits against Wainwright. Jon Jay singled and with two outs scored on Ben Zobrist’s double. Bowman came on gave up an RBI single to Bryant to tie the game at 2-2. Rizzo doubled off lefty Brett Cecil to score Bryant. Cecil hung a 3-2 off speed pitch that Rizzo blooped into short left center. Since Bryant was taking off with the pitch he came around trying to score. Dexter Fowler’s throw home short hopped Yadi Molina and bounced away.
The Cubs won for the seventh time in eight games since the All-Star break, while the Cardinals took their fourth loss in the eighth inning or later in their last nine games.
Lester was pitching a perfect for 5 2/3 innings before Wainwright singled with two outs in the sixth on the first pitch he saw. Lester struck out ten. Closer Wade Davis walked Fowler and Jedd Gyorko with two outs in the ninth, but struck out Molina to save the game.
The St. Louis Cardinals announced they have acquired outfielder Tyler O’Neill from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for left-handed pitcher Marco Gonzales.
“This was more of a traditional trade in the sense that O’Neill was an outfielder with upside in the Mariners organization and Gonzales was a pitcher with upside in our organization,” said Cardinals Team President of Baseball Operations, John Mozeliak. “If you look at the depth we have with the pitching in our system, it allowed us to make a move like this to improve. We are excited for Tyler to join our organization.”
O’Neill, 22, was the Mariners third round pick (85th overall) in the 2013 draft out of Garibaldi Secondary School in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada. He is currently rated as the No. 2 prospect in the Mariners organization according to MLB.com’s rankings. He was batting .244 with 19 home runs, 56 RBI, 21 doubles, two triples and nine stolen bases through 93 games for Tacoma (AAA) in the Pacific Coast League. His 19 home runs ranked tied for 8th in the PCL.
Who gets the ax from the Cardinals outfield rotation in the future? Is it Randal Grichuk? He seems the most likely choice. After giving Stephen Piscotty a contract extension, I can’t see them giving up on him already. Fowler is the everyday center fielder, and I believe Sierra is learning and still a year or two away from being a well-rounded everyday player and Tommy Pham has been the most consistent.
At first glance, this appears to be a build for the future a season or two from now.
Gonzales, 25, was the Cardinals first round draft pick (19th overall) out of Gonzaga University in the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. He made seven starts (12 app.) over parts of three Major League seasons with the Cardinals posting a 4-2 record with a 5.53 ERA covering 40.2 innings.