Molina, Munoz HRs help Cardinals beat D-backs 8-4
The Cardinals scored seven times in the seventh and eighth innings to beat Arizona 8-4 on Wednesday night. After coming to town on a four-game losing streak and off a three-game sweep at the hands of Atlanta, St. Louis took two of three from the first-place Diamondbacks.
Yadier Molina’s three-run homer on the first pitch from reliever Fernando Salas highlighted a five-run Cardinals seventh inning after Arizona had nursed a 2-1 lead through six in front of a sellout crowd of 44,072.
”Had some big hits today,” St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. ”It allows those big five-run innings to happen. Wear the pitcher down, wear the defense down. Then you have Yadi come in and do something special on the back end.”
”Carp kind of set the tone. He got on base a lot,” Pham said. ”I think we had good at-bats. Even when the results weren’t there, we made guys throw pitches. That’s key. If a guy is taking four or five plus pitches to get outs, that means you are grinding as a hitter. When you put that together as a team, it wears out pitching staffs.”
The Diamondbacks dropped to 1-5 on their homestand and lead the surging Los Angeles Dodgers by just a half-game in the NL West.
Mikolas (9-3) gave up two runs and seven hits, walked four and struck out three.
Arizona reliever Yoshihisa Hirano (2-1) had his franchise-record streak of 26 games without allowing a run end when Yairo Munoz homered to lead off the seventh. Hirano gave up four runs, one earned, on three hits in two-thirds of an inning for his first loss since coming to the major leagues from Japan this season.
”Yoshi’s human,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. ”That’s what it means, right? And he’s absolutely spoiled us. He’s been a slam-dunk reliever and he made a really tough game look easy for a long time.”
After Munoz’s homer, shortstop Ketel Marte booted pinch-hitter Tyler O’Neill’s grounder for an error. With one out and O’Neill on second, Pham singled to center to put the Cardinals up 3-2. Center fielder Jarrod Dyson left the game with discomfort in his right groin area, Lovullo said.
Salas relieved Hirano and gave up the big hit to Molina, who homered twice in the series.
”It was like two totally different games,” Lovullo said. ”The first six innings were exactly the way you’d like to see guys go out and execute and do their job, and then the final three innings unfortunately we couldn’t execute in a lot of key areas.”
Arizona starter Patrick Corbin allowed one run and six hits in six innings, his third straight strong outing without a decision. He’s given up two runs in 19 innings during those three starts.
Cardinals: Paul DeJong (broken left hand) homered and doubled and played shortstop all nine innings Tuesday night in his fourth rehab game for Triple-A Memphis. Matheny said DeJong would not be activated Thursday in San Francisco but could be at some time during the four-game series.
Diamondbacks: Right-handed reliever Randall Delgado (left oblique strain) was scheduled to make another rehab appearance for Triple-A Reno and is expected to be activated Thursday, the end of his rehab assignment. … OF Steven Souza Jr. (strained right pectoral) had Wednesday off in his rehab assignment with Reno after homering twice for the Aces on Tuesday night. Souza has three homers in his last two rehab games.
Cardinals: Head to San Francisco for four games against the Giants. RHP Luke Weaver (4-7, 5.16 ERA) starts for St. Louis in Thursday night’s opener. Johnny Cueto (3-0, 0.84) comes off the disabled list to pitch for the Giants.
Diamondbacks: RHP Shelby Miller (0-2, 11.42), following two rough starts in his return from Tommy John surgery, takes the mound Thursday night in the opener of a four-game home series against San Diego. LHP Eric Lauer (3-5, 5.08) goes for the Padres.
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