Molina’s 4-hit effort leads Cards
Yadier Molina never got down during his recent rut. So the All-Star catcher wasn’t about to celebrate after breaking out of the skid on Sunday.
Molina had a home run and three singles as Shelby Miller and the St. Louis Cardinals remained tied for first place in the NL Central with a 12-2 win over the Seattle Mariners.
Molina’s second-inning homer off Erasmo Ramirez (5-2) snapped an 0-for-15 skid.
”It’s not about one guy, it’s about the team,” Molina said. ”I came out aggressive. But right now, it’s just about getting wins.”
Molina scored three times and raised his batting average to .317.
”Yadi’s had a special offensive year,” manager Mike Matheny said. ”He’s been so good. I just want him to keep going and finish the season the way he started.”
Matt Adams also homered as St. Louis finished a 7-2 homestand and kept pace with Pittsburgh. Both teams are 87-62 with 13 games remaining.
Miller (14-9) gave up one earned run and three hits in five innings. He became the first St. Louis rookie to reach 14 wins in a season since Dick Hughes won 16 in 1967.
St. Louis got 19 hits after totaling just three runs on seven hits over the first two games of the series.
Matt Carpenter keyed the fourth-inning burst with a two-run bases-loaded single. Daniel Descalso and Matt Holliday also had RBI hits in the inning.
”The offense really showed up today,” Carpenter said. ”We were able to score some runs. That’s just the way it goes some times. There’s no rhyme or reason for why that happens, it’s just baseball.”
The Cardinals’ hit total was their second-highest total this season. The Cardinals had 21 hits in a 10-6 win against the Chicago Cubs on July 14.
”We took a lot of those grinding at-bats that we keep talking about,” Matheny said. ”They went deep in counts, they stayed within the zone and fouled off some tough ones. We’ve got everybody feeling right and contributing.”
The Cardinals batted around in the fourth and fifth, scoring four runs in each inning to hand Seattle its sixth loss in seven games.
Holliday and Carpenter finished with three hits and two RBIs two apiece.
Adams pushed the lead to 7-2 with his 14th homer to highlight the fifth.
Miller did not allow a hit in the first three innings and managed to battle through the fourth and fifth despite not having what he called his best stuff.
”Today I didn’t do the best job of attacking hitters,” Miller said. ”I was losing the strike zone, but I just kept battling through it.”
Seattle manager Eric Wedge was not surprised to see the Cardinals’ hitters break loose after struggling in back-to-back games.
”They really put it together today,” Wedge said. ”You look at their top five guys, they all have quite a bit to offer.”
Ramirez had pitched into the sixth inning in each of his last six starts, but was unable to hold off the Cardinals.
”I just kind of fell apart in that one inning,” he said. ”I got a little behind the count and I threw my fastball too much.”
NOTES: The Cardinals open a seven-game road trip on Monday at Colorado. Lance Lynn (13-10, 4.23) will face Jorge De La Rosa (16-6, 3.49) in the first of a four-game set. … Seattle continues its 10-game road trip with four games in Detroit. Joe Saunders (11-14, 5.18) takes on Rick Porcello (12-8, 4.56) in the opener. … St. Louis INF Brock Peterson grounded out in the fifth inning to extend his skid to 0 for 14. … St. Louis C Audry Perez made his debut in the eighth inning.