Carlos Martinez tossed a gem and Nolan Arenado homered as the bullpen held on just enough to seal the win.
The Cards continued their series with the Diamondbacks in St. Louis, with Carlos Martinez facing off against Caleb Smith. Carlos was refreshingly sharp in his outing, relying heavily on a slider that the D-backs couldn’t manage to square up. He was tagged for just one run in the sixth on a couple of hits before getting pulled in the bottom of the sixth for a pinch-hitter. The Cards’ bullpen ran into some trouble in the seventh, however, as Genesis Cabrera gave up a hit and walked two to load the bases and Andrew Miller walked in a run after getting the call in relief. Smith labored through five innings and only let up two runs on a two-run shot by Nolan Arenado. Arizona’s bullpen was solid most of the game but gave up one additional run as the Cards held on for a 3-2 win.
Josh Rojas began the game for the D-backs, drawing a leadoff walk. Pavin Smith popped up a first-pitch cutter for the first out. Eduardo Escobar lined out to Edmundo Sosa, who caught Rojas off of first for an inning-ending double play.
Blink and you’ll miss it! pic.twitter.com/qsFCWr7VHp
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) June 30, 2021
Tommy Edman, back in the leadoff spot for St. Louis, flew out to deep center for a loud first out. Dylan Carlson tapped a ball back to the pitcher on a check swing for out number two. Paul Goldschmidt drew a five-pitch walk, extending the inning to Nolan Arenado, who worked a full count and walked on a curveball that missed high. Tyler O’Neill popped up a first-pitch fastball to strand both runners.
David Peralta opened the second with a flyout to center field. Josh VanMeter ripped an inside fastball down the right field line for a one-out double. Josh Reddick chopped out to first for the second out as VanMeter advanced to third. Stephen Vogt grounded out to second for the final out.
Yadier Molina popped out to center for the first out in the bottom of the frame. Paul DeJong went down swinging for out number two. Sosa walked to extend the inning, but Martinez struck out to send the game to the third.
Martinez struck out the side in order in a sharp third inning, fooling Nick Ahmed, Caleb Smith, and Rojas all with two-strike sliders.
Edman struck out to lead off the third for St. Louis, frozen by a 3-2 fastball in the zone. Carlson poked a 1-2 changeup into left for a base hit. Goldy struck out swinging for out number two. Arenado followed with a soft single to left. O’Neill went down looking at a slider that caught the inside corner for the third out.
Pavin Smith was frozen on a 1-2 slider for the first out of the fourth. Escobar went down swinging over yet another slider. Peralta flew out to right for another 1-2-3 inning from Martinez.
Yadi began the bottom of the frame with a popout to Vogt in foul territory. DeJong took a pitch that glanced off his hand for a HBP. Sosa worked a full count and popped out to shallow right for the second out. Martinez struck out swinging on a breaking ball to end the inning.
VanMeter struck out looking at a back-door slider for strike three. Reddick slapped a cutter into left for a one-out single. Vogt walked on four pitches. Ahmed just missed a meatball in the heart of the plate, flying out to deep center but moving Reddick to third. Caleb Smith, with runners at the corners and two away, chopped out to Arenado to leave both ducks on the pond.
Edman beat out a grounder to short for an infield hit to lead off the fifth for the Cards. Carlson swung over a slider for the first out. Goldy went down looking on an borderline fastball that caught the inside edge of the plate. Caleb Smith threw to first to check on Edman during Arenado’s at-bat, but the throw got away and Edman was able to advance all the way to third. Arenado then ripped a 2-2 fastball just fair into the left field corner for a two-run shot, giving the Cards a 2-0 lead. O’Neill followed the home run and chopped out to first to close the inning.
Nolan kissed this off the uprights! pic.twitter.com/QTBye00xLx
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) June 30, 2021
— Bally Sports Midwest (@BallySportsMW) June 30, 2021
Rojas led off the sixth with a single as he beat out a grounder to shortstop. Pavin Smith was thrown out on a ridiculous barehanded play by Arenado for the first out. (Thanks once again to cardinalsgifs for capturing an awesome angle from the broadcast.)
Escobar, with Rojas on second, dropped a hit into right for an RBI as the D-backs closed the deficit to 2-1. Peralta flew out to second for the second out. VanMeter chopped out to first to send the game to the bottom of the sixth.
Matt Peacock got the call in the sixth for the D-backs and retired Molina on a groundout to third. DeJong skied a slider to center for out number two. Sosa beat out a chopper to short for an infield hit. Matt Carpenter hit for Martinez and got plunked by a slider to put two runners on. Edman, with runners in motion on a 3-2 count, singled into right to score Sosa, extending the Redbirds’ lead to 3-1. Carlson, with runners at the corners and two outs, drew a walk to load the bases but Goldy popped out to third to strand everyone on base.
Genesis Cabrera started the seventh for the Cards and gave up a leadoff double to Christian Walker on a hanging curveball. Vogt dropped a bunt down the first baseline, moving Walker to third on the sacrifice. Ahmed chased a 3-2 curveball in the dirt for the second out. Asdrubal Cabrera, hitting for Peacock, drew a two-out walk. Rojas walked on four pitches, loading the bases. Andrew Miller replaced Genesis Cabrera after the walk and the D-backs pinch-ran Nick Heath for Asdrubal Cabrera. Pavin Smith walked on five pitches, bringing in Walker to bring the score to 3-2. Escobar skied a slider into left for the third out as Miller worked out of the jam despite throwing only three strikes in nine pitches.
Noe Ramirez got the call for Arizona in the seventh and retired Arenado on a flyout to right. O’Neill literally swung out of his helmet, popping out to left for the second out. Molina flew out to left as well as the Cards went down in order.
Alex Reyes came in to pitch the eighth as Shildt double-switched, bringing in Lars Nootbaar for gold-glover Tyler O’Neill in a one-run game. Peralta reached on an error by Sosa and was balked over to second as Reyes tripped making a move to first. VanMeter slapped a changeup through a huge gap between second and third, putting runners at the corners with no outs. Peralta likely would have scored had he been running on contact but he was unaware that the shortstop was out of position and waited at second until the ball got through the infield. Walker then struck out swinging through an 0-2 fastball. Vogt chopped a slider back to Reyes, who kicked off a 1-6-3 double play to escape the jam.
Joe Mantiply relieved Ramirez and got DeJong with a groundout to start the bottom of the frame. Sosa followed and rolled out to shortstop for the second out. Noots went down on three pitches without taking the bat off his shoulder.
Daulton Varsho pinch-hit for Ahmed and flew out to right for the first out. Andrew Young swung through a fastball for out number two. Rojas struck out swinging, sealing the 3-2 win for the Cards.
The Cardinals improve to 39-41 as Arizona’s tough season continues with a record of 22-59. The Cards will finish the series tomorrow afternoon at 12:15 PM CT, with Kwang Hyun Kim slated to start against Riley Smith.
A few Cardinals minor leaguers got moved up today, perhaps most notably Nolan Gorman, who took his first at-bat in AAA today. He was 1 for 2 with a walk before the game was suspended due to poor field conditions.
Nolan Gorman flies out in his first AAA at-bat. Gets ahead 2-0, then: pic.twitter.com/86QNvz5Meo
— Kyle Reis (@kyler416) June 30, 2021
Final Pitching Lines
Martinez (W, 4-9): 6 IP / 4 H / 1 R / 1 ER / 2 BB / 6 K / 0 HR
Cabrera (H, 11): 0.2 IP / 1 H / 1 R / 1 ER / 1 BB / 1 K / 0 HR
Miller (H, 2): 0.1 IP / 0 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 1 BB / 0 K / 0 HR
Reyes (S, 19): 2 IP / 1 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 0 BB / 3 K / 0 HR
Smith, C. (L, 2-4): 5 IP / 4 H / 2 R / 2 ER / 3 BB / 8 K / 1 HR
Peacock: 1 IP / 2 H / 1 R / 1 ER / 1 BB / 0 K / 0 HR
Ramirez: 1 IP / 0 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 0 BB / 0 K / 0 HR
Mantiply: 1 IP / 0 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 0 BB / 1 K / 0 HR