The Cardinals’ offense blasted five homers, scoring twelve runs to back the returns of Jack Flaherty and Dakota Hudson from the IL in the 12-4 rout.
The Cardinals opened the second game of the doubleheader with Jack Flaherty, who was on a strict pitch limit of fifteen to twenty pitches to start the game. After striking out one batter, he surrendered a single, a home run, and a walk before being pulled for Dakota Hudson. Hudson, making his first start in the MLB since his Tommy John surgery last year, recorded a solid first outing, pitching three and two thirds innings while giving up just two runs (thanks partially to Genesis Cabrera, who inherited a bases loaded jam in the fifth and only allowed one runner to score). Zach Davies started for the Cubs and got blasted for six runs over two innings, setting the tone for the game as the St. Louis offense exploded for 5 homers and twelve runs en route to a 12-4 victory, extending their winning streak to a franchise record-tying fourteenth game.
Tommy Edman grounded out to second to open the second game of the doubleheader. Paul Goldschmidt put an outside curveball into center for a single and Tyler O’Neill grounded a sinker through the left side to put two on. Nolan Arenado took four straight pitches for a one-out walk to load the bases. Yadier Molina, back in the lineup after sitting in game one, tore a low 2-1 changeup into the gap in left-center where center fielder Rafael Ortega just missed a fantastic diving catch. Yadi ended up with a double that scored Goldschmidt and O’Neill, putting the Cards ahead 2-0. Harrison Bader then singled back up the middle on a first-pitch sinker, scoring Arenado to make it 3-0 with runners at the corners. Lars Nootbaar was called out on a sinker that caught the inside corner and Paul DeJong lined out to center for the final out.
Ortega struck out chasing a slider in the dirt. Frank Schwindel grounded a fastball hard back up the middle for a hit. Patrick Wisdom got a 3-2 fastball down the middle of the plate and absolutely crushed it to center, tightening the game to 3-2.
Ian Happ then drew a seven-pitch walk on a non-competitive slider below the zone. Dakota Hudson replaced Flaherty after the walk, making his first MLB appearance since his Tommy John surgery last year. Nick Martini singled on a ground ball through the left side to put two on with one out. Nico Hoerner grounded a slider to Arenado, who stepped on the third for the force out. Austin Romine then struck out swinging over a 1-2 curveball just below the knees, stranding two Cubs on base.
Hudson bounced a sinker to the third-base side of the mound and beat the throw from Davies for an infield single. Edman grounded out to Hoerner, whose only play was to first for the easy first out. Goldschmidt singled, placing runners on first and third with one out. O’Neill got ahead in the count 3-0 before launching a high sinker into the basket in left field, blowing the game open to 6-2.
Arenado struck out on three pitches, swinging at a changeup in the dirt. Yadi followed the strikeout with a four-pitch walk. Bader lined a sinker straight at Hoerner to close the top of the frame.
Sergio Alcantara grounded into the shift for the first out after a nice sliding stop by Edman. Greg Deichmann pinch hit for Davies and worked a 10-pitch at-bat, but struck out swinging over a back foot slider. Ortega ended the inning with a routine flyout to left.
Michael Rucker replaced Davies on the mound and promptly gave up a leadoff home run to Nootbaar, extending the Redbirds’ lead to 7-2. DeJong took an outside 3-2 fastball to the seats in right to go back-to-back, putting the Cards up 8-2.
Hudson saw seven pitches but struck out looking at a fastball over the heart of the plate. Edman smoked a cutter to short for the second out. Goldschmidt struck out swinging at a 3-2 cutter low and away to retire the Cardinals.
Schwindel lined a 2-2 slider to left for a leadoff double. Wisdom hit a sinker hard back at Hudson, who kicked it to Goldschmidt for the out at first as Schwindel moved to third. Happ grounded out softly to Arenado, who threw to first for out number two. Schwindel scored on the play, tightening the game to 8-3. Martini skied a 1-2 fastball to Bader for the last out.
Scott Effross relieved Rucker in the top of the fourth. O’Neill struck out swinging under a slider at the top of the zone. Arenado grounded a sinker hard to short for the second out. Yadi flew a first-pitch sinker to put the Redbirds down 1-2-3.
Hoerner led off the bottom of the inning and popped out to left. Romine chopped a 2-1 sinker to short for a groundout. Alcantara did the same, grounding a slider to DeJong to end the inning.
Rex Brothers came in to pitch the fifth and gave up a double to Bader, who roped a fastball above the zone down the left field line. Nootbaar turned on a 94 mph fastball in and put it into right, scoring Bader to make it 9-3.
DeJong rolled a 1-2 slider to short for a 6-4-3 double play. Hudson reached base for the second time with a seven-pitch walk. Edman got a good piece of a 1-1 slider but came just short, flying out to the warning track in left for the last out.
Matt Duffy pinch hit for Brothers and hit a soft liner down the right field line for a single. Ortega lifted a slider to right-center for a double, putting runners on second and third. Schwindel got hit by an 0-1 sinker, loading the bases and ending Hudson’s night in favor of Genesis Cabrera. Wisdom popped out to DeJong in shallow left for the first out. Happ lined out to deep right, allowing both runners on second and third to advance, cutting the Cards’ lead to 9-4. David Bote pinch hit with Cubs on the corners and grounded out to Arenado to end the Cubs’ threat.
Duffy remained in the game as Trevor Megill took the mound for Chicago. Goldschmidt struck out swinging through a center-cut fastball. O’Neill grounded out to short. Arenado ripped a fastball into left for a two-out single, extending the inning to Yadi who popped out to center to send the game to the bottom of the sixth.
Hoerner blooped a changeup to shallow center, where Bader charged it and made a running catch. Romine struck out swinging under a fastball at the top of the zone. Alcantara got blown away by a 99 mph fastball at the letters, sitting the Cubs down quietly.
Adam Morgan took Megill’s place on the mound and gave up a monster of a home run to Bader, giving the Cards a 10-4 lead. Nootbaar then launched a hanging slider to right for yet another home run to bring the score to 11-4.
DeJong followed the back-to-back jacks with a single into left field. Jose Rondon struck out swinging over a nasty 3-2 slider that broke into his hands. Edman struck out swinging out in front of a curveball for the second out. Goldschmidt lined a fastball to right that got by Happ, scoring DeJong on what got ruled a double to push the lead to 12-4. Sergio Alcantara then came in from second base to get the last out and got O’Neill to fly out to Happ.
Justin Miller got the call to pitch the ninth for St. Louis and surrendered a leadoff double to Duffy. Ortega then popped out to right. Schwindel popped up a slider to Arenado for the second out. Wisdom popped another pitch to Arenado for the final out, tying the Cardinals’ franchise record for consecutive wins at 14 with a 12-4 victory.
After sweeping the doubleheader, the Cardinals sit at 85-69 and five games ahead of the Phillies for the second Wild Card spot. The Cardinals continue their series with the Cubs on Saturday, with Jon Lester facing off against Adrian Sampson at 1:20 PM CT.
The initial report on Edmundo Sosa’s right wrist is that there is no fracture after he took a direct hit from a fastball in the first game of the doubleheader. The club is saying he’ll likely only be out for three to five days, but it’s likely they’ll reassess the injury in the meantime to make sure there’s no structural damage.
Let me try this again. Initial scans at Wrigley reveal likely no fracture for Edmundo Sosa. He is expected to be out at least 3-5 days. #STLCards
— Katie Woo (@katiejwoo) September 24, 2021
Final Pitching Lines
Flaherty: 0.1 IP / 2 H / 2 R / 2 ER / 1 BB / 1 K / 1 HR
Hudson (W, 1-0): 3.2 IP / 4 H / 2 R / 2 ER / 0 BB / 2 K / 0 HR
Cabrera: 2 IP / 0 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 0 BB / 2 K / 0 HR
Miller, J: 1 IP / 1 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 0 BB / 0 K / 0 HR
Davies (L, 6-12): 2 IP / 7 H / 6 R / 6 ER / 2 BB / 2 K / 1 HR
Rucker: 1 IP / 2 H / 2 R / 2 ER / 0 BB / 2 K / 2 HR
Effross: 1 IP / 0 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 0 BB / 2 K / 0 HR
Brothers: 1 IP / 2 H / 1 R / 1 ER / 1 BB / 0 K / 0 HR
Megill: 1 IP / 1 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 0 BB / 1 K / 0 HR
Morgan: 0.2 IP / 4 H / 3 R / 3 ER / 0 BB / 2 K / 2 HR
Alcantara: 0.1 IP / 0 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 0 BB / 0 K / 0 HR