The Cards jumped out to an early lead but needed all five runs to survive a ninth inning push from the top of the Dodgers lineup.
The Cardinals came into the third game of a four-game series with the Dodgers on a four-game losing streak after dropping two in Milwaukee and the first two games of the series in against LA. Mitch White started for the Dodgers and gave up four runs in five innings, including a two-run home run by Yadier Molina in the first inning. Tyler O’Neill also tacked on a late insurance run (that ended up being sorely needed) with a solo home run. Adam Wainwright got the start for the Cards and went another strong eight and a third innings until a late Dodgers rally knocked him out of the game in the ninth. Giovanny Gallegos came in to convert the save as LA’s rally fell short, leading to a final of 5-4 in favor of the Redbirds.
Trea Turner led off for the Dodgers and struck out swinging over a curveball on the outside corner. Max Muncy and Mookie Betts followed with back-to-back singles to right field. Corey Seager doubled the wall in left to score Muncy, giving the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.
Betts also tried to score from first on the play but was cut down at home for the second out after a great relay from Harrison Bader and Edmundo Sosa. Will Smith then hit a comebacker that Wainwright caught to end the top of the inning.
Tommy Edman kicked off the bottom of the first with a single to left field. Paul Goldschmidt followed with a single off a high fastball. Edman and Goldschmidt then stole third and second on the 1-0 pitch to Tyler O’Neill, who struck out looking at a fastball on the outside corner. Nolan Arenado grounded out to short but scored Edman to tie the game at 1-1.
Yadier Molina got a slider up on the inside corner and turned on it, depositing the pitch into the seats in left to put the Cards ahead 3-1. Lars Nootbaar got under a fastball and skied it to center to close the frame.
Chris Taylor grounded out to Arenado for the first out. Albert Pujols, after a second ovation in as many nights, chopped another curveball to third for the second out. Cody Bellinger flew out to center to put LA down in order.
Sosa tapped a slider back to White, who lobbed the throw into the baseline and left no play for Pujols, who had to avoid the runner. Bader grounded into a fielder’s choice at second and was then caught stealing for the first two outs. Wainwright flew a fastball to left for the final out.
White struck out swinging at a low sinker. Turner topped another sinker and grounded it to second for out number two. Muncy then grounded out to first to retire the side.
White struck out the side in the bottom of the third, with Edman swinging at a 1-2 changeup, Goldschmidt swinging over a slider, and O’Neill seeing nine pitches but swinging over a low slider for strike three.
The Dodgers went down in order again in the fourth as Betts, Seager, and Smith all grounded out as Wainwright set himself on cruise control.
Arenado grounded a fastball back to White, who made a good throw this time to get the out at first. Yadi hit a grounder through the left side for a single and Taylor misplayed it, allowing Yadi to move to second. The first pitch to Nootbaar went wild, advancing Yadi to third. Nootbaar struck out, but Sosa followed with a single, scoring Yadi and extending the Cards’ lead to 4-1. Bader then grounded out to end the frame.
Taylor went down swinging under a high fastball. Pujols grounded out to second and Bellinger flew out to his counterpart in center to retire the Dodgers in order again.
Wainwright struck out chasing a low curveball. Edman lined a curveball to left field for the second out. Goldschmidt closed the inning with a groundout to first.
Billy McKinney pinch hit for White and struck out looking at a sinker that caught the corner of the plate. Turner tapped a curveball back to Wainwright for the second out. Muncy got a cutter that caught a lot of the plate and hammered it to right center for a homer, closing the deficit to 4-2. Mookie Betts grounded out to third for the final out.
Brusdar Graterol relieved white and hit O’Neill with an 0-1 slider. Arenado popped out to third. Yadi lined a slider straight at Seager for the second out. O’Neill advanced to second on a wild pitch to Nootbaar, who drew a walk. Sosa hit a swinging bunt down the third baseline and barely beat the throw to first after a phenomenal play by Graterol. Bader ended the Cards’ threat, however, grounding out to first for the third out and stranding the bases loaded.
Seager flew a changeup to left field for the first out of the seventh. Smith followed with a flyout to right. Taylor chopped a curveball to third to send the game to the bottom of the frame.
Neftali Feliz came out of the bullpen in relief for the Dodgers and retired Wainwright on a flyout on the warning track to dead center, where Bellinger made a great jumping catch.
Edman then grounded out to first and Goldschmidt chopped a slider to third to close a quick inning.
Pujols opened the eighth with a groundout to shortstop. Bellinger went after a first-pitch cutter and popped it to first for out number two. Pinch hitter Justin Turner skied an 0-1 curveball to Nootbaar in right for the last out.
Shane Greene replaced Feliz on the mound in the eighth for LA and immediately surrendered a leadoff home run to O’Neill, which stretched the Cards’ lead to 5-2.
Arenado followed with a flyout to left. Yadi drew a six-pitch walk but was erased after Nootbaar chopped into a fielder’s choice. Sosa then went down swinging on three pitches to send the game to the ninth.
Trea Turner grounded a curveball into the hole between third and shortstop but his speed left Sosa with no throw. Muncy swung at a 3-1 curveball and lined out to right. Betts then hit a bloop single into right field, putting runners at the corners. Seager then lined a 1-0 curveball to right, scoring Turner to bring the score to 5-3.
Giovanny Gallegos then relieved Wainwright and retired Smith on a sacrifice fly to right that closed the deficit again to 5-4.
Taylor, representing the go-ahead run for LA, struck out swinging under a 3-2 fastball, securing the save for Gallegos and the 5-4 win for the Cardinals.
The Cardinals snap a four-game skid with the win and improve to 70-68. They now sit 3.5 GB of the Padres for the second Wild Card spot. The Reds (1 GB) and Phillies (3 GB) still lead the Cards in the chase as well with just over four weeks left in the season.
Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright have now appeared in 301 games together, and Wainwright’s eight-inning outing comes on the heels of his announcement that he’ll be returning to pitch in 2022 in what will very likely be the final year for both members of the battery.
Final Pitching Lines
Wainwright (W, 15-7): 8.1 IP / 7 H / 4 R / 4 ER / 0 BB / 4 K / 1 HR
Gallegos (S, 5): 0.2 IP / 0 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 0 BB / 1 K / 0 HR
White (L, 1-3): 5 IP / 5 H / 4 R / 4 ER / 0 BB / 6 K / 1 HR
Graterol: 1 IP / 1 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 1 BB / 0 K / 0 HR
Feliz: 1 IP / 0 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 0 BB / 0 K / 0 HR
Greene: 1 IP / 1 H / 1 R / 1 ER / 1 BB / 1 K / 1 HR