Quick hits: Albert Pujols, Lars Nootvaal score in 13th | After Cardinals dominate defense | St. Louis Cardinals

Cincinnati — It took two outs with five infielders and two outs at home plate in extra innings for the Cardinals to show off their stellar defense and give offense opportunity after offense opportunity to do something. It didn’t even have to be stellar.

The Cardinals were hitless in 17 at-bats and had no runners in scoring position when Albert Pujols’ final swing in Cincinnati lofted a fly ball deep enough to get a runner off third base in the 13th inning. did. Pujols’ sacrifice fly brought Paul his Goldschmidt home and gave the Cardinals their first lead of a long and crazy night at the plate, except when they were tagging the Reds.

Lars Nutvaal gave the game one smile with a two-run homer that led the Cardinals to a 5-3 victory over the Reds in the 13th inning at Great American Ball Park.

Andre Palante ended the game with a strikeout and a groundout after dealing with a tie run in the bottom of the 13th inning. The extra inning win capped off the series for the Cardinals, despite scoring only three runs in a 21-inning stretch against the last-place Reds and their patchwork pitching staff. A two-run homer by Nolan Arenado in the fourth inning tied the game, and it stayed there until the 11th inning as neither team scored extra runs, even benefiting from runners who started in the second inning. I stayed.

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The Cardinals were unable to get past the at-bat.

Cincinnati couldn’t get past their gloves.

Without the golden infield defense, the offense would never have had another chance in the 11th or 12th inning.

With no outs and a double in the 11th inning, the Cardinals swarmed the infield and tried to prevent the Reds from putting the game-winning one in play.

The Cardinals brought rookie Nolan Gorman into the game as the fifth infielder behind right-handed Palante. A ball into the outfield would likely get a runner out of third, so the Cardinals played a hop. Goldschmidt dutifully fielded a ground ball for the first out. The second was close enough to require a replay.

Jake Fraley hit a hard ground ball to shortstop and Colin Moran broke from third. Tommy Edman threw home, but it was only wide enough for Molina to clear the plate. It was the catcher’s turn to show off the amount of spin. After catching the ball, Molina pirouetted to meet a tagged Moran at the plate. Moran was ruled out, and the Reds’ replay of his challenge did not provide enough evidence to overrule Bellino’s original call on home run umpire Dunn.

The inning ended with another test of the Cardinals’ defensive dexterity. With the bases loaded, former teammate Austin Romine hit a ground ball, forcing Goldschmidt to turn right. Palante had to beat Romine first to make a sharp throw on a three-out run.

On his final visit to Cincinnati, a place where he always sincerely expected boos, Molina had one last chance to upset the Reds with the bat. The 11th inning found him at the plate with two teammates on base, two outs and a go-ahead on third base. Instead of boos, cheers rose from the crowd full of Cardinals fans.

Molina struck out on three pitches to end the inning.

A fitting finale to his few years in Cincinnati was the play at bat in which he dropped the game’s key tag.

Jojo Romero, who was key to the Cardinals’ left-handed relief recast over the past two weeks, appeared in his first highest-leverage appearance, fittingly for his new role.

But it wasn’t the pitch that made him successful.

Romero came on base in the eighth inning to face pinch-hitter left-handed hitter TJ Friedl. It was the first time in his four appearances with the Cardinals that Romero had tied the game, and he has yet to be saved. Romero beat Friedl as he led 0-2. Stuart Fairchild made his second break. Romero ended the inning by catching Fairchild’s stolen base with the help of two poles, Goldschmidt and DeJon.

The Cardinals responded in the top of the ninth with runners in scoring position when the Reds blew the tag at second base. Lars Nootbaar took the lead with a base on balls, and after Yadier Molina attempted to bunt his second, Nootbaar stole on his second. The ball beat him into the bag, but second baseman Alejo Lopez lifted the glove enough for Nutvarr’s leg to get under it and reach the base.

The Cardinals had three chances to lead Nootvar in base hits, hitting pop-ups, flyouts, and groundouts to send the game into the bottom of the ninth. Romero was there to hold his part of the tie, but closer Ryan Helsley finished the inning with two runners on base.

In a similar place in the 10th inning, Hellsley defeated Cardinals plague Colin Moran.

And Arenado reached 50

The 2022 Cardinals already had the club record for most home runs in August when Arenado leaned to keep his firing fair on Wednesday night.

The third baseman hit a tying homer in the fourth inning, hitting back the foul pole and giving a rare team a power surge of the month. Arenado’s home run on the last day of August was the 50th of the month for the Cardinals. He is the only two times the Cardinals have hit the same number of home runs in his month. In September 2021, the Cardinals saw him hit 52 as part of his 17-game winning streak, and in April 2000 he opened the season with 55.

The Cardinals trailed 2–0 when Arenado connected with a full-count fastball in front of the plate. While continuing the follow through, Arenado tried to steer a fair ball with his shoulder. His 28 home run off the Arenado followed Goldschmidt’s single to tie the game at 2-2. Arenado also hit nine home runs in August, tying Goldschmidt for the major league lead.

Teammate Albert Pujols finished second with 8, and Tyler O’Neill’s 7 in August put him in fifth in a final week surge.

No starter ever made 5 successes with Sincy

Jose Quintana’s exit in the middle of the fifth on Wednesday meant that none of the three Cardinals starters in the series could complete enough innings to qualify for the win, let alone a quality start. meant that

All three starters facing the Reds this week were released with at least one runner on base midway through the fifth inning. Quintana had the most in several innings to minimize scoring, but he gave up the mound in the fifth after the ball clipped him and singled. Quintana allowed him two runs on seven hits and in 4 2/3 innings he walked one. The two runs came in the third when the Reds stitched together three singles and a base on what appeared to be a rally.

Quintana came out of the worst when third hitter Kyle Farmer struck out.

The lefties’ shortened start came after Myles Mikolas pitched 4 1/3 innings on Monday and Dakota Hudson pitched 4 2/3 innings on Tuesday. Combined, the starter he allowed 11 runs (all earned) on 22 hits in 13 2/3 innings. Quintana was one of three people who did not allow a home run. He cheated two double play plays to eliminate a hitter after singles.

Relievers who came in to replace starters in the fifth — Chris Stratton, Jake Woodford, and Jordan Hicks on Wednesday — all stranded runners who passed.

Seventh swing around pinch hitter chance

Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol met with outfielder Dylan Carlson on Wednesday to discuss how he makes the lineup every day and why Carlson bats near the top against left-handers and is on the bench against right-handers. 210 batting average against right-handed pitching, which put him in the platoon.

Marmol wanted to emphasize to Carlson that the young center fielder had not “lost faith” in the Cardinals’ ability to be an “everyday man.”

But performance should inform decision making.

Same as 7 times.

Tommy Edman’s one-out double put two runners in scoring position and Carlson moved up the order. Against Reds lefty Mike Minor, Carlson was going 1-for-3 with two groundouts and a single. But Minor is gone. A right-handed rescuer (Art Warren) was standing in his place, and he was already getting one (Buckfarmer). Marmol chose left-handed Corey Dickerson to face Warren, and after the Reds made a move, Farmer.

Dickerson has batted .374 at Great American Ball Park in his career, hitting 10 of his 34 home runs with Sincey. Left-handed hitters are performing better against Farmer, with .756 OPS versus .578 OPS for right-handed hitters.

The score remained tied when Dickerson struck out and Goldschmidt hit a ground ball to end the inning. The Cardinals outfield shuffled accordingly. Tyler O’Neal replaced Carlson in center.

Molina snaps 0-22

The seven scoring opportunities began with Molina’s single to center, ending a 12-day winning streak with 22 at-bats without reaching base. The Cardinals kicked off Wednesday’s series finale with back-to-back lineups of Molina and shortstop Paul DeJong, both riding long skids to go 0-for-36 totals. Molina hadn’t scored a hit since his three o’clock one night against Arizona and left the next day to watch his team win a professional basketball he owned. That slump reached in the seventh after he popped up in the third and went deep shortstop with a scoring-position runner in the fourth. Molina led in the seventh with a single that put his batting average above .

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Lee Thomas, who ran the Cardinals' minor league system in the successful 1980s, dies at 86


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