Cardinals beat the Royals 8-3 to secure their fifth-straight series win, Flaherty fans nine, Haaaaaaaarry and Cafecíto pace the offense with a pair of two-run blasts
Danny Duffy and Jack Flaherty would match each other through the first two innings tonight. Duffy would throw 27 pitches thru 2IP, striking out Cafecíto to end the top of the 1st. Swags, the singles machine, led off the top of the 2nd with a single to LF off Duffy. Pauly Deez and Trap House would pop out and fly out to bring in Bader, who drew a walk. Duffy ended his second inning getting Wong to ground out to Escobar at 3B.
Flaherty on the other hand, would throw 28 pitches thru his first 2 innings. Flaherty would allow a leadoff walk to Merrifield to begin his night. With Alex Gordon batting, Flaherty would run a fastball in on his hands, getting him to turn on it and line out to Carp at 1B for an unassisted double-play. Flaherty would walk his second of the game with Perez at the plate, but follow that up with his first strikeout, getting Duda looking at a fastball. Flaherty tossed an 8-pitch 2nd inning, picking up his second strikeout on Phillips, getting him to go down on a fastball.
The Cardinals would use some of that two-out magic they’ve had all season long in the top of the 3rd. After Duffy recorded two quick outs on JAG (groundout) and Carp (pop out), Yadi would pick up his third double of the series. With Cafecíto batting, Duffy would throw a wild pitch, advancing Yadi to 3B. Cafecíto then dribbled a slow rolled down to Escobar at 3B, beating it out for an RBI infield single, scoring Yadi to make it 1-0 Cardinals. Swags extended the two-out rally with an RBI triple to LCF, hustling all the way, sliding around the tag from Escobar to make it 2-0. Pauly Deez continued the onslaught, ripping an RBI double into LF to make it 3-0. Trap House then delivered with the fourth consecutive RBI hit, knocking a single into LF to score Pauly to make it 4-0 Cardinals. Duffy finally ended the inning after 37 pitches, getting Harry to ground out to Escobar.
Escobar would pick up the first of five hits for Kansas City tonight, leading off the bottom of the 3rd with a single to RF. Flaherty followed the single getting Mondesi to strikeout on high cheese. With Merrifield batting, Flaherty would induce an inning-ending double-play ball, 6-4-3 on the twin killing.
Duffy would mix in two consecutive 1-2-3 innings in the 4th and 5th. Getting some great defense from his third baseman, Escobar, who would take away an infield single from García with a sweet barehand play. Duffy ended the 4th with his second k, getting Carp to go down looking at a slider. Duffy needed just 10 pitches to work through the 5th, getting Yadi to ground out, Cafecíto to fly out, and Swags to line out to O’Hearn at 1B.
Flaherty opened up the bottom of the 4th with his 3rd free pass of the evening to Alex Gordon. Flaherty fanned Perez on a fastball next, before getting Duda to pop out to DeJong for the second out. With Rosell Herrera batting, Flaherty would attempt a pick play at on Gordon at 1B, but Carp couldn’t handle the throw, committing the error. Kolten Wong ended the inning emphatically, robbing Herrera of an RBI single to RF, ranging deep to his left and laying out on the play.
The Royals would cut the Cardinals deficit in half in the bottom of the 5th. After Flaherty began the inning with his 5th k, getting Phillips to whiff at a beauty of a slider, O’Hearn would hit a single to RF. Escobar (2-2) connected for his 4th HR next, sending an 0-2 offering from Flaherty to LCF, sneaking it into the first row to make it 4-2 Cardinals. This was the 15th HR Flaherty has given up this season. Mondesi would ground out to Wong after the HR and Merrifield would get rung up on a low fastball to end the inning.
The Cardinals would end Duffy’s night in the 6th. Duffy would get DeJong to fly out for the first out, bringing in Trap House (2-4). Jedd singled into LF to bring in Haaaaaaaarry the stitch Bader. Bader would battle for a long at bat, even getting bailed out on a non-call on a check swing for what could have been strike three. Instead of striking out, Bader would make the most of his second chance, demolishing a hanging breaking ball from Duffy for a two-run shot to make it 6-2 Cardinals. Yost was on his way out to relieve Duffy with McCarthy when Duffy finally had it with first base umpire, Adam Hamari. Livid with Hamari for not ringing up Bader, Duffy would get tossed by Hamari. And boy was it entertaining.
Flaherty would end his night with two 1-2-3 innings in the 6th and 7th. Flaherty’s most efficient inning of the night came in the 6th, needing only 7 pitches. Flaherty ended the 6th tallying his 7th k, getting Duda to swing and miss at a curveball. Flaherty would add two more k’s to his line in the 7th inning, beginning and ending the frame with a punch out. Herrera would be victim #8, going down on a slider and O’Hearn would be victim #9, offering at a fastball.
Flaherty’s final line: (7IP, 3 hits, 2r/2er, 3 bb, 9 k’s, 106 pitches, 67 game score)
With his start tonight, Flaherty now has recorded 7 or more strikeouts in 5 consecutive starts.
Dakota Hudson would work 0.2 innings for the pen in the 8th, giving up a leadoff walk to Escobar. Mondesi then reached base with an infield single to put two on with nobody out. Hudson then induced the third double-play for the Cards, getting Merrifield to ground out 5-4-3 on the DP. With Alex Gordon batting, Hudson would walk him, with the 4th ball getting away from Yadi for a wild pitch, scoring Escobar to make it 6-3 Cardinals. Shildt would relieve Hudson with Hicks to record the final four outs of the game. Hicks did his job right away, getting Perez to strikeout on three pitches, sending him packing on a filthy slider in the dirt.
The Cardinals added two insurance runs in the 9th inning with two outs, surprising right? Yadi picked up a single to LF to bring in Cafecíto. And Cafecíto sent a nice reminder to the Royals, making sure that they remembered what they missed out on. Cafecíto sent the first pitch slider from Flynn 418 feet to the fountains in LF to make it 8-3.
Jordan Hicks ended the game earning his 3rd save of the season, getting three straight ground outs after Duda hit a leadoff single to RF.
With the 8-3 win tonight, the Cardinals have secured their fifth straight series win, looking to finish off the sweep tomorrow afternoon. Luke Weaver (6-10, 4.66) will get the nod in game-three, matching up against Jakob Junis (6-11, 4.98). First pitch 1:15 c/t.
Thanks for reading, cheers!
Game 117 is in the books