Jack Flaherty took the mound this afternoon for the Cardinals, searching for a series split against left-hander Alex Wood and the Reds. Flaherty has put together a string of impressive starts dating back to his start vs the Giants before heading to the All-Star break.
Flaherty pitched well today, he certainly didn’t have his best stuff (walking 3, striking out 5), but it was good enough to make sure the Cardinals were never out of this game.
The Reds lone run off Flaherty came in the very 1st inning with two outs. Suárez, who sat last night due to injury his hand in game one, took Jack deep for a solo shot to make it 1-0 Reds.
Tommy Edman and Paul Goldschmidt guided the offense today, Edman going (3-5) with 2 singles and a solo HR with one out in the 5th on Wood. Goldy would go (2-3) with a double and a two-run HR off Wood to give the Cardinals a 2-1 lead in the top of the 3rd (101.6mph exit velocity, 390 feet).
The Cardinals added two more runs off Wood in the top of the 5th, the aforementioned Edman solo HR and a pair of back-to-back two out doubles from Goldy (down the RF line) and Swags (into LF) to make it a 5-1 lead for the Cardinals.
Ozuna’s double would be the final base hit for the Cardinals this afternoon. Goldy would be the only other base runner, reaching base via a two out walk vs Kuhnel in the 7th.
Flaherty would strand two runners in both the 4th and 5th innings, picking up two huge strikeouts in the 5th, the final one getting Suárez to look foolish on a perfect slider out of the zone.
Gallegos (1.1IP), Miller* (0IP, walked only batter faced), Gant (1.2IP), and Martínez (1IP) would work the final four innings from the pen in relief of Flaherty.
Gallegos and Gant would induce two insanely big, inning ending, double plays. Gallegos would get the final 3 outs of the 6th, needing only 3 pitches to do so.
After Gio and Miller both ran into some trouble in the 7th, Gant would emerge from the pen with his chest hanging out to tightrope out of danger. Gant would get Suárez to ground into a 6-4-3 double play, but what went unnoticed was the underrated play from Deez to start this double play, backhanding a ball on a quick short hop instead of catching it in the air, allowing the chance to get the double play.
After G-Spot worked a 1-2-3 8th, Carlos would come in for the 9th with a save opportunity on the table. Things got dicey really quick. The first three Reds batters all reached base (Iglesias double, Farmer single, Barnhart two-run single to make it 5-4 with still nobody out. A couple of mound visits from Yadi and things were fine. Carlos got the next three Reds (Senzel, O’Grady, Suárez), stranding the tying run in Lorenzen (pinch-running for Barnhart) at 1B. Carlos ended the game with back-to-back k’s, getting O’Grady looking and a backdoor slider and Suárez chasing a slider off the plate.
With the win, the Cardinals (65-57) head back home to take on the struggling Brewers (64-60) for a three-game set. Dakota Hudson (11-6, 3.82) gets the nod in game-one, matching up against Zach Davies (8-5, 3.74). First pitch 6:45pm c/t.