Series Summary 4/26-28: Cardinals @ Diamondbacks

Yadier Molina

Photo is credited to Getty Images.

This week, the Cardinals and Diamondbacks played a four-game series at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona.

Game One: Diamondbacks 12, Cardinals 7 — WP: Zack Greinke (2-2) LP: Matt Bowman (0-1)                       

Backed by a nine-run sixth inning, the Diamondbacks were able to take the first game of the four-game set against the Cardinals by a 12-7 score.

The Cardinals got to Diamondbacks starter Zack Greinke in their first turn to bat by putting up two runs, the first on left fielder Matt Holliday’s first triple of the season. The triple allowed Matt Carpenter, who singled, to score. With Holliday occupying third, Brandon Moss drove a ball deep enough to score Holliday, and the Cardinals took a 2-0 lead.

Yasmany Tomas singled to lead off Arizona’s half of the second inning, and David Peralta singled an out later. Chris Owings struck out next, but the ball got away from catcher Yadier Molina. The passed ball allowed Tomas to score and cut the Cardinals lead in half.

Tomas led off the fourth inning, too, this time with a walk. Wellington Castillo singled him over to second base, and Tomas was brought in on a 4-3 groundout off the bat of Owings, knotting the game at two.

Holliday left the game in the middle of the third inning with a cramp in his right leg; Jeremy Hazelbaker replaced him.

Aledmys Diaz continued his torrid hitting with a single in the top of the fifth. Garcia laid down a sacrifice bunt — his second of the game — to advance Diaz to second. Carpenter grounded out before Stephen Piscotty singled to push Diaz across the dish. Hazelbaker, hitting for the first time in the ballgame since entering to replace Holliday, smashed a two-run, opposite-field home run, his fifth long ball of the season, to give the Cardinals a 5-3 advantage.

The D-backs knocked Garcia out of the game in the bottom of the sixth after back-to-back hits from Castillo and Peralta. Rookie Matt Bowman entered the game for St. Louis and surrendered base hits to Owings and Greinke before striking out Ahmed for the first out of the inning. Kevin Siegrist then entered the game and gave up a home run to Jean Segura, who became just a triple away from the cycle after the blast. The three-run shot gave Arizona a two-run lead, 7-5.

But Arizona was not done. Siegrist allowed a single to Brandon Drury and walked Paul Goldschmidt. Seth Maness entered the game after the walk and gave up a ground-rule double to Tomas, scoring Drury and moving Goldschmidt to third. Castillo singled in Goldschmidt next and took third on a fielding error by Wong, which was committed on a ball hit by Peralta. A base hit off the bat of Owings scored Castillo and gave the Diamondbacks a commanding, 11-5 lead.

Greinke came back out to pitch the seventh and recorded the first couple of outs quickly. He gave up a solo home run to Carpenter and a single to Stephen Piscotty before a triple to Hazelbaker, his second of the year. Greinke was then lifted from the game in favor of Andrew Chafin, who recorded the next four outs for the Diamondbacks.

Enrique Burgos recorded the final three outs of the ballgame for the D-backs, striking out Ruben Tejada, Carpenter, and Piscotty.

Notes:

-After the game, the Cardinals announced that Matt Holliday exited the game with a cramp in his right leg; he is day-to-day.

Game Two: Cardinals 8, Diamondbacks 2 — WP: Carlos Martinez (4-0) LP: Shelby Miller ()

Backed by eight runs and an eight-shutout-inning performance from their starting pitcher, the Cardinals were able to cruise to a victory over the Diamondbacks in the second game of the teams’ four-game series.

The game’s starting pitchers — Shelby Miller and Carlos Martinez — matched each other early in the contest, allowing a total of three hits through the first four innings of the game. The Cardinals’ bats broke this trend in their half of the fifth, however.

The Cardinals taxed Miller for five runs in the fifth, beginning with a leadoff single from Aledmys Diaz. Martinez sacrificed Diaz over to second, and Jeremy Hazelbaker, who hit in the first spot of Tuesday’s batting order, walked. Stephen Piscotty laced a ball to the outfield that bounced off of center fielder Chris Owings’s leg. Diaz scored, Hazelbaker took third, and Piscotty cruised to second with an RBI double. Matt Carpenter drew a walk next before Randal Grichuk hit a ball deep enough to score the runner from third. With two outs, two runs in, and two runners aboard, Brandon Moss unloaded on his fifth homer of the season, one that capped off a 5-0 lead for Martinez to work with.

The fifth was Miller’s final inning of work on the night. Despite surrendering five runs, Miller displayed great improvement from his recent couple of outings. Miller had to exit the game prematurely a few starts ago after scraping his hand on the mound while following through his delivery; he scraped his hand in the start after, too. Miller did not scrape his hand in Tuesday night’s game and managed to make it to the five-inning plateau for the first time as a member of the Diamondbacks’ rotation.

The Cardinals provided Martinez with three additional runs of support in the seventh inning, two runs courtesy of a home run off the bat of Piscotty.

Martinez finished the eighth inning with 105 pitches, so Mike Matheny went to his ‘pen in the ninth with lefty Tyler Lyons. Lyons gave up two runs — solo homers to Jake Lamb and Yasmany Tomas — in the game’s final frame, but managed to record the 27th out and secure Martinez his fourth victory of the year.

Game Three: Cardinals 11, Diamondbacks 4 — WP: Adam Wainwright (1-3) LP: Patrick Corbin (1-3)

Fueled by a stronger start and a clutch triple from their starting pitcher, the Cardinals were able to collect a win in the third game of the series.

St. Louis put a run on the board in the first, capitalizing on a leadoff walk to Matt Carpenter and a rare error committed by shortstop Nick Ahmed. The Diamondbacks responded with two runs of their own in the second, as Brandon Drury smashed a homer after Wellington Castillo recorded a base hit. Paul Goldschmidt led off the bottom of the fourth for the D-backs by taking Wainwright deep, Goldschmidt’s sixth homer of the year and third in his last seven games to give Arizona a 3-1 lead.

Aledmys Diaz answered Goldschmidt’s blast with one of his own in the Cardinals’ half of the fifth, Diaz’s fourth homer and twelfth RBI of the season. Diaz batted fourth in the Cardinals five-run sixth, drawing a walk to load the bases for Wainwright. With one out, Wainwright tripled down the right-field line, clearing the bases and giving himself a two-run lead. Piscotty singled an out later to plate Wainwright and knock Corbin out of the game. Enrique Burgos entered the ballgame and allowed a ground-rule double to Holliday that padded the Cardinals’ advantage to 7-3.

Arizona took a run back in the sixth and, too, knocked the opposing starter out of the game, as Wainwright was lifted after allowing a run — Arizona’s fourth of the evening — in favor of Seung Hwan Oh, who managed to escape the inning without allowing further damage.

The Cardinals tacked on three runs in the seventh and a run in the ninth to take an 11-3 lead, one that rookie reliever Matt Bowman held down in the ninth inning en route to victory for the Cardinals.

Notes:

With his bases-loaded triple in the sixth, Adam Wainwright became the first Cardinals pitcher to collect a three-bagger in such a scenario since 2005.

Game : Diamondbacks 3, Cardinals 0 — WP: Rubby De La Rosa (3-3) LP: Michael Wacha (2-1) SV: Brad Ziegler (5)

As a strikeout-heavy pitchers’ duel unfolded, the Diamondbacks managed to hit two balls out of the ballpark to account for their three runs of the ballgame, the only runs their starting pitcher would need.

Michael Wacha’s night started on a high note; he struck out the first three Diamondback batters. The Diamondbacks catcher Chris Hermann, however, did not strike out looking. In fact, he hit a two-run homer in the second inning, the first long ball hit off of Wacha this season. Left fielder Brandon Drury crushed a ball in the fourth for his second long ball of the series to account for Arizona’s third run of the evening.

Rubby De La Rosa cruised through the ballgame, striking out ten Cardinals through seven innings. With a pitch count of 94, it’s possible that De La Rosa would have started the eighth inning. But with two runners on, two outs, Wacha nearing the end of his rope, and De La Rosa’s spot due up in the order, D-backs manager Chip Hale opted to go with pinch-hitter Yasmany Tomas in an effort to collect a run. Tomas was called out on strikes, nonetheless, Wacha’s ninth and final strikeout of the night.

With De La Rosa out of the game, Arizona turned to Daniel Hudson in the eighth inning, who recorded the eleventh strikeout of the night for the Diamondbacks’ pitching staff. Closer Brad Ziegler entered the game in the ninth, his first appearance in five days. Despite allowing a leadoff double to Matt Holliday and a walk to Brandon Moss, Ziegler recorded the final three outs of the ballgame to salvage a split in the four-game series and pick up his fifth save.

Notes:

With his seven-inning performance, Rubby De La Rosa gave a relief to the relief pitchers. Arizona’s relievers combined to throw 9 2/3 innings through the first three games of this series.

What’s next?

Diamondbacks: The Diamondbacks will welcome the Colorado Rockies in for four games at Chase Field over the weekend. The Rockies dropped three of their scheduled four games with the Pirates this weekend; the fourth and final game of the series was postponed due to inclement weather.

Cardinals: The Cardinals have ended their seven-game roadtrip and will return to Busch Stadium to take on the Washington Nationals for three games over the weekend. The Nationals were swept by the Phillies in their three-game series this week; Washington was shutout in two of the games.

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