Series Summary 5/10-12: Cardinals @ Angels

Yadier Molina and Matt Holliday

Photo is credited to Getty Images.

The Cardinals and Angels met this week at Angel Stadium in Anaheim to play three games.

Game One: Cardinals 8, Angels 1 — WP: Mike Leake (1-3) LP: Hector Santiago (2-2)

In search of his first win with his new team, Mike Leake provided the Cardinals with a gem of a start; in turn, the Cardinals provided Leake with ample run support, more than enough to secure him and the team a victory over the Angels.

Matt Carpenter put the Cardinals on the board against Hector Santiago and the Halos early by hitting a home run on the fifth pitch of the evening, his fifth homer of the year. Aledmys Diaz doubled in Jedd Gyorko in the top of the second, giving the Cardinals an early 2-0 lead.

Leake mowed through the Angels’ batting order, retiring fourteen straight batters from the second inning through two outs in the sixth after Los Angeles recorded two base hits within the first three batters of the game; centerfielder Mike Trout drew a walk in the sixth to end Leake’s streak.

The Cardinals sent nine men to the plate in the fifth inning and plated four runs to up their lead to 6-0. Stephen Piscotty doubled with one out and came around to score on a two-bagger from Matt Holliday, one that ended Santiago’s night in favor of Javy Guerra. Randal Grichuk, the cleanup hitter, homered to greet Guerra, a two-run shot that was nearly caught by Trout. Yadier Molina followed the long ball with a double, and he was pushed across on a base hit from Jedd Gyorko.

Carpenter’s second homer of the game and a long ball from Holliday padded to St. Louis’s lead in the sixth, granting Leake an 8-0 advantage to tool with.

The Angels took to the scoreboard against Leake in their half of the eighth inning, beginning with a leadoff double from Cliff Pennington. Yunel Escobar singled next, and Pennington score on a sacrifice fly off Kole Calhoun’s bat.

Tyler Lyons pitched the ninth inning for the Cardinals and allowed a two-hot base hit to Johnny Giavotella. Lyons struck out the next two batters, however, ending the Angels’ flash of offensive life and the ballgame.

Notes:

With a homer to kick off what would be a busy night for St. Louis’s side of the run column, Matt Carpenter collected the tenth leadoff homer of his career.

Game Two: Cardinals 5, Angels 2 — WP: Jaime Garcia (3-2) LP: Matt Shoemaker (1-5) SV: Trevor Rosenthal (6)

A four-run inning and a sturdy outing from their starter led the Cardinals to a 5-2 victory and series win on Wednesday night in Anaheim.

Making his first start since being recalled after a demotion as a result of a poor April performance, Matt Shoemaker took the mound for the Angels in the middle game of the series. A leadoff walk surrendered to Brandon Moss in the second started what would aspire to a peck of trouble for Shoemaker. Yadier Molina singled, and then Matt Adams did the same, scoring Moss and putting runners at the corners. Randal Grichuk, who moved down three spots in the batting order from the previous night, singled to load the bases for Kolten Wong, who singled (What else?), plating Molina. Aledmys Diaz broke the singles train with a sacrifice fly to score Adams and give the Cardinals a 4-0 lead.

Jaime Garcia didn’t allow a baserunner until the bottom of the third, a one-out walk to Shane Robinson. The Angels’ second baserunner of the evening came four outs later, with two down in the fourth. Albert Pujols reached on an error committed by third baseman Matt Carpenter, the Cardinals’ 28 defensive miscue of the season. Designated hitter C.J. Cron came up next and swatted a two-run homer, cutting St. Louis’s lead in half.

The score would remain 4-2 until the seventh inning. Crafty-throwing lefty Greg Mahle entered the ballgame to face Wong. Mahle had a pitch get away from him, hitting Wong. Wong took first and later second on a sacrifice bunt laid down by Carpenter. Stephen Piscotty proved that small ball does pay off in some cases shortly after with a single, one that allowed the speedy Wong to score from second and give the Cardinals’ pitching staff a run of insurance.

Pujols led off the Angels’ half of the seventh against Garcia with a base hit and took third an out later on a double from Geovanny Soto. Garcia labored and was able to induce back-to-back strikeouts from Johnny Giavotella and Robinson to shut the book on the seventh frame of the ballgame, Garcia’s seventh and eighth strikeouts of the night.

In a save situation, Trevor Rosenthal entered the game to pitch the ninth. Cron drew a two-out walk, and Soto did, too. With the tying run at the plate in the form of Giavotella, Rosenthal had to be extra careful. Giavotella gave the ball a long ride out left-center field, but the catch was made, securing a 5-2 win for the Cardinals and Rosenthal’s sixth save of the year.

Notes:

With two hits in Wednesday’s game, Stephen Piscotty has fifteen multi-hit games this season.

Game Three: Cardinals 12, Angels 10 — WP: Adam Wainwright (3-3) LP: Jered Weaver (3-2) SV: Kevin Siegrist (1)

A back-and-forth affair that lasted the biggest part of four hours eventually ended as a 12-10 victory for the Cardinals.

The Angels got the ball rolling in the third inning against Adam Wainwright, beginning with a two-out single from nine-hole hitter Cliff Pennington. Yunel Escobar doubled next, and he and Pennington scored on a single from Kole Calhoun to give Jered Weaver a 2-0 lead.

Weaver was perfect until two outs in the fourth. After popping out in his first at-bat, Matt Holliday parked a Weaver delivery in right-center field for his fifth homer of the year. Two hits later, Jeremy Hazelbaker lined a single to left field, plating the pair and giving St. Louis a one-run lead.

The Angels recaptured the edge in the run column in their half of the fourth. Daniel Nava tied the score with his first home run of the year. C.J. Cron doubled, and Johnny Giavotella singled off Matt Carpenter’s glove. Catcher Carlos Perez sacrificed the runners to second and third, and Pennington singled home Cron. A groundball scored Giavotella, and the Angels took back their two-run advantage.

With two outs and two runners on in the top of the fifth, Carpenter took Weaver deep, Carpenter’s third homer in as many days. Holliday homered shortly after, a two-run shot, giving St. Louis an 8-5 lead. The Angels scored twice in the same frame on RBI hits from Nava and Cron, shrinking the Cardinals’ lead down to one.

Adams added on to the Cardinals lead in the sixth with an RBI single that scored two against Jose Alvarez, and Adams plated another run in the ninth off of Cam Bedrosian. Yadier Molina plated a run in the ninth, too, so Seth Maness was called upon to pitch the bottom of the ninth with a five-run lead.

The Angels quickly put a run on the board with a double from Geovanny Soto and a single off the bat of Calhoun. Mike Trout lined out, and then Albert Pujols homered, his seventh of the year, and the Angels slashed the Cardinals’ lead down to two runs and presented a save situation.

Trevor Rosenthal entered the game following the homer and walked Nava, Cron, and Giavotella, loading the bases. Mike Matheny went to his bullpen again, this time bringing in Kevin Siegrist. Siegrist recorded the final two outs of the ballgame, saving a 12-10 win for the Cardinals and concluding a series sweep in Anaheim.

Notes:

With two long balls on Thursday, Matt Holliday has 21 multi-homer games in his career.

-Albert Pujols has now homered against every major-league team, one of nine active players able to say such.

What’s next?

Cardinals: The Cardinals will stay in California for a three-game series with Dodgers this weekend. The Dodgers played the Mets over the week and won two of four games.

Angels: The Angels will head north to take on the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field for three games. The Mariners won all three of their games against the Rays this week.

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