On Thursday night, the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates faced off in the final game of a three game series, and the Cardinals were looking to sweep their division rivals, who entered trailing by seven games. And it was a rough way for the series to end, as Lance Lynn had his worst start in his career, as Pittsburgh won 10-5.
St. Louis looked to bounce back as they began a three game series against the Miami Marlins on Friday night. The starting pitcher’s for the game were Jaime Garcia (4-4, 1.77), going up against Tom Koehler (8-9, 3.75).
Garcia started off the game rolling, by retiring the first nine batters he faced, with three of them being by strikeouts. A single by Martin Prado in the top of the fourth inning was the first hit Garcia allowed in the game.
As for Koehler, he had a lot of help from some top-notch fielding from Dee Gordon and Adeiny Hechavarria, as the Cardinals couldn’t muster up a run for the first half of the ballgame either.
In the top of the fifth inning, with the score still scoreless, veteran Ichiro Suzuki made history, singling for his 4,191st professional hit, tying him with Hall of Famer Ty Cobb. 1,278 of those hits came in Japan, while the other 2,913 came in the United States.
The Cardinals finally got on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning, when, following a Mark Reynolds double, Matt Carpenter hit a bunt single that scored Reynolds (he previously had advanced to third base), to make it a 1-0 game.
Reynolds later hit an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh that scored Randal Grichuk who previously hit a double, as St. Louis took a 2-0 lead. That lead became 3-0 in the bottom of the eighth when Carpenter hit a solo home run.
As for Garcia, he entered to pitch the top of the ninth inning looking for the complete game shutout. However, after allowing two runners on, Mike Matheny made the decision to bring in closer Trevor Rosenthal.
And as Garcia headed to the dugout, the 40,000+ fans at Busch Stadium gave him a rousing ovation.
The Marlins were able to score a run off an error from Jason Heyward in right field to make it 3-1.
But Rosenthal still gets the job done, garnering his 36th save, as the Cardinals improve to 74-41, as well as 43-17 at home. Garcia improves to 5-4, and Koehler drops to 8-10. Carpenter’s eighth inning home run was his 18th of the year.
Tomorrow night, John Lackey gets the start for the Cardinals.
(AP Photo: Bill Boyce)