Light-hitting Cardinals drop to .500 with loss to Dodgers | Cardinal Beat
The Cardinals had just dropped two out of three to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and on Monday couldn’t quite get revenge.
Cardinals pitching allowed three solo home runs on the Memorial Day matchup and the offense wasn’t able to figure out Rich Hill and the Dodgers’ bullpen as the visitors took the opener of the four-game series by a 5-1 score. After averaging fewer than three runs per game over their road trip, a one-run performance Monday continued the soft-hitting trend.
Mike Leake started the game for the Cardinals, and at first performed similarly well to each of his prior outings in 2017. He faced the minimum through the opening two innings, getting a 1-2-3 first and a double play ground ball in the second after letting up a leadoff single.
“He’s been as good as anybody in the league,” manager Mike Matheny said of his starting pitcher. “He’s been terrific. Seven innings and six hits. He gives us a chance. We just couldn’t get anything going offensively. Those are the days we need offensively to pick him up because he’s been so ‘shut-down’.”
But trouble found Leake in the third inning, as Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley led off with a home run — the Dodgers’ first of the afternoon. It was Utley’s third homer of the season and traveled an estimated 424 feet.
Later that inning, right fielder Yasiel Puig came home on an RBI single from shortstop Corey Seager to make it 2-0 Dodgers. Then in the fourth, Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger launched his 11th home run of the season, a solo shot down the right field line.
Since his debut on April 25, Bellinger is tied with Mike Trout for most home runs in MLB.
The Cardinals got a run back — without a hit — in the bottom of the fourth on Jedd Gyorko’s sacrifice fly. Left fielder Tommy Pham opened the frame with a walk, advanced to second on a pickoff throwing error and went to third base on the front end of a double steal. Gyorko’s fly to the warning track then brought Pham home for the Cardinals’ first run of the game and cutting the Dodgers’ lead to 3-1.
Leake was back in the driver’s seat, throwing back-to-back perfect innings in the fourth and the fifth. He’d retired seven batters in a row before walking center fielder Chris Taylor to begin the seventh.
That led to a bumpy rest of the inning. Two batters after Taylor’s walk, Utley singled to right field to allow Taylor to advance all the way to third. Taylor then scored on right fielder Yasiel Puig’s sacrifice fly later in the frame.
The four runs allowed by Leake were the most he’s given up in an outing this season. Additionally, Monday was the first time he did not record a quality start.
During the bottom of the seventh, the Cardinals had an opportunity to take some of the momentum away from the Dodgers when rookie Paul DeJong doubled with one-out. The next batter, Jose Martinez, grounded a ball to Seager that seemingly would have been a groundout, but was booted by the shortstop.
The ball skipped softly into the outfield and as DeJong rounded third, he was sent home by third base coach Chris Maloney. Bellinger had been a bit slow to get to the ball and the send was aggressive, but Bellinger made a perfect throw to nail DeJong at the plate.
“I think that’s one we’d probably like to have back and do over,” Matheny said. “That’s one that’s got to be 100 percent. That’s one you’d like to do over.”
The inning ended one batter later when pinch hitter Greg Garcia struck out.
In the eighth, the Dodgers added their third solo shot with the game out of reach, when third baseman Logan Forsythe hit his first home run of the year against reliever Kevin Siegrist.
The Cardinals had a chance to halve their deficit in the eighth when Gyorko hit another ball to the warning track with a man on base, but Taylor made a jumping catch at the wall to end the threat.
The bats remained silent in the ninth as the Cardinals (24-24) lost for the ninth time in 12 games and fell back to .500. They are 12-14 at Busch Stadium.
Tuesday’s first pitch between the Cardinals and Dodgers is set for 6:05 p.m. Michael Wacha and Kenta Maeda are the scheduled starting pitchers.
Kevin Siegrist struggles in eighth, allows solo HR
Cardinals pitching gave up its third solo home run of the game in the eighth inning Monday.
This time, reliever Kevin Siegrist allowed it to third baseman Logan Forsythe, who hit his first home run of the season, as the Cardinals deficit increased to 5-1. Starter Mike Leake gave up two solo shots in his seven innings of work, one to second baseman Chase Utley and to left fielder Cody Bellinger.
Following Forsythe’s home run, Siegrist walked shortstop Corey Seager and served up a single to catcher Yasmani Grandal, before inducing a double play ground ball from first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.
Siegrist was then removed in favor of Jonathan Broxton.
Leake pushes through seven, but Cards trail 4-1
For Cardinals starter Mike Leake, four runs in seven innings is a relatively poor start.
The right-hander has been so good on the mound this season, as he led the majors in ERA entering Monday. Against the Dodgers, he was good again, but not as good as he’s been, allowing four runs in seven innings of work.
At the seventh-inning stretch, the Cardinals trailed the Dodgers 4-1.
It was just the first time all season Leake has given up four runs. His previous high was three runs on May 6 in Atlanta.
Leake had been on track to make his 10th quality start in 10 total starts, but gave up a run in the seventh when right fielder Yasiel Puig hit a sacrifice fly to left.
Cards scratch across run on Gyorko’s sac fly
The Cardinals finally got on the board in the bottom of the fourth, but have yet to record a hit.
Left fielder Tommy Pham worked a one-out walk and advanced to second on a pick-off attempt error. Matt Carpenter was then hit by a pitch, setting up a first and second, one out situation for third baseman Jedd Gyorko.
During Gyorko’s at-bat, the Cardinals executed a successful double steal, however. Gyorko then drove a fly ball to the warning track for a sacrifice fly, driving in Pham to cut the Dodgers’ lead to 3-1.
Catcher Yadier Molina ended the inning with a lazy flyout to left field.
Dodgers starter Rich Hill has not given up a hit despite allowing the run. He retired the first 10 batters to face him.
Rookie stud Bellinger takes Leake deep
Mike Leake had already given up a home run in the early goings Monday, and in the fourth he allowed another.
Dodgers rookie sensation and left fielder Cody Bellinger launched a solo shot in the top of the fourth to give the Dodgers a 3-0 lead. Bellinger’s blast was his 11th of the season — since his debut on April 25, he’s tied with the Angels’ Mike Trout with the most home runs in MLB.
After not allowing a home run in all of April, Leake has given up six in the month of May including the two Monday.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Cardinals got their first baserunner when Tommy Pham drew a one-out walk.
Leake serves up home run to Utley in third
Cardinals starter Mike Leake breezed through his first two innings of work, but ran into trouble in the top of the third.
Leake allowed a solo home run to Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley leading off the top of the third, as the visiting Dodgers took an early 1-0 lead. Then, after Yasiel Puig singled and advanced on a sacrifice bunt, shortstop Corey Seager drove him in with two outs to make it 2-0 Dodgers.
Utley’s shot was to straightaway right field and was his third of the season.
The Cardinals have yet to record a hit through the middle of the third inning, as Dodgers’ starter Rich Hill has tossed two perfect innings.
DeJong to make first major league start
Just one day after homering in his first major league at-bat, Cardinals rookie Paul DeJong will make his first career start.
DeJong is listed as the Cardinals’ starting second baseman for Monday’s Memorial Day matchup against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and he will bat seventh. Sunday was his first day on the major league roster, but utilityman Greg Garcia got the start against the Rockies.
Additionally, outfielder Randal Grichuk has been optioned to high Single-A Palm Beach. Jose Martinez has been activated from the DL in a corresponding move.
Dexter Fowler starts in center field as usual and Tommy Pham will get the start in left field.
PISCOTTY TO RETURN SOON
The hope for outfielder Stephen Piscotty is that he’s back with the team in a day or two, Mozeliak and manager Mike Matheny said.
Piscotty had left the Cardinals on Friday while they were in Denver to attend to a private family matter. As of now, he will not be placed on the bereavement list, Mozeliak said.
Matheny added that when Piscotty returns, outfielder Tommy Pham will continue to see playing time. Pham, Matheny said, has “earned the right to keep playing.”
The outfielder is hitting .224/.353/.337 with two home runs, 12 RBIs, and 11 runs scored on the season.
DUKE THROWS SIDE SESSION
Reliever Zack Duke threw a side session recently while rehabbing at the Cardinals’ facilities in Jupiter, Florida.
Duke had been throwing in St. Louis occasionally, but this session was his first down in Florida. The left-hander is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery that he underwent in October.
DODGERS’ WOOD TO DL
Dodgers’ left-hander Alex Wood was placed on the disabled list prior to Monday’s game, the team announced on Twitter.
Wood has inflammation in the SC joint in his left shoulder, and his DL stint is retroactive to May 27. The lefty had been slated to start against the Cardinals on Wednesday.
In eight starts (10 appearances), Wood was 6-0 with a 1.69 ERA and 60 srtikeouts.
Right-handed pitcher Brandon Morrow was called up to replace Wood on the MLB roster.
1. Dexter Fowler – CF
2. Tommy Pham – LF
3. Matt Carpenter – 1B
4. Jedd Gyorko – 3B
5. Yadier Molina – C
6. Aledmys Diaz – SS
7. Paul DeJong – 2B
8. Jose Martinez – RF
9. Mike Leake – P
1. Logan Forsythe – 3B
2. Corey Seager – SS
3. Yasmani Grandal – C
4. Adrian Gonzalez – 1B
5. Chris Taylor – CF
6. Cody Bellinger – LF
7. Chase Utley – 2B
8. Yasiel Puig – RF
9. Rich Hill – P