Cardinals 7, Diamondbacks 4
PHOENIX, May 29 — Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Seth Frankoff struggled early, hitting two St. Louis Cardinals batters in the first three innings while surrendering six runs. It eventually led to a 7–4 Cardinals victory, handing the struggling Diamondbacks their 13th straight loss. Cardinals left fielder Tyler O’Neill went 3-for-5 with two doubles, a home run, three RBI, and two runs scored to lead the charge.
Cardinals Whack Diamondbacks with Early Offensive Explosion
Frankoff hit Tommy Edman with the third pitch of the game, and it was mostly downhill from there for the host Diamondbacks. A one-out single by first baseman Paul Goldschmidt advanced Edman to second. Two batters later, veteran catcher Yadier Molina singled Edman home, giving the visitors a 1–0 lead.
More scoring came when the Cardinals batted around in the third. Edman led off with a single before center fielder Dylan Carlson hit an apparent double play grounder to second. Josh Rojas tried to throw the ball to Nick Ahmed, covering second, before he actually fielded the ball. The mental lapse cost the Diamondbacks a chance at the double play, though Rojas recovered the ball in time to throw Carlson out at first. After Goldschmidt walked and Frankoff plunked Nolan Arenado, Molina laced a two-run single to left. David Peralta’s errant throw home allowed Molina to advance to second as Arenado reached third.
Those two scored on a double by O’Neill, whose offensive prowess has tormented the Diamondbacks all series. O’Neill later scored on a grounder to second by Justin Williams, making the score 6–0. It became 7–0 in the top of the fifth on a solo homer by O’Neill.
Fighting Back but Coming Up Short
It seemed like the rout was on, but the Diamondbacks scored a pair of runs in both the fifth and the sixth to make a game of it. Pavin Smith led off the bottom of the fifth with a single and later scored on a home run by catcher Stephen Vogt. The sixth saw the Diamondbacks chase veteran starter Adam Wainwright out of the game after a walk by Eduardo Escobar, a double by Peralta, and a two-run single by Christian Walker, in his first game back from the injured list. Walker reached third on a single by Smith off left-handed reliever Genesis Cabrera. After Ahmed struck out, Vogt walked to load the bases.
Up came the pitcher’s spot. The pinch-hitter was the switch-hitting Domingo Leyba, who is 0-for-the-season. Only two other options existed — catcher Carson Kelly (.298 average) or lefty Josh Reddick (.248 average since 2018 against righties; .286 average since 2018 against lefties). Leyba flied to left, but it was not deep enough to score Walker from third. A full-count grounder to short by Rojas ended the inning with the bases left loaded but the gap narrowed to 7–4.
The bottom of the ninth saw a leadoff double by Rojas and a walk by Ketel Marte, bringing the tying run to the plate. A wild pitch put the runners on second and third. Escobar flied to left before David Peralta struck out. This brought up Walker, who ran the count full before ending the game with a strikeout.
After the game, Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said about using Leyba, “We had a couple of choices there. Carson was one; I just didn’t feel comfortable playing the last three innings without a backup catcher. I just felt like Leyba was going to put the bat on the ball. He was going to barrel the ball up and give us an opportunity to score a run there. Obviously, it didn’t work out.”
Lovullo also said that the Diamondbacks, after falling so far behind early, “couldn’t close that gap. We had some early opportunities — kept pounding, kept trying, but just didn’t execute some crucial situations offensively.”
Vogt expressed how frustrated the team is. “We’re in every game. We are right there — the tying run at the plate, the winning run at the plate. One play away, one hit away, one pitch away from winning these games, and just not getting it done. We’re frustrated, upset, not happy. Yet we’re a resilient, fighting group who never gives up. We don’t cave — we don’t fold. We’ll fight until the 27th out.” Vogt is confident that they “are going to break out, very soon. We feel that way every day.”
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Seth Frankoff, Tyler O’Neill, Tommy Edman, Paul Goldschmidt, Yadier Molina, Dylan Carlson, Josh Rojas, Nick Ahmed, Nolan Arenado, David Peralta, Justin Williams, Pavin Smith, Stephen Vogt, Adam Wainwright, Eduardo Escobar, Christian Walker, Genesis Cabrera, Domingo Leyba, Carson Kelly, Josh Reddick, Ketel Marte, Torey Lovullo