Arenado, Mikolas Torment Diamondbacks, Lead Cardinals to Victory

Cardinals Diamondbacks

Cardinals 5, Diamondbacks 1

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PHOENIX, Aug. 19 — Nolan Arenado went 4-for-5 with three doubles and two RBI, giving Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas all the offense he needed as the St. Louis Cardinals thumped the Arizona Diamondbacks, 5–1, Friday night before 32,183 fans. Paul Goldschmidt and Yadier Molina added three hits each for the Cardinals.

The Cardinals got on the board in the top of the first. With two outs, first baseman and former Diamondback Paul Goldschmidt, still a beloved figure in the Phoenix area, belted a majestic no-doubt home run to the left-field bleachers. This was his 102nd home run in Chase Field, extending his lead on the all-time leaderboard. Third baseman Nolan Arenado followed with a double to the left-field corner, but a strikeout by designated hitter Albert Pujols left Arenado stranded.

The Cardinals did not have another baserunner until Arenado batted again in the fourth. In that, he hit his second double of the game, this time to right. Pujols, up next, took first after being hit by a pitch. But Henry kept the runners where they were, striking out second baseman Tommy Edman and shortstop Paul DeJong to end the threat.

Henry again ran into trouble in the fifth, giving up a leadoff single to Molina and a one-out single to center fielder Dylan Carlson. However, on the latter, the notoriously slow-footed Molina tried to go first-to-third. A strong throw by Diamondbacks center fielder Daulton Varsho and relay by shortstop Geraldo Perdomo combined to gun Molina down at third. When left fielder Tyler O’Neill followed with a grounder to short, Henry escaped with no damage.

Cardinals Take Advantage of Diamondbacks Miscues

Diamondbacks reliever Kevin Ginkel, who stranded Goldschmidt at third with a strikeout and flyball out in the sixth, took the hill for the seventh. After locking up Paul DeJong on a called third strike, Ginkel surrendered a single to left by Molina and walk to right fielder Lars Nootbaar. With two on, Carlson hit a shallow fly to left. Stone Garrett, in his third major league game and first at Chase Field, charged hard to make a play. He slid, seemingly unnecessarily, and missed the catch. The ball landed nearby. Molina ran hard to third, but Garrett had plenty of time to make the throw for the force.

Except Garrett didn’t realize he had that much time. Consequently, he rushed the throw. It went well wide of third, giving Molina a reprieve. Instead of two outs and runners on first and second, the Cardinals now had the bases loaded with one out. A foul popup to the catcher by O’Neill made for the second out, bringing up Goldschmidt. He hit a liner back to the mound. It hit Ginkel and rolled toward third, where no one could arrive in time to make a play on any runner. Molina scored, making it a 2–1 game. Arenado drove the dagger in with a follow-up double, scoring both Nortbaar and Carlson as Goldschmidt reached third. That brought in Edwin Uceta, who — after a passed ball allowed Goldschmidt to score — struck out Pujols to stop the bleeding.

Mikolas Gives Diamondbacks Fits

Meanwhile, Mikolas foiled Diamondbacks hitters at every turn. Through the first seven innings, the Diamondbacks had only managed three baserunners. The first two came in the fourth, a two-out double by second baseman Josh Rojas and a follow-up walk by designated hitter Christian Walker. A two-out hit-by-pitch in the sixth, with first baseman Emmanuel Rivera on the business end, accounted for the third.

The Diamondbacks finally got on the board in the eighth. Third baseman Sergio Alcantara led off with a double to right-center and advanced to third on a foul fly to right by catcher Carson Kelly. Shortstop Geraldo Perdomo plated Alcantara on a hard groundout to first with the pitcher covering. A fine play by Goldschmidt kept this from getting down the line, potentially saving an extra-base hit. When Alcantara crossed the plate, this finalized the scoring at 5–1 Cardinals.

Postgame Reflections

“We talk about our young players growing up and maturing and getting that experience, this was a good day for Tommy,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “But bottom line is, we didn’t win the game. He handed it off to the bullpen, and things got a little sloppy in the seventh inning. We didn’t play our typical baseball. And it costs us four runs. I think that was a difference in the game. Then we have a pitcher (Mikolas) who was throwing the ball pretty well and limiting us to one hit. It just turned out to be a long night for us offensively. But we rallied. Made some noise there in the last inning, just couldn’t get that big hit at the right time.”

One highlight for Henry was striking out Pujols, a surefire Hall of Famer who made his debut when Henry was a three-year-old. This was something Henry never could have imagined while growing up. “That was pretty cool,” he said. “Even the respect the fans gave him before the at-bat… Got a little head nod as he was stepping into the box — those things I’ll remember forever. It was cool to come out on the positive side of that at-bat.”

Looking Ahead

Mikolas (10–9) earned the win with his eight-inning, two-hit day of one-run ball, while Henry (2–2) took a tough loss. The Cardinals (67–51) and Diamondbacks (55–64) square off again Saturday evening in the second game of their three-game series. Dakota Hudson (6–6, 4.17 ERA) and Madison Bumgarner (6–12, 4.37 ERA) will start for the Cardinals and Diamondbacks, respectively, in a righty-lefty matchup. First pitch will be at 5:10 pm Arizona Time.

Main Photo Credits:

PHOENIX, Aug. 19 — St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jordan Hicks throws a pitch to Christian Walker of the Arizona Diamondbacks as Emmanuel Rivera leads off third in the bottom of the ninth inning at Chase Field. The Cardinals won, 5–1. (Photo by Evan Thompson)

Players/managers mentioned:

Nolan Arenado, Miles Mikolas, Paul Goldschmidt, Yadier Molina, Albert Pujols, Tommy Edman, Paul DeJong, Dylan Carlson, Daulton Varsho, Geraldo Perdomo, Kevin Ginkel, Lars Nootbaar, Stone Garrett, Edwin Uceta, Josh Rojas, Christian Walker, Emmanuel Rivera, Sergio Alcantara, Carson Kelly, Torey Lovullo, Dakota Hudson, Madison Bumgarner, Jordan Hicks