The St. Louis Cardinals achieved a rarity on Thursday night in the 8-3 win over the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks by tallying 15 hits, all singles.
Outfielder Harrison Bader believes that type of production is not rare for his team.
“It shows the ability of this lineup to advance and beat our opposition in multiple ways,” said Bader, who went 2-for-3 with a walk, two runs and a stolen base. “When you string singles together, that applies a lot of pressure on the defense, and it applies pressure on the pitcher and catcher.
“That’s where we’re at right now as a lineup but we’re aggressive. We’re swinging at strikes and we’re taking the extra base when the game provides us an opportunity.”
Yadier Molina, a 39-year-old veteran catcher, even stole a base Thursday. It was the second of this season and 70th of his 19-year career.
Molina and longtime battery mate Adam Wainwright (2-2, 3.86 ERA) will be working together Friday in the second of a four-game series with the Diamondbacks.
Arizona is also starting a veteran — left-hander Madison Bumgarner (0-1, 1.00). Bumgarner and Wainwright, a right-hander, will each make their fifth start of the season.
Bumgarner, in his 14th season, is 4-6 with a 5.50 ERA in 13 starts against St. Louis in his career.
Wainwright, a 17-year veteran, is 11-5 with a 3.28 ERA in 15 starts — 18 games overall — against the Diamondbacks.
Arizona’s lineup was subdued Thursday by right-hander Dakota Hudson with no hits through the first five innings. The Diamondbacks’ bats showed signs of life in the eighth and ninth innings against reliever Aaron Brooks.
Pavin Smith belted his first home run of the season, a two-run shot in the eighth.
Nick Wittgren was forced to enter in the ninth inning after Arizona scored another run on Carson Kelly’s single.
“It’s always good to see as many arms as you can,” Smith said. “(The late rallies) give us a little momentum going into the next few days as well.”
Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado is playing in this series despite a suspension of two games and a fine for an undisclosed amount for his role in Wednesday’s bench-clearing fracas with the New York Mets.
Arenado appealed his suspension and was in the starting lineup Thursday. He recorded two hits. He is among the leaders in several National League offensive statistics this season, including a .382 batting average.
Cabrera served his suspension and was unavailable out of the Cardinals’ bullpen.
St. Louis pitcher Jack Flaherty, who has been out all season with right shoulder inflammation, was fined an undisclosed amount for participating in the dispute while being on the injured list.
Arizona left-handed reliever Tyler Holton, called up Thursday from Triple-A Reno along with right-hander Luis Frias, made his major league debut in Thursday’s loss. Holton pitched one inning and allowed two hits with a strikeout and no walks.
Frias was recalled from Reno while left-hander Tyler Gilbert was optioned to the Triple-A team to get work out of the bullpen, according to Arizona manager Torey Lovullo. Frias appeared in three games for Arizona last season, compiling a 2.70 ERA in three innings.
Holton, on the Diamondbacks’ taxi squad, was promoted after right-hander J.B. Wendelken was placed on injured list for an undisclosed reason.
–Field Level Media