Matt Carpenter and Harrison Bader on Saturday hit run-scoring singles during St Louis’ two-run ninth inning, leading the Cardinals to a 3-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds and a sweep of their day-night doubleheader.
“I think the big thing is being in control of my emotions in that situation, and having been in that spot before and just taking a good swing,” Carpenter said. “Having a competitive at bat in that spot and not let the moment get to you.”
Each of the Cardinals’ four batters reached in the ninth inning. Tommy Edman singled and Yadier Molina was hit by a pitch from Raisel Iglesias (2-11) before Bader tied the game at 2 apiece with a single to left field.
“Everybody in here that’s got a locker has contributed in a big way,” Carpenter said. “There’s no one here that is just taking up space and that’s rare. On a big league team, there’s usually a couple of guys who are just around. That’s not the case here.”
Kevin Gausman then came in, and Carpenter’s pinch-hit single drove in Molina for the dramatic victory.
The Cardinals (75-59) improved to 8-1 in their past nine games and moved two games ahead of the second-placed Chicago Cubs in the National League (NL) Central Division.
Dakota Hudson led the Cardinals to a 10-6 victory in the opener, striking out eight in a career-high 7-2/3 innings. Dexter Fowler and Yadier Molina homered, while Kolten Wong and Paul Goldschmidt each had two hits and two RBIs.
“Just trying to attack,” Hudson said. “We’ve got two doubleheaders coming up, so trying to do as much as I could and get as deep into the game as I could. That was just part of my plan.”
The Cardinals and the Reds played another doubleheader yesterday after the series opener was postponed by rain. Saturday’s doubleheader was needed after rain washed out their game on June 5.
The NL Central leaders and the Reds also play afternoon games today against different opponents.
The Cardinals’ Hudson (14-6) allowed four runs and four hits, while pitcher John Gant (10-0) got the win in the second game after he escaped a bases-loaded jam in the ninth inning.
In the nightcap, the Reds wasted a terrific performance by Sonny Gray, who allowed an unearned run and five hits in 6- 2/3 innings.
“I very easily could have given up four or five runs,” Gray said. “The plays that we made were really game-saving plays, at least three of them. The outfield made some great catches and some great plays. I’ve just got to try and keep going.”
The Reds’ Josh VanMeter drove Michael Wacha’s first pitch of the game over the wall in right field, and Joey Votto went deep in the third inning for his first homer since coming off the injured list on Tuesday last week.
However, that was it for the Reds against Wacha, who struck out seven in seven innings, matching his longest outing of the season.
“I know what kind of stretch we’re on here for the next few days with the doubleheaders and stuff,” Wacha said. “I was just trying to go as deep as I could and keep that pitch count down, and keep attacking hitters.”
Reds right-hander Trevor Bauer (10-12) pitched just four innings in the opener. He was charged with six runs and seven hits.
Eugenio Suarez hit his 39th homer for the Reds, while Tucker Barnhart had two hits and three RBIs.
Also on Saturday, it was:
‧ Tigers 10, Twins 7
‧ Nationals 7, Marlins 0
‧ Rays 9, Indians 6
‧ Braves 11, White Sox 5
‧ Mets 6, Phillies 3
‧ Yankees 4, Athletics 3
‧ Blue Jays 6, Astros 4
‧ Brewers 2, Cubs 0
‧ Angels 10, Red Sox 4
‧ Royals 7, Orioles 5
‧ Diamondbacks 6, Dodgers 5
‧ Rangers 3, Mariners 2
‧ Pirates 11, Rockies 4
‧ Padres 4, Giants 1
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