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St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Miles Mikolas pitches in the fifth inning during a game between the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on Wednesday, July 31, 2019. Photo by David Carson, email@example.com
Lane Thomas' grand slam with two outs in the seventh changed the game as the Cardinals rallied from an 8-4 deficit to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 11-9 and complete a three-game sweep before a crowd of 43,912 on Sunday afternoon at Busch Stadium.
The Cardinals, who beat the Pirates 6-2 Friday and 3-1 Saturday, will take Monday off before beginning a two-game series in Kansas City against the Royals on Tuesday.
"I knew he didn't want to walk me and figured eventually he'd throw me a fastball,'' Thomas said after hitting his third home run and driving in his 10th run for the Cardinals this season. "I just tried to get ready for it and make a good swing.
"For the most part, my role lately has been defense and that's something I've been working on with (coach and former Cardinal outfielder Willie McGee)."
Earlier the game, Thomas narrowly missed on a diving catch in center.
"“So close, man," he said. "I think I'm going to have the trainers tighten up the front of the glove. It was so close...."
Pittsburgh's Pablo Reyes homered to lead off the ninth.
The Cardinals added to their lead in the eighth inning, getting a single from Tommy Edman and a two-run homer from Dexter Fowler.
"Got the 3-0 green light and made it work,'' Fowler said of his 13th homer of the season. "Only played half the game (coming on when Jose Martinez left with an injured shoulder).
"We don't feel like we're ever going to quit. I always believe that if we're hitting last, we've got a chance..."
After eight innings, the Cardinals are up 11-8.
The Cardinals took the lead with a five-run seventh inning.
After one-out hits from Paul Goldschmidt and Marcell Ozuna, Yairo Munoz and Andrew Knizner were hit by consecutive pitches by Pittsburgh reliever Kyle Crick forcing in a run to cut the lead to 8-5.
Lane Thomas then hit a 3-2 pitch into the Pirates' bullpen for a grand slam that put the Cardinals on top 9-8
The Pirates added to their lead in the sixth inning, picking up a pair of runs on a two-out bloop single from Adam Frazier.
Through seven innings, Pittsburgh leads 8-4.
The Cardinals loaded the bases in the seventh on hits from , thanks to hits from
Against rookie Junior Fernandez, Pittsburgh got hits from Colin Moran and Erik Gonzalez and a pair of strikeouts. With two on and two out, Fernandez was replaced by Tyler Webb, who gave up a two-out, two-run bloop single to Pittsburgh leadoff hitter Adam Frazier.
First baseman Josh Bell put the the Pirates back on top 6-4 with a two-run homer with two outs in the fifth.
The blast, his second of the game, came a hitter after Bryan Reynolds walked. It was his second two-run shot of the day and his fifth multi-homer game of his career. All five have come this season.
Bell now has 29 homers and 93 RBIs this season.
The Cardinals tied it 4-4 n the fourth inning. After Paul DeJong led off with a walk, he came around to score the tying run on a two-out triple to right by Lane Thomas.
Right fielder Jose Martinez (right shoulder discomfort) was replaced at the end of the fourth inning and replaced by Dexter Fowler.
Pittsburgh regained the lead in the third inning, coming up with a pair of runs.
With one out, Bryan Reynolds doubled off the wall in right. After Starling Marte was hit by pitch, Josh Bell singled to right, where the Cardinals' Jesus Martinez overran the ball, allowing a run to score on the error.
Pittsburgh's lead moved to 4-2 when Marte scored on Melky Cabrera's grounder to second.
In the bottom of the third, the Cardinals got a run back when Tommy Edman bunted for a hit with one out, stole second and took third when the throw went into center. He scored on a two-out single by Paul Goldschmidt.
The Pirates jumped on top early. But the Cardinals came right back to tie it.
After Adam Frazier led off the game with a single, Bryan Reynolds followed with a shot to the gap in right-center. Lane Thomas, the Cardinals' center fielder, made a diving attempt but was unable to make the play.
With runners at second and third and none out, Starling Marte hit a fly ball to shallow center and Thomas responded by making the catch and firing a strike to catcher Andrew Knizner to cut down Frazier and complete the double play.
Josh Bell followed with a two-run homer to right. it was his 28th round-tripper of the season.
In the bottom of the inning, after a one-out walk to Jose Martinez, Paul Goldschmidt ripped a 1-2 pitch 441 feet into the bleachers in right-center to tie the game at 2. It was Goldschmidt's 26th homer of the season.
Lane Thomas had two hits, including the grand slam, and drove in five for the Cardinals, who also got a four-hit game from Paul Goldschmidt, who hit a two-run homer in the first and drove in another run in the third. Tommy Edman had a three-hit game for the Redbirds. Dexter Fowler, who came off the bench to replace injured Jose Martinez, hit a two-run homer in the eighth.
Marcell Ozuna also had a two-hit game for the Cardinals, who came on strong in the later innings to outhit the Pirates 14-13 in the game.
The Pirates were led by Josh Bell, who had three hits, including a pair of two-run homer runs. Pittsburgh received a three-hit game from Bryan Reynolds and Colin Moran while Adam Frazier (two RBIs) and Bryan Reynolds had two-hit games. Melky Cabrera drove in the other Pirates' run.
MIKOLAS STARTS FOR CARDINALS
Coming off a rugged 0-5 road trip, the Cardinals will look to complete a three-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates when the teams wrap up their weekend series at Busch Stadium Sunday.
The Cardinals, who won 6-2 Friday and 3-1 Saturday, began Sunday as the third-place team in the NL Central, trailing the Chicago Cubs by two games and 1/2 game behind the Milwaukee Brewers.
Righthander Miles Mikolas (7-12, 3.94) gets the start Sunday against Pittsburgh lefty Steven Brault (3-1, 4.09). Mikolas has been solid since the All-Star Break, posting a 2.18 ERA over his last five starts.
Brault has been similarly impressive since rejoining the Pirates' rotation, posting a 2.21 ERA over his last eight starts.
The Cardinals' Sunday lineup has a different look, with Tommy Edman leading off and playing second and Jose Martinez in right field and hitting second. Third baseman Yairo Munoz is hitting sixth, followed by catcher Andrew Knizner and center fielder Lane Thomas.
ROTATION SET FOR ROYALS
The Cardinals announced that righthanders Jack Flaherty and Dakota Hudson would be the starting pitchers Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, in Kansas City.
“Jack on six days and Dak on five,” manager Mike Shildt said. “You start to map it out as we go, as the season's time frame gets a little shorter. It's the best way we looked at to manage it.”
The team also expects catcher Yadier Molina back in the lineup for the series in KC. Molina is schedule to play his final rehab game on Sunday.
With solid starts from Dakota Hudson Friday and Adam Wainwright Saturday and a day off Monday, the Cardinals enter Sunday's game with all sorts of bullpen options, if needed.
“Bullpens are, you know, there are twists and turns to them,'' Shildt said. “As Mad Dog (pitching coach Mike Maddux) says, sometimes it can be a flood and sometimes it can be a drought. The days off help, three of the last four starts being solid, it keeps everything fresh.”
Shildt continued: “Everyone has their own version of creativity, right? I think we've been fairly creative in how we've done it and how we used the bullpen. And we continue to challenge ourselves to look at it and present the best opportunity to eliminate the other team from scoring.”
With that in mind, it creates a problem with newcomer Junior Fernandez.
“We'd like to get Junior in a game,'' the manager said. “The reality is, when you have guys going deep _ and this isn't a minor-league setting _ the guy's not going to get work just to get work. We've had four one-run games since he's been here. Guys have done really good jobs pitching in those situations. There's a situation for everybody and some days those situations change. We've been fortunate that we've had guys who've done a really good job for us have been available to pitch. And that opportunity hasn't been presented to Junior. Does he need to get on the mound and pitch? Yes. Are we going to do it in a one-run game or a tie game just for the sake of doing it? No. That's not fair to him or us.”
Fernandez, a 22-year-old righthander, has risen quickly this season. He struck out 11 in 11 2/3 innings at Palm Beach before vaulting to Class AA for 18 games, and then swiftly up to Memphis. Overall this season, he has a 1.47 ERA and 11 saves in 12 chances. In 61 1/3 innings, he’s allowed fewer baserunners (70) than he has strikeouts (76).
Tommy Edman, 2B
Jose Martinez, RF
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
Marcell Ozuna, LF
Paul DeJong, SS
Yairo Munoz, 3B
Andrew Knizner, C
Lane Thomas, CF
Miles Mikolas, P
Adam Frazier, 2B
Bryan Reynolds, RF
Starling Marte, CF
Josh Bell, 1B
Melky Cabrera, LF
Colin Moran, 3B
Elias Diaz, C
Erik Gonzalez, SS
Steven Brault, P
After Sunday's game, the Cardinals will get a day off Monday before embarking on a road trip that includes Tuesday and Wednesday games in Kansas City against the Royals before a four-game set in Cincinnati against the Reds.