(Busch Stadium) After a slight adjustment on the mound, Austin Gomber threw a career high 7.0 innings as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Cincinnati Reds 12-5 on Friday night.
After a ground out by Billy Hamilton to start the 1st, Gomber allowed four consecutive singles. Pitching coach Mike Maddux went to the mound.
“He told me to keep attacking,” said Gomber. “When I came out in the beginning of the game, I wasn’t commanding the fastball how I’m used to commanding the fastball. You combine that with them being aggressive, they were able to get some early knocks. I think we kind of noticed that I wasn’t commanding the fastball as well so we went to the cutter a little bit more, try to get it in on guys and get some soft contact early.”
Gomber retired the next two hitters and then delivered six more scoreless innings.
He also came through with the bat, driving in the first two St. Louis runs on a double that went over the head of Billy Hamilton who had cheated in at centerfield.
“That’s probably the best swing I’ve taken my entire life,” said Gomber, who is now batting .500 (3-6) with 4 RBIs with runners in scoring position.
“There’s a lot of competition, we push each other, we work on it everyday,” he said of the starting rotation’s hitting prowess. “I wouldn’t say we’re doing anything specific, you guys see us out there every day. We hit everyday and we take it pretty serious. When we’re in the cage, we play games with each other, just competing all the time and I think it’s starting to show with what we’ve been able to do offensively.”
Matt Carpenter followed up Gomber’s double with his 35th home run of the season.
An inning later, Paul DeJong hit a 3-run shot and he came through again in the 8th inning with a single to drive in two more runs.
“Just trying to find my rhythm these last couple weeks,” he said. “I feel like I’ve been struggling a little bit. Just constantly working, trying to find my swing and find my rhythm. Today I felt like it showed up.”
The five RBIs is a single-game career high for DeJong.
Patrick Wisdom hit his 2nd career home run, an opposite field blast in the 8th inning.
This marks the fifth win in August for Gomber, making him the first Cardinals rookie to accomplish the feat since John Denny in 1975.
St. Louis is now 7-0 in games Gomber has started. The Cardinals also finished August with a record of 22-6, their best mark for the month since 1944.
photo credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports