(Busch Stadium) In a game with a combined 27 hits, none was bigger than the grand slam off the bat of Lane Thomas to give the St. Louis Cardinals an 11-9 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates this afternoon.
“I put some good swings on earlier in that bat, was just under them a little bit so I thought if I got a good pitch to hit I could do a little damage with it,” Thomas said.
Thomas’s grand slam came in the 7th inning after Pittsburgh’s Kyle Crick gave up hits to Paul Goldschmidt and Marcell Ozuna and then hit both Yairo Munoz and Andrew Knizner with pitches.
With a 3-2 count, Lane turned on a fastball and sent it 410ft away into the visitor’s bullpen. It was his first career grand slam. Combined with an earlier RBI triple, Thomas drove in five RBIs, which also marks a personal best.
Prior to today, Thomas had made only one MLB start and had appeared in 19 games. Without the regular reps, he has done a lot of work hitting off the machines to “see some velo” and stay prepared.
“I think it’s been tough in the aspect of just getting your body like that,” Thomas said. “You start a game and it’s like you haven’t played that many innings in a row a lot. That’s been my main focus, just making sure my body feels good.”
Will a grand slam, RBI triple, and throwing a runner out at the plate earn him some more playing time?
“I hope so, but I’ll do whatever they ask,” Thomas said.
First baseman Paul Goldschmidt had 3 RBIs and reached base in all five of his at-bats on the day. He hit his 26th home run of the season, a two-run shot that traveled an estimated 441ft into the right-centerfield seats. Goldschmidt also stole third base in the 7th inning–his first stolen base of the season.
Outfielder Dexter Fowler added a 2-run homer in the 8th inning to finish off the St. Louis scoring.
Starter Miles Mikolas finished with a line of 5.0 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 5 ER, BB, 4 Ks, 2 HRs. He threw 94 pitches (63 strikes).
The win keeps St. Louis 2.0 games in back of Chicago in the NL Central.
MARTINEZ BANGED UP
–Outfielder Jose Martinez came out of the game before the top of the 5th inning with what as announced as right shoulder discomfort. An inning earlier, he caught a fly ball off the bat of Elias Diaz up against the wall.
“Yeah, it hit on the wall,” Martinez confirmed. “I think it’s going to be better. Nothing too serious. Will wake up tomorrow and see what’s going on.”
X-Rays or other imaging had not been taken. The catch looked innocent enough, but Jose shared he was still in pain as he spoke in the clubhouse.
“I almost stopped the game,” Martinez admitted. “Have to wait and see how it reacts tomorrow.”
–Pitcher Junior Fernandez made his MLB debut this afternoon. He opened the 6th inning and allowed two hits, two runs, and struck out two batters.