(Busch Stadium) The St. Louis Cardinals snapped a five-game losing streak as Paul Goldschmidt and Marcell Ozuna combined to drive in three runs in the 8th inning for 6-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“It was a sinker, 3-1, I was hoping to swing and I got it,” said Ozuna, who hit his 22nd home run of the season after Goldschmidt had driven in Dexter Fowler. “I hit it well, but good backspin.”
Reliever Carlos Martinez picked up the win, throwing the final 1.1 innings of the game. Starter Dakota Hudson was pinch-hit for in the bottom of the 4th inning.
“So there’s really four components to that decision,” Mike Shildt explained. “No particular order–the first thing was he was dealing with a little something. It wasn’t a big deal. It wouldn’t have prevented him from continuing. We went out and checked him in the second, with his finger. Not necessarily a blister just something that had kind come open. He had skin underneath. It wasn’t at all–he wasn’t even concerned about throwing another pitch. He was kind of incredulous that we came out there, but there was something there.
“And then after that, ball was up. They were getting some swings going. Usually can be patient and will be patient typically, but that lineup was about to turnover. Bell and Marte both have numbers on him. Bell had taken two good swings prior to that and he was coming up. Didn’t want anybody on in front of him and then have to go.”
“I don’t have anything going on,” Hudson said. “I didn’t have anything going on–I was fine. So I don’t know. If that’s the reason, whatever.”
At that point, Hudson had allowed two earned runs but only thrown 49 pitches.
“Third reason, we had a bullpen that was very fresh,” Shildt continued. “That’s really what it boiled down to the most. We had guys, based on the quality starts from Miles and Jack and the day off, we had completely fresh bullpen of guys that could throw.”
Tyler Webb, John Brebbia, Andrew Miller, and Martinez did not allow a run in their 5.0 innings of work.
“And the last component, we got some damage out there,” Shildt finished. “First and second with two out, we had a dangerous hitter (Jose Martinez) that we like to have up there with people on base. We took our shot to try and score–something we hadn’t done as much, but thankfully did in the eighth.”
This is the third consecutive game that Dakota Hudson has not pitched more than 4.0 innings in a game. It was also the first time in six games the Cardinals scored more than three runs.
“I understand the situation,” Hudson said. “I don’t make the calls on it and leave that up to him. I’m just out there to make pitches and just didn’t want me out there I guess after that. Just there to do what I can and that was my time to come, my time to be done.”
The outing also marked the first game Hudson has started in which he did not strike out at least one batter.
“I felt like I was executing pitches,” Hudson said. “Bell hit two balls hard, but besides that I felt like Osuna cheated to an inside sinker and put a good swing on it but got jammed up a little bit. Weak contact, you know. I felt like I was making good pitches. Good spot.”
The win was the 100th of Shildt’s managerial career and the Cardinals gained a game in the NL Central on the Chicago Cubs, who lost to Cincinnati.
photo credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports