Struggling Cards' offense breaks out against Cubs

Struggling Cards' offense breaks out against Cubs

Credit: Getty Images

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL12: Matt Carpenter #13 of the St. Louis Cardinals scores a run against John Baker #12 of the Chicago Cubs in the fourth inning at Busch Stadium on April 12, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)


by Elizabeth Eisele / BaseballStL | @ElizEisele

Posted on April 12, 2014 at 3:35 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 14 at 5:04 AM

(BaseballStL) – Baseball players can have weird superstitions, wearing lucky, dirty socks or eating the same pregame meal. While playing home games on Saturday in the alternate jersey, the Redbirds seem to have started a new superstition, scoring 84 runs in 13 games in 2013. The scoring onslaught would continue into 2014 as the Cards added another 10 runs this Saturday at Busch Stadium.

Adam Wainwright started shaky giving up a first pitch home run to Junior Lake, however he was able to retire the next three batters.

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The Cards would respond with their own homer in the bottom of the second from Matt Adams, his first of the season, just over the right field wall. Yadier Molina would add an infield single followed by a base hit to right field from Allen Craig. Craig’s hit, only his fifth of the season, was his first hit in five days. Daniel Descalso, starting in place of Jhonny Peralta, would find his first hit of the season, scoring Molina.

"Nice to get some runs, especially for Adam," said manager Mike Matheny, "and let him do his thing."

Wainwright would help himself as he took an 0-2 pitch past the shortstop to score Craig.

The first challenge at Busch Stadium came in the third inning when Jon Jay hit an apparent infield single and was called safe at first. However, Cubs manager Rick Renteria challenged the call on the field and the umpires overturned it, taking away both the hit and the run, ending the inning.

The Cubs would then threaten with two base runners in the fourth, Anthony Rizzo singled followed by a double from Nate Schierholtz. Wainwright was then able to get Ryan Sweeney to strike out on a 3-2 count. Rizzo then scored on a ground ball out from Starlin Castro, but Wainwright would leave Schierholtz on base by getting Darwin Barney to strike out.

In the bottom half of the fourth, the Redbirds would throw up another crooked number scoring 5 runs on 4 hits. Wainwright laid down a sacrifice bunt following a Descalso double, but instead of taking the out at first the Cubs chose to try to get the lead runner. Descalso was able to beat the throw and then scored on a Carpenter single.

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Matheny was impressed with Descalso's ability to produce in the line-up, despite his lack of playing time.

"He's done a nice job without much time out there," Matheny said, "They [Descalso and Jay] both looked sharp. Danny stepped in and did a great job, once again, without a whole lot of repetition."

The inning continued to go south from the Cubs with a passed ball and another questionable decision from the Cubs defense. While trailing 6-2, Cub’s third baseman Luis Valbuena decided to throw home on Holliday’s ground ball, but was too late to catch Carpenter.

With no outs recorded yet in the fourth, Renteria lifted starter Carlos Villanueva for Chris Rusin who was able to get two outs before Jay added another two RBIs on an opposite field single. Villanueva’s afternoon didn’t last long with 3.0 innings giving up 9 earned runs on 10 hits with only 2 strike outs

The Cubs would continue to chip away at Wainwright as he gave up two doubles in the sixth scoring two runs, but the Cards would get one run back in the bottom of the inning when they capitalized on a lead-off double from Holliday and hold onto a multi-run lead.

Wainwright finished with 7 innings allowing only 4 runs on 7 hits and striking out 8 batters. An offense that's been struggling to score runs, put together two big innings after a tough extra innings loss Friday night.

"You see certain line-ups work," Matheny added, impressed with the large amount of runs, "Obviously today was a great representation. I think that's the kind of team we have. We can throw up a huge offensive production at just about any time."

The rubber match of the series pits Redbirds young gun Michael Wacha against former Cardinal Edwin Jackson at 1:15 p.m.