(BaseballStL) – A home run from Yadier Molina and a two out, two RBI double from Jhonny Peralta gave the Cardinal’s offense the jolt they needed to beat the Dodgers. But the Cardinals defense stole the spotlight as they allowed the Redbirds to hold on to their two run lead through five innings of scoreless baseball to win the game.
The defensive dominance began in the second inning as the Dodgers had runners on second and third when a ball scooted away from Molina. A quick throw from Molina in the perfect spot for pitcher Carlos Martinez to tag the runner out resulted in squashing a run and a potential rally in the inning.
In the fourth inning, Allen Craig slid in right field to cut off a ball headed toward the wall from AJ Ellis. As Ellis saw Craig slide for the ball he rounded first and turned to second, but Craig’s bullet into Peralta cut Ellis down to keep the Dodgers off the bases. That served as just the sixth outfield assist on the year for the Cards, which ranks last in the NL.
“That’s one of the best plays we’ve ever seen Allen Craig make,” said manager Mike Matheny, “That’s a tough play for anybody, but he was just aggressive. I love that aggressiveness.”
Matheny then called up right hander Seth Maness to come up with an inning ending double play in the sixth. A hard ground ball from Adrian Gonzalez grazed off of Maness’ glove, slowing the ball down.
With Yasiel Puig barreling down on Peralta, he fielded the ball from the second base side of the bag, reached back with his foot and threw on to Matt Adams for the double play.
Running to the center field wall, Jon Jay dove to rob Juan Uribe of a possible double that would have scored Matt Kemp. On the next batter, Molina threw out Kemp as he attempted to swipe second base in the sixth inning – making that his 16th runner caught stealing on the season.
“Jay going back like he did. You’ve got Peralta making a plus play. All the way around,” Matheny chuckled as he described the impressive was his defense performed Friday, “Yadi coming up and making a nice throw, [Mark] Ellis staying on the tag. All those little things in games like this when we know we’re not going to stack too much offense.”