(BaseballStL) — The Cardinals went down hard in the ninth, fanning for all three outs. They slip to 54-47, and have a day off before going to Chicago.
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The Rays took a 3-0 lead in the ninth when Sam Freeman came in and struggled with command.
Jennings led off with a rope single into right, and Zobrist followed by drawing a walk. Brandon Guyer pushed the Tampa Bay advantage to three when he slapped a change up into shallow right, scoring Jennings and leaving two on for Evan Longoria.
Freeman recentered and found his control, striking Longoria out and getting James Loney to ground into an inning-ending double play.
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Tampa Bay plated another runner in the seventh when they got a free pass on what looked to be an inning-ending double play.
After Lance Lynn got a soft fly ball to left, Desmond Jennings singled. Ben Zobrist followed with a ground ball up the middle, but it skipped under Kolten Wong’s glove for an error. Instead of a double play to close Lynn’s night, he walked off with Zobrist on first and Jennings on third. The Cardinals brought in Randy Choate, and Joe Maddon countered by pinch-hitting for his three hitter with Brandon Guyer. The matchup didn’t end up mattering, as Choate plunked Guyer on the fourth pitch to load the bases.
Seth Maness was then tapped to try and end the inning, getting a sac fly to center and a groundout to end the inning with only one run of damage.
Rays lead 2-0.
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The Cardinals had their best chance of the game in the bottom of the sixth when Matt Carpenter doubled to open the frame.
Kolten Wong sacrificed him to third on a bunt down the left field line, putting the tying run 90 feet away.
Matt Holliday fouled off several pitches with two strikes, but eventually grounded to third baseman Evan Longoria. With the infield in, Carpenter was running all the way. Longoria fielded the ball and fired home, catching the Cardinal third baseman with ease for the second out.
Matt Adams followed with a grounder back to the mound, and the threat was over like that.
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Alex Cobb continued to dominate the Cardinal offense, striking out seven in three innings.
Matt Adams picked up a single following a Matt Holliday strikeout in the third, but was caught stealing for the second out.
Jhonny Peralta punched a grounder up the middle, making it safely after Ben Zobrist’s throw sailed wide.
Zobrist was moved to short after Yunel Escobar was tossed from the game for arguing the strike zone in the fourth. Unfortunately the Cardinals failed to string successes together, ending the attack with a Taveras pop up to center field.
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Lance Lynn didn’t seem as sharp to start the game, giving up a leadoff double and a walk in the first inning before being bailed out by a 6-4-3 double play to end the threat.
In the second, a one-out single by Yunel Escobar turned into the go-ahead run when pitcher Alex Cobb recorded his first MLB hit, a double down the right field line. It scored Escobar after he was left on second by Jose Molina’s strikeout.
It was the second night in a row a Rays pitcher picked up an RBI, and a nine-pitch walk to Kevin Kiermaier put two on with two out.
After getting ahead with two strikes, Lynn got Desmond Jennings to fly out to right.
Cobb had the opposite start to the game, picking up five strikeouts in two innings, and allowing only one hit, a single to Oscar Taveras.