(BaseballStL) — The Cardinals would be unable to mount a comeback, as the Rays held on for a 6-3 win Wednesay.
Despite notching nine hits, the Birds stranded eleven runners to fall to 34-32. They have a day off to travel, then return home for a 10-game home stand.
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After a stellar sixth, Carlos Martinez began his second inning of work with an out. An infield single by Desmond Jennings followed, and then a walk from Kevin Kiermaier put two on.
Evan Longoria put more distance between the clubs when he singled to score a run, and the tally brought Randy Choate from the pen to relieve Martinez.
Choate got James Loney to fly out, but the ball was deep enough to score Kiermaier and extend the Tampa Bay advantage to 6-3. A Zobrist rocket to third was scored a single after it scorched Carpenter's arm, and Choate ceded his post to Seth Maness.
The sinker-baller induced a quick pop up to end the scoring, and handed things over to the offense.
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Following the lead change in the fourth, the Cardinals nearly reclaimed the advantage the following inning.
After Brad Boxberger came in in relief, the Cardinals worked a one-out single from Molina, then a hit batsman from Jon Jay and a 3-2 walk from Mark Ellis to load the bases.
With the bases loaded, Peter Bourjos ripped an 0-2 liner to right center, but was robbed of RBIs by Kevin Kiermaier.
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The marathon of offensive futility finally came to an end for the Tampa Bay Rays. After 31 scoreless innings, they plated two against starter Michael Wacha.
Back-to-back one-out singles by James Loney and Ben Zobrist put two aboard before the St. Louis hurler closed the Rays' window to one remaining out after David DeJesus lined to left.
Matt Joyce finally broke the scoreless spell when he singled into center to bring home Loney. Zobrist would follow when Bourjos mishandled the ball and was unable to send a meaningful throw home.
Wacha would walk the next two hitters to load the bases. He got Desmond Jennings down 0-2 before surrendering a single to lose the lead 4-3.
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Jon Jay continued to earn his keep in the lineup with another hit to start off the fourth. Ellis followed suit, and the two have combined for four of the eight hits for St. Louis.
Peter Bourjos followed with a bunt that resulted in Mark Ellis being thrown out at second, but put men on first and third.
Matt Carpenter pulled a ball into right field to score Jay and give the Cardinals a 3-0 lead. The runs would stop there as a strikeout and line out ended the volley.
Michael Wacha, who has not given up more than three runs all season, held the Rays scoreless through the first third of the game.
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Despite the slow-working Erik Bedard, the Cardinal bats had no trouble timing his offerings.
After Randal Grichuk flew out to the track and Matt Holliday singled sharply in the first, St. Louis got two on in the second with back-to-back singles. Both innings ended without a run, but Bedard’s pitch count reached 41 in two innings.
In the third, Matt Carpenter led off with a walk before two line outs nearly saved Bedard. After them, Allen Craig slapped a double down the third base line that fooled Evan Longoria into assuming it would go foul.
The hit put men at second and third for Yadier Molina who worked a 3-2 count before singling to right to score two runs.