After a lead-off triple last night, Dexter Fowler followed up with a pair of home runs and a single this afternoon to help the St. Louis Cardinals to a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“I didn’t, but after the second one I came in and everyone was still standing–it was awesome,” grinned Fowler, of the unexpected curtain call after his second blast.
After hitting just .132 with 16 strikeouts in his first 13 games, the outfielder credits a slight adjustment with his hands to help get back on track.
“My hands were in the wrong position, it was causing me a lot of problems,” shared Fowler, who noticed the difference when reviewing video. “I wasn’t seeing the ball real well. I was swinging at pitches I don’t usually swing at–that’s out of my character and it wasn’t comfortable.”
The win was the seventh straight for the Cardinals at home against Pittsburgh, dating back to July of last year. More importantly, their sweep reversed the same feat St. Louis had suffered against the Yankees in the prior series.
“It was awesome,” said Fowler. “The boys came back after getting beat like that in New York and then coming back and putting together some ABs, playing clean in the field, and the guys on the mound did their thing. It was a good team series and hopefully we carry it on.”
“It’s huge,” echoed Matt Carpenter. “To do it in those close games, where truthfully, we still haven’t swung the bats like we know we can. And outside of the last inning there, played good defense, pitched well. It was just a much better series for us. Hopefully, this will be the momentum we needed headed into the rest of the season.”
After making an error in the 8th inning which allowed Francisco Cervelli to reach base, Carpenter made up for it with a snag of a smash down the line and then beat Gregory Polanco to first for the final out of the inning.
Today’s start was his first since a ground ball smashed his finger on Sunday.
“It’s good,” Carpenter said. “It’s still pretty sore but nothing I can’t handle.”
–Michael Wacha finished the day with a line of 6.2 IP, 4 hits, 1 ER, 2 BBs, and 3 Ks. It was the eighth time in nine starts at home that Cardinals starters held opponents to two runs or less.
“I know that we like to pound the strike zone,” said Wacha. “Love the early outs. Love the early swinging and getting the miss hits. Just trying to attack the hitters and get that weak contact going.”
The performance lowered his 3.00 ERA to 2.41 for the season.