SAN FRANCISCO — If the Cardinals had their preference, seeing Nolan Arenado coming up to bat with the game on the line in the late innings likely would be at or near the top of their list of choices.
He was there Sunday – three times – but for one of the few times this season could not come through with a key hit as the Cardinals lost to the Giants in San Francisco.
The Cardinals were losing 3-2 when Arenado came up in the fifth inning following a two-out double by Paul Goldschmidt but grounded out to the pitcher. In the seventh, with the game tied at 3, Goldschmidt again doubled with two outs, and again Arenado grounded out.
Then in the ninth, down to their final out, Goldschmidt walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch to give Arenado another chance, but this time he struck out, completing an 0-of-5 day and a tough series.
Arenado was just 3-of-19 in the four games with one double and one RBI.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: Juan Yepez continued the hot start to his career with his first homer, a two-run shot in the second. He also reached on a single and a walk, and has nine hits in his first five games … The tying run scored in the sixth inning when Yepez walked, went to third on a double by Dylan Carlson and scored on Harrison Bader’s groundout … The Cardinals also got the would-be tying run to second in the eighth but Andrew Knizner struck out to end the inning … Combined the Cardinals were 0-of-9 with a runner in scoring position.
On the mound: Starter Dakota Hudson and four relievers combined to issue seven walks and did not record a strikeout until the final out of the eighth inning, the Giants last at-bat of the game. Hudson gave up a two-run homer to LaMonte Wade Jr. in the second … Mike Yastrzemski hit a homer into McCovey Cove off Genesis Cabrera in the sixth that turned out to be the difference in the game.
Key stat: Coming into the game Arenado was hitting .360 (9-of-25) with runners in scoring position, producing 13 RBIs. In the ninth inning, he had been 4-of-7, including two home runs.
Worth noting: The Cardinals homered in all four games of the series, the first time they have homered in four consecutive games in the same season in San Francisco since they homered in five games in a row in 1999 … Sunday’s game ended a stretch of 20 games in 20 days for the Cardinals, when they went 11-9. Monday’s day off will be the first for the Cardinals since April 18.
Looking ahead: The Cardinals are still hopeful that Adam Wainwright will be able to make his scheduled start on Tuesday night at home against Baltimore, but he still has to have two consecutive negative Covid tests before he can return to the roster.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains