ST. LOUIS — Admittedly, what the Cardinals have done the last three games is not a formula that manager Mike Shildt endorses.
Except for the winning part.
The Cardinals gave up three more home runs on Tuesday night against the Brewers but were able to hang on for their fourth consecutive victory when Orlando Arcia lined into a game-ending double play.
It’s only the fourth time in franchise history the Cardinals have allowed three or more home runs in three consecutive games, and the first time they have managed to win all three of those games.
The Cardinals broke a 2-2 tie with two runs in the eighth on a leadoff homer from Paul DeJong and Yadier Molina’s second RBI of the night on his second double, which provided what proved to be the margin of victory after Travis Shaw hit his second homer of the game leading off the ninth against Jordan Hicks.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: DeJong’s homer was his fifth of the season and combined with a double in the fifth helped him raise his season average to .337. More than half of his 32 hits (17) have gone for extra bases – 11 doubles, 1 triple and five homers … Molina had three hits and also stole his first base of the season, as did Matt Carpenter. Carpenter’s swipe of second set up an RBI single by Paul Goldschmidt that put the Cardinals ahead 2-1 in the fifth … Molina extended his current hitting streak to 11 games and Goldschmidt now has a 10-game streak … Jose Martinez was on base three times with two singles and a walk.
On the mound: Daniel Ponce de Leon made the start in place of the injured Michael Wacha and for about 15 minutes was in line for his first major-league victory. That was the time between Goldschmidt’s RBI single and a game-tying home run hit by Shaw off John Gant with two outs in the sixth, taking away the would-be win. Ponce de Leon allowed just two hits over his five innings, including another home run. He walked three and struck out seven … Andrew Miller picked up his first win for the Cardinals by retiring the Brewers in order in the eighth, including striking out Christian Yelich to begin the inning and Ryan Braun to end it … The home run off Hicks was the first run he has allowed since the fourth game of the season … The Cardinals have now allowed a league-high 45 homers in their 23 games.
Key stat: In the last three games the Cardinals have allowed a combined 17 hits, 11 of which have been home runs. Ten of those homers came with no runners on base. The last time the Cardinals allowed three or more home runs in three consecutive games was in 2000 and they lost all three games.
Worth noting: After another bullpen session and a conversation, a decision was made Tuesday to put Carlos Martinez on a plan to be brought along as a reliever, said manager Mike Shildt. The decision was based primarily on the fact that Martinez has had trouble “sustaining intensity” toward the end of his bullpen seasons and projections are that he would have trouble trying to build up to a starter’s workload of between 80 and 100 pitches. Even working as a reliever, Martinez is still probably close to a month away from being ready to join the Cardinals’ roster … Reliever Luke Gregerson left St. Louis for Springfield on Tuesday and will pitch out of the Double A team’s bullpen for the rest of the week, being used on an as-needed basis instead of knowing in advance when he will pitch. If there are no issues Gregerson could join the Cardinals next week in Washington, D.C. … Tyler O’Neill is expected to play three games in Springfield and be activated from the injured list on Friday. He was hitless in three at-bats in his first game Tuesday night, striking out twice … The Cardinals expect to activate Harrison Bader before Wednesday’s game.
Looking ahead: Adam Wainwright will get the start on Wednesday in the final game between the Cardinals and Brewers until Aug. 19. The game is scheduled for 12:15 p.m.