DETROIT — Wednesday’s Game Report: Tigers 6, Cardinals 2
If Mike Shildt thought he had watched Wednesday’s game before, it’s because it looked eerily similar to many of the Cardinals’ games in the last three weeks.
For the second game in a row, the Cardinals manager saw a starting pitcher get in trouble early, an offense that failed to score more than two runs and another loss as the Tigers swept the two-game series in Detroit.
“Didn’t give the team a great chance to win today,” said starting pitcher John Gant.
The loss left the Cardinals with a 1-5 record on this trip to Atlanta and Detroit, both of whom have losing records, a 6-14 record in June and a season record that dropped to two games below .500 at 36-38.
The Cardinals scored 14 runs in the six games on the trip, but nine of them came in one game, their only win.
“We have a lot of guys who know how to win, we’re just not winning right now,” Shildt said. “We’ve got some guys who are figuring out what winning looks like … understanding the cause and effect of what we do. There’s no guarantees in this game which makes it wonderful and makes it super frustrating some days.
“We’re not doing some of the pillars required for us to win games. We’re not throwing consistent quality strikes and we haven’t been able to execute on offense. … It hasn’t been good enough recently. We have to pick it up.”
Here is how Wednesday’s game broke down:
At the plate: Lars Nootbaar started his second consecutive game, this time in right field, and tripled for his first major-league hit in the third inning, scoring on a single by Tommy Edman. Nootbaar became the first Cardinal with a triple for his first hit since Luis Alicea did it in 1988 … The first run had come on Nolan Arenado’s 14th homer of the season, leading off the second inning … The Cardinals had just four hits after the third inning and did not get a runner past second base … Edman drew a walk in the fifth, snapping a string of 89 at-bats since his last walk on May 28.
On the mound: Gant threw a first-pitch strike to just five of the 15 hittters he faced. He walked the first two hitters in both the second and third innings; he got out of the jam the first time but not the second, when a double by Jonathan Schoop tied the game. He then gave up a leadoff homer to Daz Cameron before coming out of the game in the fourth … Schoop also homered leading off the fifth, giving him six RBIs in the two games … The Tigers added runs in the sixth, off Genesis Cabrera, and in the eighth, off Alex Reyes, pitching for the first time in a week.
Key stat: In their 25 games since May 27, the Cardinals have just three wins from a starting pitcher – and all three have come from Adam Wainwright. The rest of the starters are a combined 0-11.
Worth noting: Dylan Carlson played travel ball over the summers with Detroit’s starting pitcher Matt Manning, who also grew up in Sacramento,Calif. The two played in the same Cap Ripken League when they were growing up … Daniel Ponce de Leon was placed on the 10-day injured list with right shoulder discomfort after coming out of Tuesday’s night’s game after facing only two batters. With Memphis playing at Toledo, just 50 miles from Detroit, it was easy to bring up Seth Elledge to take his spot on the roster despite Wednesday being a day game …
Looking ahead: Carlos Martinez, who has lost his last four starts, will get the starting assignment on Thursday night to begin a four-game series against the Pirates and a seven-game homestand at Busch Stadium.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains