DETROIT — Thirteen wasn’t Johan Oviedo’s lucky number on Tuesday night.
Making his 13th career start, still searching for his first win, a wild throw by Oviedo ignited a six-run inning and sent the Tigers to the win over the Cardinals in Detroit.
With a runner on second and one out in a scoreless game in the fourth, Oviedo fielded a comebacker and tried to throw the runner out at third – but threw the ball over Nolan Arenado’s head all the way into the left field corner.
The three-base error was followed by back-to-back walks, a two-run double by the ninth-place hitter on an 0-2 pitch and a three-run homer.
“Untimely, clearly,” said manager Mike Shildt. “Big play that cracked open a big inning.
“This is why we get an opportunity to get experience, right?”
The Cardinals have now lost eight of their last nine games on the road and fell below .500 at 36-37 for the season.
Daniel Ponce de Leon took over for Oviedo but he had to come out of the game after facing just two hitters. He had discomfort in his right shoulder, similar to an injury earlier this season which forced him onto the injured list.
Here is how Tuesday night’s game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals had six hits, all singles. Paul DeJong reached base three times on a hit and two walks after going 3-of-32 since returning from the injured list … Both runs scored in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Lars Nootbaar, making his major-league debut, and an RBI single by Paul Goldschmidt … Nootbaar was hitless in his other three at-bats … Leadoff hitter Tommy Edman was 2-of-5 but extended his streak without drawing a walk to 85 at-bats, dating back to May 28.
On the mound: Oviedo had allowed just one hit and one walk through the first three innings, extending his scoreless streak to 10 innings, before running into the trouble in the fourth, when the Tigers sent 10 batters to the plate … Ponce de Leon got the final out of the inning but gave up a leadoff double in the fifth before coming out of the game. Andrew Miller allowed the inherited runner to score plus another run in the inning … Jake Woodford, Wade LeBlanc and Junior Fernandez all worked a scoreless inning.
Key stat: This was the 29th time in the Cardinals 73 games that they have scored two runs or less. Their record in those games fell to 6-23. They have scored two or less 11 times in their last 17 games since June 3.
Worth noting: To make room for Nootbaar on the roster, Lane Thomas was optioned to Memphis. Thomas had just five hits in 48 at-bats with one RBI. To open a spot on the 40-man roster, lefthanded pitcher Bernardo Flores Jr., currently at Memphis, was designated for assignment … Nootbaar became the seventh position player in franchise history to make his MLB debut hitting ninth. The four previous players had done it since 2015 – Stephen Piscotty, Patrick Wisdom, Randy Arozarena and John Nagowski … Harrison Bader, still rehabbing a broken rib, has moved his workouts to the Cardinals complex in Jupiter, Fla. Shildt said that will allow Bader to get more at-bats in game-like settings with the extended spring training program and then the Cardinals can decide if he needs more rehab games at either Springfield or Memphis before he re-joins the Cardinals. There is still no official timeline for his return from the injury, suffered on May 24 … Jordan Walker, the Cardinals top pick in last year’s amateur draft, homered for the third consecutive game Tuesday night for Class A Palm Beach. The 19-year-old Walker has hit six homers in 78 at-bats in his first pro season and has a .359 average.
Looking ahead: John Gant will get the start in Wednesday’s day game that will conclude the two-game series against the Tigers and the six-game road trip. The Cardinals return home on Thursday night to host the Pirates.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains