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Saturday’s Game Report: Cardinals 6, Dodgers 5

In the first calendar year in the majors, Gorman hit 27 homers, drove in 74 runs and posted a .251 average in 131 games.
Credit: AP
St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Giovanny Gallegos celebrates after striking out Los Angeles Dodgers' Mookie Betts for the final out of a baseball game Saturday, May 20, 2023, in St. Louis. The Cardinals won 6-5. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

ST. LOUIS — It was exactly one year ago that Nolan Gorman found himself playing in his first game in the major leagues, starting at second base for the Cardinals in Pittsburgh.

Gorman celebrated that anniversary in a big way on Saturday night.

Gorman broke a 3-3 tie with a three-run homer in the eighth inning, his 13th of the season, to propel the Cardinals to the win over the Dodgers at Busch Stadium.

The homer came off a left-handed pitcher, the second time Gorman has done that in the last three days after getting only a few opportunities to hit against lefthanders in the first six weeks of the season.

Gorman’s 13 home runs is tied for third in the National League; his 39 RBIs rank second and his 1,031 OPS also is the second highest in the league. He is hitting .302, which ranks eighth.

One more stat – Gorman turned 23 just 10 days ago.

In the first calendar year in the majors, Gorman hit 27 homers, drove in 74 runs and posted a .251 average in 131 games.

Here is how Saturday night’s game broke down:

At the plate: The Cardinals built an early 3-0 lead on an RBI single by Willson Contreras in the first and a run-scoring double from Alec Burleson and a sacrifice fly from Lars Nootbaar in the second … The Cardinals only had two hits between the third and seventh innings, singles by Nolan Arenado and Gorman that extended both of their hitting streaks to 11 games … In the eighth, Tommy Edman led off with a double and after Nootbaar struck out, Paul Goldschmidt was intentionally walked to bring up Gorman, who had made his first start of the season against a lefthander on Thursday night. Gorman hit a 1-1 pitch into the seats in right, his ninth multiple-run homer of the season.

On the mound: Miles Mikolas did not allow a hit until Freddie Freeman doubled with one out in the fourth. He pitched around two hits in the fifth, but then gave up singles to Mookie Betts and Freeman to begin the sixth before serving up the homer to Martinez, his former college teammate at Nova Southeastern (Fla.) University. Mikolas then retired six more hitters in order, completing the seventh … Ryan Helsley worked around a hit batter in the eighth, but gave up a double, single and another double in the ninth that produced one run … Giovanny Gallegos relieved and got the final three outs, with a sacrifice fly scoring the second run of the inning, before stranding the would-be tying run on second by throwing a called strike three past Betts to end the game.

Key stat: Of Gorman’s 13 homers this season, six have come in either the eighth or ninth inning, the most in the major leagues. Seven of his homers have come with the game tied.

Worth noting: Mikolas became only the second starter this season for the Cardinals to retire the first six batters he faced in order. The only other game when that happened was on April 8, by Jordan Montgomery, at Milwaukee … The home run by Martinez was the 26th allowed by the Cardinals with two strikes this season, tied for the second most in the majors. It was the fourth off Mikolas with two strikes, out of the team-leading eight homers he has given up … Dakota Hudson was activated off the injured list at Memphis and will get the start on Sunday, his first appearance since April 19.

Looking ahead: Jack Flaherty, coming off his best start since 2019, will pitch the final game of the series on Sunday, with Clayton Kershaw scheduled to start for the Dodgers.

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