ST. LOUIS — It seemed to be an obvious move, taking out a starter who had thrown 105 pitches in 6 2/3 innings to bring in a left-hander to face a left-handed batter who had not hit a home run against a lefty since 2017.
It may have seemed like the right move at the time Friday night, but it didn’t work.
Andrew Miller’s fourth pitch to Jake Lamb ended up in the seats in right field, breaking a 1-1 tie and sending the Diamondbacks to the win over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium as the season resumed after the All-Star break.
Miller, signed as a free agent over the winter because of his career success against lefthanded batters, has now allowed four homers to lefty’s in 58 at-bats this season. That matches his total against lefty’s for the last three seasons, in 178 at-bats.
The loss spoiled another quality start for Daniel Ponce de Leon, making the last-minute start in place of Adam Wainwright.
It also was another feeble night for the Cardinals’ offense, held to just four hits, one a home run by Matt Wieters in the fifth inning.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: Wieters homer, his sixth of the season, broke a 20-inning scoreless streak at home for the Cardinals, playing at Busch for the first time since June 26 … The Cardinals’ only other hit through the first seven innings was a single by Matt Carpenter, hitting fifth, in the second … In the seventh, Kolten Wong led off with a pinch-hit single, went to second on an error and later scored the unearned run on an infield single by Paul DeJong … Playing his first game against the Diamondbacks, Paul Goldschmidt was 0-of-4, striking out twice … Carpenter was 1-of-4, also striking out twice, in his first game back from the injured list.
On the mound: The only run allowed by Ponce de Leon came on a home run by Christian Walker with two outs in the fourth … The only other hits he allowed were singles in the first and fifth innings. He struck out seven, did not walk a batter and hit one batter … After the home run off Miller, John Gant got out of the seventh but gave up a two-run homer to Ketel Marte in the eighth … The three homers increased the total allowed by the Cardinals this season to 124. They gave up a total of 144 all last season.
Key stat: Ponce de Leon has now made eight career starts for the Cardinals and has an 0-2 record in those games. He lowered his ERA as a starter to 1.98 (nine earned runs in 41 innings) and in those starts has allowed only 24 hits while striking out 45. Four of those starts have come this season, all no decisions, in which he has allowed three earned runs in 21 2/3 innings (a 1.25 ERA) and just nine hits.
Worth noting: After being scratched from his start on Friday night because of back spasms, Wainwright could start as early as Sunday, according to manager Mike Shildt … Carson Kelly played his first game against the Cardinals on Friday night. It was his 63rd game for the Diamondbacks since last winter’s trade, exactly the number of games Kelly played for the Cardinals over parts of the last three seasons. With Arizona, Kelly has a .264 average with 10 homers and 28 RBIs. For the Cardinals, he hit .154 with no homers and 10 RBIs … Greg Holland allowed a walk and a wild pitch in the ninth but still earned the save for the Diamondbacks, his first at Busch Stadium since 2014 when he was with the Royals. He had none in 14 home games for the Cardinals at Busch last season … There were no last-minute signings before Friday’s deadline to come to terms with players selected in this year’s amateur draft. The Cardinals signed their top 18 picks and 31 of their top 34. Their highest drafted players who did not sign were 19th round choice Zarion Sharpe and 21st round pick Jake Owen, both college left-handed pitchers who can return to school for another season … Nolan Gorman hit his second home run for Palm Beach on Friday night, his 12th overall this season. He has eight RBIs in his last two games.
Looking ahead: Dakota Hudson will get the start on Saturday night in the second game of the series.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains