The bad news: it wasn’t a good night for Michael Wacha.
The good news: it was a good night for the Cardinals offense.
Matt Carpenter became the first Cardinals lead-off hitter to have six RBI’s in a game since 2000, contributing to an offensive explosion that saw six runs cross the plate in the bottom of the fourth inning, helping St. Louis win 13-7 on Thursday night.
Carpenter wasn’t the only player to have a huge evening, though.
Stephen Piscotty continued his hot streak, going 3-4 with two RBI’s, as the Cardinals reached the .500 mark at home this season (11-11). They also have won three out of their last four games.
A good reason for the breakout performances came from manager Mike Matheny‘s lineup changes. He moved rookie Aledmys Diaz behind Carpenter and put Piscotty in the cleanup position.
“We like to get our best hitters up their quick,” Matheny said in response to the changes.
As stated before, the struggles continued for Wacha. He blew a four-run lead in the top of the fourth inning, which was started by a double from Rockies’ rookie Trevor Story, who also hit a home run later in the game. of the season. The final line for Wacha was:4.0 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 81 pitches (56 of which were strikes).
Wacha is now 0-3 with a 5.32 ERA this month and he has given up 16 hits in his last eight innings.
Carpenter kicked off the scoring in the fourth inning with a two-run double, scoring Yadier Molina and Hazelbaker. Diaz then singled to score Brandon Moss. Piscotty doubled, scoring Carpenter to make it 8-6 Cardinals. Matt Adams then broke the game wide open with a two-run single, giving them a four-run lead once again.
After a home run by Story made it 10-7, Carpenter responded in the bottom of the eighth with a shot of his own, a three-run blast to make it 13-7. Thanks in part to the pitching of Tyler Lyons (who earned his first win as a reliever), Seung Hwan Oh, and Dean Kiekhefer, St. Louis shut down Colorado after Wacha’s disappointing start.
On Friday night, Carlos Martinez (4-3, 3.14) will face off against Patrick Corbin (1-3, 4.14) in the first of a three-game set against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
NOTE: In the second inning, Randal Grichuk raced home from first after Carpenter’s two-out double,and in the third inning, left the game with tightness in his lower back. It is not the first back injury that Grichuk has dealt with over the past year (he suffered an injury to his back in 2015). Jeremy Hazelbaker took his place for the remainder of the game.