Monday, June 27, 2016

Power surge leads Cardinals past Mariners

 Matt Carpenter and Tommy Pham each had two of the Cardinals' six home runs on Sunday as St. Louis avoided a series sweep at Safeco Field with an 11-6 win on Sunday afternoon.
Jedd Gyorko and Pham hit back-to-back homers off Mariners reliever Nick Vincent leading off the seventh inning as the Cardinals answered quickly after Seattle tied the game at 6 onFranklin Gutierrez's three-run blast off reliever Kevin Siegrist in the sixth.
Carpenter had two home runs and a triple, Matt Holliday homered and doubled andAledmys Diaz doubled three times as each totaled three hits on a day St. Louis racked up a 13 extra-base knocks.
"We have some guys who can do some things from a power standpoint and put a lot of pressure on the opposing pitching staff," said Carpenter, who has hit safely in 17 of his last 18 games. "It's as good of an offense as I've ever played with here in St. Louis. We have a chance to be dangerous going forward."
Mariners lefty James Paxton, making his sixth start in place of Felix Hernandez, allowed five runs on eight hits -- six for extra bases -- in five innings as he fell to 1-3 with a 4.15 ERA.Jaime Garcia (5-6, 4.09) took a no-decision for the Cards as he allowed 10 hits and five runs in 5 ⅔ frames. More >
St. Louis has won nine of its last 11 road games and is 39-35 overall, nine back of the Cubs in the NL Central. The Mariners dropped back to .500 at 37-37, having lost 20 of their last 30 games.
"Obviously St. Louis swung the bat very well today and we didn't throw it so good," said Mariners skipper Scott Servais. "The home runs and extra base hits certainly mounted against us. We played pretty well in this series, but today got away from us."
Turn back the clock, day 2: The Mariners wore their 1984 uniforms and did the whole throwback thing on Saturday night, but Gutierrez kept the theme going a day later by reminding Safeco fans of his good 'ol days with a perfectly-timed leaping grab at the top of the fence in right-center to rob Carpenter of another extra-base hit in the second. Gutierrez doesn't run like he did when he was a Gold Glove center fielder in 2010, but the 33-year-old still has great instincts and a feel for the wall and his catch - with one out and runners on first and second -- saved at least one run and helped Paxton preserve a 1-1 tie at that point. Gutierrez also went 2-for-3 with a walk, three RBIs and his ninth homer of the season. More >
Extra! Extra!: All 11 of the Cardinals' runs came with the aid of an extra-base hit, of which the Cardinals finished with a season-high 13. That included solo home runs by Carpenter (twice), Gyorko, Pham (twice) and Holliday. The back-to-back blasts by Gyorko and Pham in the seventh pushed the Cards back in front after the Mariners tied the game a half inning earlier. With the six home runs, the Cardinals matched their season high, set back on April 15. All of those homers came in the sixth inning or later, and each of the team's first seven batters tallied at least one extra-base hit.
"On this team, it seems like they come in bunches," Pham said of the power surge. "I'm glad to be a part of it." More >
Don't look now, but ...: Nelson Cruz has pulled into tie with Robinson Cano for the Mariners home run lead with 19 as the big designated hitter launched an opposite-field shot off Garcia leading off the third. Cruz and Cano are tied for third in the AL in home runs, three back of league-leader Mark Trumbo of the Orioles. It was Cruz's Major League-leading 10th homer of the year off a left-handed pitcher. Cruz also pushed across a run in the first on a fielder's choice grounder and has 51 RBIs on the season, two back of Cano in that category. It's the sixth straight season Cruz has reached 50 RBIs by the All-Star break.
Over the Hill? Holliday continues to blast back against claims that, at age 37, he is on the offensive decline. His three-hit game on Sunday was highlighted by his 150th career home run with the Cardinals. Holliday sits on pace for 31 homers and 98 RBIs this season. He has never reached the 30-homer threshold with St. Louis, and 98 RBIs would represent his highest total since 2012.
"We were hopeful for it," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Holliday's bounceback season. "Just continued kudos to him with how he's worked to be a different hitter this year than he was a year ago. I'd say he's succeeded."
"A long time ago, back in my playing days. It won't be the last." -- Servais on when the last time he was ejected from a game.
"Earlier this year in Triple-A, I actually had a ball hit me - same exact play where I was going to my right in the sun. I didn't want that to happen again. Instead of using my glove, I used my hat. Waino said he hasn't seen that since high school. I'm glad I could impress Waino." --Pham, on taking off his hat to shield the sun while making a seventh-inning catch
Cruz drove in two runs for Seattle and now has 69 in Interleague play since 2012, tied withAlbert Pujols for the most in the Majors in that span.
Servais was tossed for the first time in his managerial career when home plate umpireCarlos Torres gave him the heave-ho after Servais objected to a checked-swing third strike call on Shawn O'Malley in the sixth. Servais came a few steps out of the dugout to question why Torres didn't look for help from first-base umpire Rob Drake on the call and wound up getting thrown out. That led to a brief face-to-face discussion before Servais left the field with an angry wave of his hand.
"I thought it was very close," Servais said of the checked swing. "I went out and talked to him after I got tossed and I'm pretty sure he felt he probably missed a call or whatever, because he would not respond to me. That's what was very frustrating, just from a respect standpoint. I'd already been kicked out of the game. You can at least talk about it, but he didn't feel there was a need to."
A replay review helped Garcia out of a third-inning mess by overturning a safe call that would have put two runners in scoring position with Shawn O'Malley at the plate. Instead, Dae-Ho Lee, who was initially ruled safe trying to advance to third on a wild pitch, became the inning's third out after a one-minute, six-second review overturned the call.
Cardinals: The Cardinals will kick off their annual I-70 series with the Royals with a two-game series in Kansas City, beginning with a 7:15 pm CT game on Monday. St. Louis' starter will be Adam Wainwright, who is 3-1 with a 2.72 ERA over his last seven starts. The Cardinals have won 10 of his last 12 outings.
Mariners: After an off day Monday, Hisashi Iwakuma (6-6, 4.45 ERA) opens a two-game Safeco series with the Pirates at 7:10 p.m. PT on Tuesday. Iwakuma had gone 5-1 with a 3.95 ERA in six prior starts until allowing a season-high 11 hits and five runs in 4 2/3 innings Wednesday in Detroit. This will be his first time facing Pittsburgh.

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