Hot bats were silenced by the Cardinals’ young postseason hero Michael Wacha as he took down fill-in pitcher Yusmeiro Petit and the Giants, 2-0.
Michael Morse (1-for-4) stayed hot with a double in the second inning but two fly outs and a strike out left him stranded on base. Morse has been incredibly impressive with the bat as of late, with the highest batting average (.579) and OPS (1.767) in the major leagues within the last seven days.
Rookie and highly-touted prospect Oscar Taveras made his major league debut today as Cardinals’ nation waited to see if the kid would be delight or bust. Although his first at-bat only yielded a fly-out to left field, his second at-bat in the fifth wowed the home crowd with a smooth swing that sent the ball soaring over the head of Hunter Pence. His homer put the Red Birds up 1-0 and Taveras emerged from the dugout for a curtain call that turned into the lead-in for a 47-minute rain delay.
When the tarp was finally rolled off the field, Petit returned to the mound to quickly retire the side with a strike out to Jhonny Peralta and coaxing a ground out from Jon Jay.
There was hope in the sixth as the Giants started a two-out rally when Hunter Pence laced a single to Matt Holliday and Pablo Sandoval upped his hit streak to 11 games with a single to right field. Unfortunately the two-out luck seemed to have dried up from yesterday and Morse couldn’t come through in a clutch situation leaving two men on base.
The seventh inning brought along another rain delay, this one clocking in at 51 minutes. With the lengthy delay, Wacha ended his day with a final line of 6.0 IP, three hits, 0 runs, and 7 strikes outs. The Cardinals’ bullpen took it from there, blanking the Giants with a combined effort from Sam Freeman, Pat Neshek, and Trevor Rosenthal (3.0 IP, no hits, and six strike outs).
The Cardinals managed to add-on in the bottom of the seventh with George Kontos on the mound. Allen Craig singled on a line drive to Pence and advanced to second on a stolen base. With Craig in scoring position, Peralta roped a sharp line drive to left fielder Tyler Colvin, driving in an RBI and putting the Cardinals up 2-0.
St. Louis looks to even it up in the final game of the series with Lance Lynn (6-2, 3.13 ERA) on the bump to square-off against veteran Tim Hudson (5-2, 1.92 ERA). First pitch at 1:15 CDT.