St. Louis Cardinals: Cardinals’ streak goes cold as Romero, Twins, pick up win
The St. Louis Cardinals (20-13) fell to the Minnesota Twins (14-17), 6-0, on May 7. With injuries running rampant paired with questionable play, the St. Louis Cardinals having a game like this was inevitable.
The St. Louis Cardinals were simply unable to get anything going here, once again having been stifled by a rookie pitcher. This time, it was Fernando Romero in his second appearance of his career. The 23-year-old only threw 57 of his 97 pitches (58.8%) for strikes and walked three.
John Gant got the start for the Cardinals, and he struggled right out of the gate. He walked Joe Mauer to lead off the game, then allowed him to advance to second on a wild pitch. The Twins ended up picking up that run on a double by Max Kepler, and Kepler was driven in by Eddie Rosario to make it 2-0.
The first of Rosario’s three walks was a lead off walk to Matt Carpenter. However, he was able to retire the next three batters immediately. The Cardinals’ inability to capitalize on Rosario’s shaky control was a trademark of this game, and it started right from the get-go.
Things were looking to settle down until Paul DeJong picked up a double on a 0-2 count in the second, but that was quickly shut down by a Kolten Wong strikeout and a ground out by Carson Kelly. After not starting in his first game on the major league team this year, Kelly was given the go in relief of Yadier Molina.
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Gant ran into trouble again in the fourth, when a curve stayed too high for Eduardo Escobar, who roped it into right field for a single. After giving up another single that allowed Escobar to move to third, he was brought home on a sacrifice fly by Bobby Wilson on a high fastball over the plate that barely stayed in the park.
On the other side of the ball, the St. Louis Cardinals squandered chances to score in the fifth and sixth innings. Kelly was hit by a pitch to start the fifth, and Gant bunted to move Kelly into scoring position with one out. After Matt Carpenter struck out, Bader picked up a full count walk to bring up Dexter Fowler with two outs, only for him to fly out to right.
Gant started the sixth with another lead-off walk, and Robbie Grossman hit a deep double to drive in the runner from first and force Gant out of the game. Matt Bowman was able to come in and shut the Twins down for the rest of the inning, but the damage had been done.
The worst of the missed opportunities came in the sixth inning for St. Louis, as Romero lead the inning off with a walk, and was at 86 pitches on the night going into the next at-bat with Jedd Gyorko. Gyorko hit into a gut-wrenching double play, which really seemed to suck the energy out of the stadium. To top it off, DeJong struck out in the next at-bat to end the inning. The Cardinals would not make it on base again.
Ryan Sherriff came on in the seventh and gave up two quick runs, and Mike Matheny had to bring Luke Gregerson on in the eighth to finish up the game.
The St. Louis Cardinals retain a marginal lead in the NL Central at 20-13, just a game ahead of the Brewers. The Twins’ win leaves them at 14-17 on the season, just a game and a half back in the AL Central.
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Tomorrow’s game kicks off early at 12:15 CT, and will feature the Cardinals’ Carlos Martinez and the Twins’ Jake Odorizzi.