The Cardinals’ Paul DeJong, who had fanned in two of his first three plate appearances Friday night, was allowed to stay in to face hard-throwing New York Yankees reliever Clay Holmes with two on and two out in the eighth inning of a game the Cardinals trailed by one run.
Holmes had held right-handed batters to a .159 average this season and left-handed-batting Brendan Donovan was available. But DeJong was four for six in his career against Holmes, when the latter was with Pittsburgh. So manager Oliver Marmol stayed with DeLong, who lined a double into the right-field corner to score Arenado and Tyler O’Neill to provide the margin in a 4-3 victory in which the Cardinals had just five hits.
Arenado had beaten out an infield hit and O’Neill had walked ahead of DeJong’s game-deciding hit.
The Yankees hardly resembled the team which, at 185 homers, had 23 more than the second-place team, before Friday. They had two doubles among their 10 hits, which included two bloop singles by home-run-leader Aaron Judge and another dribbler by Isiah Kiner-Falefa that traveled about 100 feet. But what the Yankees also did was steal second unmolested in the form of Judge, and got a productive groundout by Matt Carpenter, who had also had two singles to key scoring innings.
Neither team, in fact, had a home run with the Yankees’ streak being stopped at 19 games and the Cardinals’ at 13. Those two streaks represented the longest active streaks in the majors.
Of note for the Cardinals were three pitching performances. Dakota Hudson, though he allowed some soft hits, lasted only four innings and 78 pitches, being charged with three runs. His relief, Andre Pallante, threw four scoreless innings to gain the win, preserved y Ryan Helsley.
Helsley recorded his 10th save. With a runner on, he induced Judge to pop up and Carpenter to hit a checked-swing grounder to shortstop DeJong, who flipped the ball with his glove to first, just ahead of Carpenter’s arrival.
Carpenter sets up first run
After receiving a lengthy standing ovation from his still-adoring public at Busch, Yankees designated hitter Carpenter singled to right with a runner at first and one out in the first. At that point, Carpenter had 14 singles and 24 extra-base hits among his 38 Yankee hits.
That hit sent to third DJ LeMahieu, who had drawn the dreaded leadoff walk. Hudson almost escaped the inning by striking out Glayber Torres. But Josh Donaldson doubled to right center out of the reach of Dylan Carlson to score LeMahieu with the game’s first run. Carpenter stopped at third on the play and was stranded as Andrew Benintendi grounded out.
Hudson issued another potentially damaging walk in the second, passing ninth-place hitter Aaron Hicks to put two runners on base with one out and Aaron Judge one batter removed. But Hudson induced LeMahieu to hit a comebacker to the mound.
The Cardinals right-hander took his time to hit second baseman Tommy Edman and the Cardinals completed the inning-ending double play.
Four outfielders for Yankees
The Yankees employed some unusual defense for right-handed-batting Arenado and DeJong when they came to bat in the second inning. They put second baseman Torres in right field and created a four-outfielder alignment.
But left-hander Nestor Cortes walked both. The second, a five-pitcher to DeJong, moved Arenado into scoring position. Torres then came back to second base and couldn’t get a glove on Yadier Molina’s single up the middle. Arenado came home to tie the score.
Judge hit in back by throw
Judge opened the third with a bloop single to right. With first baseman Paul Goldschmidt among those giving chase, Hudson went over to cover first base as right fielder Lars Nootbaar fielded the ball on a hop and threw behind Judge.
But this was really behind him as the throw basically hit Judge between the 9s on the back of his uniform. The 6-foot-7, 282-pound Judge barely flinched.
Carpenter again singled past first and Judge went to third. Hudson again came close to getting out of the inning as he struck out Torres again. But Donaldson beat Hudson for a second time with a single to score Judge and it was 2-1, New York.
The last time Carpenter had two singles in a game at Busch Stadium was June 8 of last year.
Fourth leadoff man reaches against Hudson
Judge sent another bloop single to right to open the Yankees’ fifth after Hudson had had a perfect fourth. It wasn’t much of a hit but Carpenter, who already had two hits, was the next hitter and the Yankees had placed their leadoff hitter on for the fourth time.
Rookie Pallante, who had been dispatched to the bullpen with the acquisitions of left-handed starters Jose Quintana and Jordan Montgomery, was summoned after Hudson had reached 78 pitches to get 12 outs.
But Pallante forgot about Judge, who executed a delayed steal of second without opposition. Carpenter then hit a right-side groundout, advancing Judge to third, and Torres singled off the glove of Pallante to score Judge to give the Yankees a two-run edge.
O’Neill delivers again
O’Neill, whose three-run homer beat Chicago on Thursday night, cut the Yankees’ lead to 3-2 in the sixth with a two-out, run-scoring single to right off reliever Albert Abreu.
Paul Goldschmidt had walked, had gone to second on a wild pitch and to third on Arenado’s single. Nolan Gorman, batting for Albert Pujols, struck out on a 99 mph fastball but O’Neill lined a hit to right.
Former Cubs side-wheeler Scott Effross struck DeJong to end the inning.
Nootbaar makes play of game
Nootbaar dashed into right center to make a leaping catch off Donaldson to save an extra-base hit in the eighth inning.
Pallante would then finish off his sparking relief outing by retiring Jose Trevino on a groundout, stranding two runners.
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