07/11/2016 2:26 PM
Pasadena, CA --- It was the Saints’ second straight doubleheader who came out on top of the Cardinals in the first game 6-1 thanks to a strong start by Race Gardner, and in the second game resulted in a 11-6 loss in a game that that ebbed and flowed starting in the Saints’ favor.
The games were played today under a somber backdrop, the half-mast flag in center field in recognition of the tragedy that occurred earlier in the week of the slain Dallas, Texas police officers.
However, the games went on as scheduled. Race Gardner delivered five innings, which included three strikeouts, three hits and only one run. The losing pitcher was Connor Speed who only lasted two innings, and he and Cardinals’ relief pitching would allow a combined six runs.
Lowell Schipper’s play was exception in the day’s doubleheader. Schipper was 2 for 4 with a two RBI double early in the first game, giving the Saints a 3-0 lead. In the second game he was 1 for 2 with a RBI double, scoring the team’s fourth run.
The only run that the Cardinals scored was made possible because centerfielder Hirsch could not come up with a ball hit in the outfield cleanly to catch Andrew Wilson who was got an early lead and was running with two outs and reached home safely.
The Cardinals would achieve their third hit off of Gardner in the fifth inning showing Gardner’s effectiveness.
Saints relief pitching helped and an insurance run came in the bottom of the sixth innings to give the Saints a 5-1 lead.
With the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning, Spencer Rouse who had a sacrifice that scored Hirsch from third base, which created a large enough lead that victory was almost sure to come.
In the second game, the Saints took a 4-0 lead by the second inning as the game seemed similar to the first in which the Saints scored three unanswered runs.
The winning pitcher was Mike Waldron who pitched six innings, had two strikeouts and allowed four earned runs along with eight hits. The losing pitcher wa James Giambolvo who pitched four innings and allowed a total of five runs, three earned on seven hits.
Ryan Watts was 2-for-3 with two runs. Alex Briggs was 1-for-3 with two runs.
But then Giambolvo ran into trouble as he allowed a three run home run to Cole Klempke which sparked the Cardinals’ scoring. They would have total of five runs that inning.
The Saints would come back on a dropped ball by Klemke in the fourth inning which allowed two runs to score, making the scored 6-5.
The Cardinals were able to then have the advantage, capitalizing off of Saints’ reliever Ryan Williams and adding two runs to make the score 7-6 Cardinals. Saints’ relief pitching would allow two more runs in the seventh inning.
In the seventh inning, with Williams struggling, the time seemed ripe for allowing Lerma to enter the game. Instead, Williams stayed in the game and the Cardinals scored two more runs on a RBI single by Cole Mueller and walk drawn by Dominic Castro.
The difference in the games was most likely that lack of pitching effectiveness in the second game.
“I think the bullpen was not as sharp as it’s been,” said Manager Togeas. “We weren’t able to find anybody with exception to Angel Lerma who could help us. We were falling behind hitters. We are not getting ahead of guys.”
As the Saints proceed with the rest of the season following the All-Star break, Manager Togeas believes his team has found the winning formula for success.
“There aren’t too many changes to make,” said Togeas. “This has been a long weekend for us with our doubleheader yesterday in Palm Springs and our doubleheader today. It’s always tough to win both games in a doubleheader when our bullpen ran out of gas. I think we are fine, though. The brand of baseball we’re playing ensures that we’re going to be fine next week.”