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Goldschmidt, VerHagen spark another Cardinals win at PNC Park

Rick Hummel, St. Louis Post-Dispatch on

Published in Baseball

PITTSBURGH — There were four key takeaways Saturday night in the Cardinals’ 5-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

First was that the Pirates almost never beat the Cardinals at PNC Park. In their past 31 meetings here, the Cardinals have won 26.

Second, the Cardinals obliterate left-handed pitching. They entered the game leading the majors in slugging percentage and OPS against left-handers and they knocked out left-handed starter Jose Quintana in the fourth inning as Paul Goldschmidt, hitting safely in his 14th consecutive game, raked Quintana for three of his four hits.

Goldschmidt raised his own average against left-handers this season to .519. He is 11 for 17 (.647) in his career against Quintana.

Third, the Cardinals may have something after all in right-hander Drew VerHagen, who has pitched little this season because of his time on the injured list after coming over from Japan. Relieving left-handed rookie Matthew Liberatore, who began faltering in the fifth inning in his first big league game, VerHagen knocked off 2 1/3 hitless innings to get the game to Andre Pallante and Ryan Helsley, recording his first Cardinals win in the process.

Fourth, the Cardinals are running out of healthy outfielders. Tyler O’Neill (right shoulder impingement) already is on the injured list. Dylan Carlson, playing center because Harrison Bader didn’t start due to “light-headedness," came out in the third inning because of a tight left hamstring, which could keep him out a while. Bader ultimately did come into the game for defense in the eighth after infielder Tommy Edman had taken his first tour in center field since 2019.

 

And maybe add a fifth key. Edmundo Sosa displayed he was capable of being a solid defensive shortstop.

Goldschmidt, hitting .342, doubled to left in the first inning, extending his on-base streak to 28 games. That hit went for naught, but not his second double in the next inning when the Cardinals scored four runs, three of them unearned.

Pittsburgh third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes mishandled a sure double-play ball hit by Yadier Molina after Juan Yepez had walked and Carlson had singled. Yepez scored on the error and then Sosa slashed a single to left, scoring Carlson.

With two outs, Goldschmidt shot his double past first base to score Molina and Sosa.

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