Walls hits 3-run homer in 10th, Rays beat Cardinals 4-2
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Taylor Walls hit a three-run homer with two outs in the 10th inning and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 on Tuesday night.
Walls sent a 2-2 pitch from Drew VerHagen (3-1) into the right field seats. He has four hits in his last 26 at-bats.
“You feel good for Wallsie,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “Any of these guys that have been scuffling here a little bit to come up with a big hit like that and ultimately win us a ballgame has got to be a great feeling for him. I know our clubhouse is pretty pumped up right now.”
St. Louis loaded the bases with no outs in the 10th against Colin Poche (2-0) but scored just once for a 2-1 lead on Lars Nootbaar’s sacrifice fly. Paul Goldschmidt was thrown out by center fielder Kevin Kiermaier attempting to score on Harrison Bader’s two-out single.
The Cardinals were coming off a pair of extra-inning wins over the Chicago Cubs.
“You’re going to have games like that,” St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol said. “Guys battled. Actually a really well-played game.”
Both starting pitchers had strong outings.
St. Louis’ Dakota Hudson gave up one run, two hits and one walk while striking out six over seven innings. Tampa Bay’s Jeffrey Springs allowed six hits in six scoreless innings.
Hudson permitted Ji-Man Choi’s one-out double in the first and then held Tampa Bay hitless until Manuel Margot opened the seventh with a two-base hit. Margot went to third on Kiermaier’s grounder and scored the game’s first run on Isaac Paredes’ sacrifice fly.
St. Louis tied it in the eighth. Nootbaar, pinch-hitting for Albert Pujols, drew a two-out walk from Andrew Kittredge and advanced to second on Tyler O’Neill’s single before scoring on Bader’s base hit.
Pujols singled in the fourth for his 3,320th hit, passing Paul Molitor for ninth place on the career list. Pujols also moved past Cal Ripken Jr. into sole possession of eighth place in games played with 3,002.
O’Neill returned after missing 18 games with a right shoulder injury and went 2 for 5. Goldschmidt walked in the first to extend his career-best on-base streak to 43 games.
Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado charged Brett Phillips’ bunt with two on and no outs in the 10th and made a leaping throw to retire the speedy Kiermaier at third base.
“Don’t think I’ve ever seen someone do the Jeter jump-throw to third base before,” Hudson said. “I was just in awe of the play.”
KIERMAIER CLEANS UP
Kiermaier, who was 3 for 36 over his previous 10 games, was moved from the leadoff spot to fourth in the lineup as Cash addresses his struggling offense.
It was just the second time in his career Kiermaier batted fourth, with the other coming on July 18, 2019.
“A couple extra biceps curls and bench-press reps today to try to look the part of a cleanup hitter,” Kiermaier said before the game.
He went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.
Cardinals: RHP Jack Flaherty (right shoulder) will make his next rehab start with Triple-A Memphis on Friday. … OF Dylan Carlson (left hamstring) joined Memphis from Double-A Springfield.
Rays: RHP Shane Baz (right elbow) will replace struggling LHP Ryan Yarbrough, who was optioned to Triple-A Durham, in the rotation and make his season debut Friday or Saturday.
Tampa Bay RHP Corey Kluber (2-2) is Tuesday night’s starter. Kluber has had tremendous success against Pujols, who has just one single in 20 at-bats against him.
“I just think that he’s a really good hitter, and for whatever reason, maybe past matchups have gone my way,” Kluber said. “But I think I’m going to treat him with just as much respect coming into this game as I would have when I was first getting my feet wet.”
The Cardinals had not announced their starter.
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