The Cardinals’ bats broke loose in Tuesday night’s 16-2 win over the Reds at Great American Ball Park.
Facing one of the National League’s best pitchers in Sonny Gray, the Cardinals pushed him out of the game before he could finish the first inning. St. Louis sent 11 batters to the plate in the first frame and scored six runs.
There were individual firsts and team highs in the Cardinals’ third straight win, and St. Louis will look for the sweep over the Reds on Wednesday.
Let’s break down this blowout win by the numbers:
0: The number of batters who did not get on base at least once
Paul DeJong’s single in the fourth inning -- yes, the fourth inning -- ensured that every Cardinals starter got on base at least once. That’s the kind of top-to-bottom lineup the Cards hope to have, stringing together at-bats for scoring rallies. With Matt Carpenter’s single in the seventh, every starter also had a hit Tuesday, and with Harrison Bader’s walk later in the frame, every St. Louis position player to make an appearance reached base.
“Everybody’s got a plan,” manager Mike Shildt said. “I love the hunger to it. This is a group that’s hungry for more. It’s really just the length of the at-bats throughout the lineups to the point of everybody in the lineup getting on.”
4: Wong’s hit total
Kolten Wong was 4-for-4 by the fifth inning -- the fifth time he’s had a four-hit game in his career -- and scored four runs. The Cardinals' leadoff man got on base for all five of his plate appearances after being hit by a pitch in the sixth inning. His past two games (6-for-9) have been a needed turnaround from the homestand, during which he hit .152 over 10 games.
“I felt like the past two weeks, I was hitting balls at every single player on the field,” Wong said. “I wasn’t trying to get frustrated -- obviously, we all know this is a results game -- but it was just one of those that was getting to me a little bit. And a lot of the guys around the team were constantly telling me, ‘Stay with what you’re doing man, it’s going to work,’ and it’s good to see some results come through.”
Four is also the number of doubles Paul Goldschmidt has had in his past four games, tying his career high (2013 and ‘14).
7: Miller’s career-high RBI total
Brad Miller was signed in February for infield depth and as a left-handed option in the lineup. He’s provided a necessary spark in the cleanup spot. Miller is tied for second behind Goldschmidt in walks (15) on the team, but he also provides some power, evidenced by his seven RBIs and his second multihomer game of the season. Miller launched a two-run big fly to left field in the second inning and another off the right-field foul pole in the eighth inning.
“I thought that was probably the best string of at-bats maybe we’ve had all year in that first inning with the caliber of Sonny,” Miller said. “He attacks you with two-plus pitches, and a lot of times they’re not quality pitches to hit. But once he comes in there, you gotta try to move something.”
23: Cardinals hits
St. Louis posted season highs in runs and hits, and the 23 hits were the most Cardinals hits since Aug. 22, 2008, when they had 28 against Atlanta. The 23 hits are also a stadium record by any team at Great American Ball Park. The Cards have scored four or more runs in an inning six times at GABP since the start of ‘19, with a high of 10 runs in the sixth inning on July 19, 2019.
40: Minutes between Kim’s pregame warmup and his first pitch
The Cardinals’ six-run first inning lasted so long that starter Kwang Hyun Kim had to play catch twice in the batting cage and run a little bit to make sure he was still loose before heading to the mound.
Kim walked Reds leadoff batter Joey Votto, but he got out of the inning quickly with a double play and a strikeout. After that, Kim worked around three hits in five shutout innings. The lefty now has a 0.83 ERA in 21 2/3 innings this season.
“First inning was really important,” Kim said through interpreter Craig Choi. “You really need to focus, because even though our offense did score a lot of runs for me, you always need to focus. You just don’t know what will happen.”
Rookie right-hander Johan Oviedo (0-1, 3.60 ERA) earned a spot in the rotation with two solid doubleheader starts. He will start the Cardinals' series finale against Reds right-hander Tyler Mahle (1-1, 3.91 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 5:40 p.m. CT Wednesday on Fox Sports Midwest, MLB Network and MLB.TV.