ST. LOUIS -- As a benches-clearing incident erupted on a chilly afternoon at Busch Stadium on Sunday, one of the few players to stay away from it was Cardinals starter Luke Weaver. The right-hander waited out a second-inning skirmish between the two clubs while standing near the mound. When the
ST. LOUIS -- As a benches-clearing incident erupted on a chilly afternoon at Busch Stadium on Sunday, one of the few players to stay away from it was Cardinals starter Luke Weaver. The right-hander waited out a second-inning skirmish between the two clubs while standing near the mound. When the dust settled, he went back to work.
After 6 1/3 innings, Weaver had done enough to win, but the Cardinals fell to the Diamondbacks, 4-1.
"Weaver was so good," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "It's a shame we couldn't get out of there with a win for him."
More than anything, St. Louis' young righty was a steadying force in a game that'll be remembered more for its early-inning drama -- including an ejection of D-backs manager Torey Lovullo and a heated exchange between him and Cardinals star catcher Yadier Molina -- and late-game heroics by D-backs sluggers David Peralta and A.J. Pollock, who homered to lead the D-backs to the series win.
In between, Weaver cruised. The righty retired 18 of the first 21 hitters he faced, holding the D-backs scoreless through six innings. He left after 97 pitches with one on and one out in the seventh, after which Matt Bowman allowed a game-tying single to Nick Ahmed. Peralta put Arizona ahead with a two-run home run in the eighth against Dominic Leone, and Pollock added a solo shot off Mike Mayers.
That made a winner of of D-backs reliever Yoshihisa Hirano, who threw a scoreless seventh. Archie Bradley handled the eighth, and Brad Boxberger earned his fourth save with a scoreless ninth. Taijuan Walker held St. Louis to a run on three hits over six solid frames, while Weaver allowed a run on three hits over 6 1/3 innings, striking out seven against one walk. Neither factored into the decision.
"We saw two pitchers going at it," Matheny said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Extra base: The typically slow-footed Molina raced into scoring position in an unusual way in the fifth inning, tagging up from first on a flyout to left after leading off the frame with a single.
He scored when Kolten Wong dribbled a single through the left side.
Break it up: Both Lovullo and Molina appeared to make contact with home-plate umpire Tim Timmons during the second-inning fracas, opening up the possibility of disciplinary review from Major League Baseball. But that Timmons didn't eject Molina speaks to the way he described the contact afterward, when he called it "incidental." "He didn't push me as much as I tried to get in between them," Timmons said.
The Cardinals are planning to have a new closer when they open a three-game series with the Brewers on Monday, as newly signed veteran Greg Holland is expected to join the team prior to the opener.
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Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.