Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Edman's 9th-inning HR powers Cards past M's

@anne__rogers
July 4, 2019

SEATTLE -- When Tommy Edman sat down to watch his last at-bat from Tuesday night -- a swinging strikeout against Mariners closer Roenis Elias -- he found the reason his swing felt off. His hips were clearing too much, looping toward the third-base dugout, and on the last pitch of

SEATTLE -- When Tommy Edman sat down to watch his last at-bat from Tuesday night -- a swinging strikeout against Mariners closer Roenis Elias -- he found the reason his swing felt off.

His hips were clearing too much, looping toward the third-base dugout, and on the last pitch of the at-bat, he swung hard through a changeup down in the zone. He told himself if the pinch-hitting situation came up again, he wasn’t going to let himself do that again.

The Cardinals rookie didn’t have to wait long for a similar situation. In the top of ninth inning of Wednesday night’s game, Edman pinch-hit with one out and two runners on in a tie game -- and against Elias.

Edman blasted a three-run shot to give the Cardinals’ a 5-2 win over the Mariners and evened the series at T-Mobile Park.

Box score

“I had that chance to deliver last night,” Edman said. “My approach was a little bit better today. I actually focused pregame on using the other way well and keeping my cut on it and staying through the ball.”

After Edman found evidence in the video from Tuesday night, he took swings during batting practice Wednesday and locked in on what he needed to fix. The muscle memory from those pregame drills helped to reinforce his swing at the plate Wednesday night while he focused on getting a pitch to hit from Elias to drive in Dexter Fowler on third. And Edman got the pitch he wanted, a 95-mph fastball, to hit it 387 feet over the wall.

“Damage is never something I intend to do,” Edman said. “I never try to swing for home runs. I think it’s just a product of my approach at the plate. I was trying to see him deep and make sure I didn’t chase a changeup in the dirt or down. I trusted myself more today.”

The Cardinals scored all five of their runs in the top of the ninth inning after being shut down by Mike Leake -- a former Cardinal -- for 7 2/3 innings. Fowler lined a single to right field to score Jose Martinez, and Yadier Molina’s sacrifice fly sent a sprinting Paul Goldschmidt home to tie the game.

The home run was Edman’s third this season after being called up in early June. Edman and Yairo Munoz, who led off and started at third base the past two days, have been vying for playing time and making the most of it when given the opportunity. With Matt Carpenter on the injured list until the All-Star break, the two will be given even more of those opportunities. In the Cardinals’ loss Tuesday night, Munoz had the game-tying home run in the sixth inning.

“I’ve been talking to Jose [Martinez] and Yadi [Molina] about being ready for every opportunity,” Munoz said after the game Tuesday. “I’ve been focusing on whenever that opportunity comes up, I’ll be there to help the team. I’m thankful I get the opportunity [to] show up to help the team.”

On Wednesday, it was Edman who took the opportunity to make his mark in the offense.

Over the past few weeks, he's let the game to slow down when he pinch hits, which has allowed him to provide a spark off of the bench for the Cardinals. In the eighth inning on June 23 against the Angels, he hit a pinch-hit triple. And his first home run for the Cardinals -- June 20 against Miami -- was a game-tying, two-run shot after he entered the game in the eighth as part of a double switch.

“You have to work on that as a pinch-hitter,” Edman said. “When I got called up, I let the game speed up on me a little bit, but I think in the past few weeks, I’ve had better at-bats because I’ve slowed myself down a little bit. Part of it is having preparation in the game, being ready for the moment you’ll go up.”

Anne Rogers covers the Cardinals for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @anne__rogers and on Facebook.