BALTIMORE — This is how the other half scores runs.
After a weekend of watching Baltimore go Earl Weaver on their pitching staff with nine homers in 16 innings, the Cardinals went small. The Cardinals lashed Baltimore with a season-high 17 hits, and 14 of them were singles. The Cardinals were not the most efficient offense but they grouped clusters of singles to take a lead and continue to add to it until winning 8-3 Sunday at Camden Yards.
Kolten Wong tied a career high with four hits and scored twice to help pace the Cardinals’ lineup. Jon Jay reached base four times and had an RBI for the second consecutive game against Baltimore. Once the singles had claimed the lead, some extra-base muscle cinched the win. Peter Bourjos, a late-game addition as a pinch-runner, punctuated the Cardinals win with a three-run homer in the top off the ninth.
Lance Lynn did what the previous starters could not by keeping the Orioles in the ballpark. The righty allowed three runs on nine hits. He didn’t complicate his afternoon with outs and was able to defuse several tricky situations (see below) with any of his six strikeouts. He threw 5 2/3 innings to claim his 12th win of the season.
The bullpen made that lead he left last.
The Cardinals had 13 hits singles before their first extra-base hit of the game, but that helped conjure a rally that gave them insurance.
Daniel Descalso’s second hit of the game and fifth hit in two games was a double down the left-field line. Matt Carpenter followed with a ground-rule double that hopped over the center-field wall to score Descalso and give the Cardinals a two-run gap on the Orioles.
That kind of gap can close quickly for the Orioles.
Pat Neshek helped assure that it didn’t. The sidewinder struck out four of the first five batters he faced and he tied his career high with four strikeouts over his first two innings. Neshek retired all six batters he faced for the hold. He did so with a 93-mph sinker, according to the stadium Pitch F/x system at Camden Yards.
The Cardinals finish their interleague scheduled 8-12 against the American League and mostly teams from the AL East. They play Monday night in Miami and back in the comfort of the National League.
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