ST. LOUIS — In this unique, condensed and sometimes strange 2020 season, teams will take wins however and whenever they get them. On Wednesday night with the bases loaded, Kolten Wong took four balls from Royals reliever Randy Rosario for the winning run in the Cardinals’ 6-5 series win at Busch Stadium.
Royals closer Trevor Rosenthal nearly denied the Cardinals for the second night in a row when he came in the bottom of the eighth inning with one out. In six pitches, the former Cardinals All-Star closer struck out rookie Dylan Carlson and Wong. He loaded the bases in the ninth, securing two outs before he was lifted in favor of Rosario to face Yadier Molina. Rosario hit Molina with a pitch to force in a run and bringing up Tyler O’Neill. O’Neill hit a sharp grounder that bounced off third baseman Maikel Franco’s glove and over his head to score two and tie the game.
Rosario’s next pitch sailed wild, allowing the runners to advance. Carlson drew a walk to reload the bases and bring up Wong, who patiently worked the count until earning the game-winning RBI with a walk.
Cardinals starter Dakota Hudson worked around some early trouble that extended his innings, including a two-run homer and two walks in the third inning. But after walking Ryan O’Hearn in the third, Hudson retired the next 10 batters to get through six innings in 83 pitches.
Hudson is still looking for his first win of the year but has been solid the past two times out. He was on a stricter pitch count in his last start, when he shut out the Reds for 4 2/3 innings last Friday. The problem Wednesday was the lack of run support for most of the game.
Down 2-0, the Cardinals got the two runs back in the bottom of the third and fourth innings with Paul Goldschmidt’s sacrifice fly and Carlson’s RBI double. But from there, the Cardinals and Royals were locked in a stalemate until pinch-hitter Ryan McBroom took a Génesis Cabrera changeup 420 feet into the left-center bleachers.