Game Report: Blue Jays 6, Cardinals 5 (11 innings)

By Rob Rains

The Cardinals overcame their first three errors Tuesday night, each of which resulted in a Toronto run. They could not overcome a fourth.

After making a diving stop on a grounder with two outs in the 11th, Aledmys Diaz made a wide throw to first which Jose Martinez could not catch, letting the go-ahead run score for the Blue Jays in the opener of a 10-game homestand at Busch Stadium.

Marcus Stroman had doubled with one out, becoming the first Toronto pitcher in franchise history to record a pinch-hit, also the first hit of Stroman’s career, and he scored on the Diaz error.

Earlier, the Blue Jays scored after a throwing error by Stephen Piscotty, a fielding error by Jedd Gyorko and a throwing error by Brett Cecil on a pickoff attempt at first in the ninth.
One of the Toronto runs came on an amazing play by Chris Coghlan, who dove over catcher Yadier Molina, landing on the plate, in the seventh.

The four errors increased the team total for the season to 19 in 20 games. The only team with more is the Pirates with 20.

The loss was the 10th in their last 11 games for the Cardinals at home against American League opponents.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate:
The Cardinals also were victimized by missed opportunities at the plate. Piscotty led off the fourth with a double, but had to stop at third on a double by Gyorko. A single by Molina produced a run, but the Cardinals had the bases loaded with no outs and failed to add any more runs … Piscotty also had a leadoff double in the sixth followed by three consecutive strikeouts … Jose Martinez tied the game with a two-run homer in the seventh, his first in the majors. He had come into the game in the top of the inning in a double switch … Dexter Fowler’s RBI single with two outs in the ninth tied the game again and sent it to extra innings. He also doubled and scored in the first … The Cardinals were 4-of-15 with runners in scoring position and are now hitting .203 (31-of-153) in those situations this year.

On the mound: Michael Wacha allowed two runs in six innings, both of which were set up by Piscotty’s throwing error even though they became earned runs … Matt Bowman retired his 12th consecutive leadoff hitter in the seventh but allowed his first two runs of the season, thanks in part to Gyorko’s error … Kevin Siegrist worked a scoreless eighth before a leadoff walk and Cecil’s error led to the Blue Jays tying the game in the ninth … Miguel Socolovich got out of the jam in the ninth and pitched a 1-2-3 10th before giving up the go-ahead run in the 11th.

Key stat: The home run by Martinez gave the Cardinals five homers and 15 RBIs out of the ninth spot in the batting order, counting everybody who has hit there this season. It’s the most homers and RBIs out of any spot in the lineup.

Worth noting:
Matt Carpenter served a one-game suspension on Tuesday night, the result of touching umpire John Tumpane after he was ejected for arguing a called third strike on Sunday … Before the suspension was announced, the original Cardinals lineup had Carpenter hitting second and Diaz in the third spot for the first time in his career. With Carpenter out, Diaz moved back to second and Piscotty hit third and Matt Adams made his first start of the season at first base …. Martinez’s father, Carlos, also hit his first career homer against the Blue Jays in 1989. Cardinals announcer John Rooney also was behind the microphone for that game, doing the radio broadcast for the White Sox … This was the first extra-inning game for the Cardinals this season … The Blue Jays were playing in St. Louis for the first time since 2011, when they went 3-0 … Roving instructor Willie McGee is in town to do some extra work with the team’s outfielders for the next few days.

Looking ahead: Carlos Martinez, still searching for his first win of the season, will make his fifth start in the second game of the series on Wednesday night. Mat Latos is scheduled to start for the Blue Jays.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains