Game Report: Diamondbacks 4, Cardinals 1

By Rob Rains


The fact the Cardinals lost to the Diamondbacks on Sunday at Busch Stadium was not the primary topic of conversation following the game.

The more important story of the day was the verbal, and then physical, confrontation between Yadier Molina and Arizona manager Torey Lovullo following a called third strike to A.J. Pollock in the second inning.

Lovullo charged from the dugout, first to keep Pollock from being ejected by home plate umpire Tim Timmons, but in the process – according to Molina – twice used an expletive term about him.

That upset Molina, who tried to go after Lovullo but was stopped by Timmons as the two shoved each other.

“You do that (say that term) you’ve got to be ready to fight,” Molina said.

Both benches emptied, but order was soon restored with only Lovullo being ejected.
After the game, Lovullo issued an apology to Molina while speaking with reporters.

“I have the utmost respect for Yadier Molina,” Lovullo said. “I used a poor choice of words and he took offense to it. I wish I could take back what I said.”

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said he found out after the inning what prompted Molina’s quick reaction.

“As it all happened none of us had any idea what was going on,” Matheny said. “I just wanted to get my player out of there so he stays in the game and get him out of there so somebody doesn’t come after him.

“Nobody likes being yelled at. You react how you react.”

Timmons told a pool reporter, “When Lovullo got to me after I had ejected him, he made a comment that was aggressive that Yadi overheard so that's why Yadi reacted the way that he did and I think at that point Yadi became agitated which was understandable So when I turned around he didn't maybe push me as much as I tried to get in between them and I think it was a natural reaction.”

Timmons said Molina was not ejected because he considered the contact between the two incidental.

The Diamondbacks later got home runs from David Peralta and Pollock in the eighth inning to pull out the victory. It was the second time this season the Cardinals lost a game they were either winning or when they were tied after seven innings.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: The top five hitters in the Cardinals’ lineup were a combined 1-of-18, with the only hit a one-out single in the ninth by Marcell Ozuna, who was then erased in a game-ending double play … Kolten Wong had two of the other four hits, including an RBI single in the fifth which drove in Molina, who had singled and advanced to second on a fly out … It was Wong’s first RBI of the season after he came into the game with just one hit in 18 at-bats.

On the mound: The Diamondbacks rally came after Luke Weaver allowed three hits in 6 1/3 innings. He walked one and struck out seven but left after 97 pitches and an inherited runner on base, who later scored on a hit off Matt Bowman, who pitched for the sixth time in the Cardinals’ first nine games … In the eighth, Dominic Leone gave up a single and the two-run homer to Peralta, the third homer allowed by Leone in 4 2/3 innings … Pollock hit his homer off Mike Mayers, making his first appearance since opening day.

Key stat: The Cardinals lost two of the three games to the Diamondbacks despite holding their best player, Paul Goldschmidt, to just two singles and no RBIs in 13 at-bats.

Worth noting: John Brebbia returned to the Cardinals before Sunday’s game when Ryan Sherriff was placed on the disabled list because of a broken toe. Sherriff was hit on the foot in Thursday’s game and an X-ray on Saturday revealed the small fracture. Brebbia did not pitch in the two games he was with Memphis. He relieved in the ninth inning on Sunday and worked a 1-2-3 inning with one strikeout … The bullpen will have another change on Monday when Greg Holland is activated. “If Holland’s ready we’ve got to find room,” Matheny said … Brett Cecil, on the DL because of a shoulder issue, also had his right foot in a walking boot on Sunday for what Matheny referred to as “an ongoing issue.” … Making his first start for Memphis since being optioned last week, Jack Flaherty did not walk a batter and struck out 11 in seven innings on Sunday. He allowed one run on five hits, throwing 103 pitches, 72 for strikes …. Tyler O’Neill also hit his fourth homer in the Redbirds’ fourth game of the season.

Looking ahead: The Cardinals and Brewers open a three-game series on Monday night at Busch Stadium. Miles Mikolas will make his home debut for the Cardinals in the 6:05 p.m. game.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

AUDIO


The first Cardinals Rewind Podcast of the season-- about 10 minutes. Rob Rains and Mike Reeves (STLSportsPage.com audio producer who does our interviews) get together after each homestand ends and they talk about the homestand and look forward to the road trip. PLUS Cardinals Audio: Matheny post-game interview.  http://www.stlsportspage.com/CARDSBASEBALL/tabid/91/entryid/12209/cardinals-audio-matheny-plus-first-rains-reeves-cardinals-rewind-podcast-of-the-season-4-8-18.aspx#sthash.9C4nTwck.uxfs