Oct 10, 2019 1:47 PM
MARIETTA, Ga. – The St. Louis Cardinals broke set two postseason records and tied another in a historic 10-run first inning in going on to a 13-1 win over the Atlanta Braves in the fifth and deciding game of their National League Division Series Wednesday evening at SunTrust Park in suburban Atlanta.
The Cardinals’ 10 runs set a Major League Baseball postseason record for most runs scored in the first inning of any postseason game – Wild Card, Division Series, Championship Series or World Series – and also set a record for most runs in one inning in a Division Series game. The outburst was the fourth time that 10 runs were scored in an inning in a postseason game, joining the 1929 Philadelphia Athletics, the 1968 Detroit Tigers and the 2002 Anaheim Angels in pulling off the feat.
St. Louis got the first inning started with a walk to Dexter Fowler, who was sacrificed to second on Kolten Wong’s bunt. A Paul Goldschmidt base hit sent Fowler to third, and Marcell Ozuna singled home Fowler to make it 1-0, with Goldschmidt stopping at second. Yadier Molina, whose sacrifice fly in the 10th inning gave the Cardinals a 5-4 win in Game Four Monday, reached on an error by first baseman Freddie Freeman to load the bases. Matt Carpenter drew a walk to force home Goldschmidt, and Tommy Edman delivered a two-RBI double down the right-field line, scoring Ozuna and Molina to make it 4-0.
Atlanta starting pitcher Mike Foltynewicz, who stymied the Cardinals, allowing four hits in Atlanta’s Game Two win, intentionally walked Paul DeJong to reload the bases, and Max Fried was brought in to pitch. St. Louis starting pitcher Jack Flaherty drew a walk to score Carpenter, and Fowler then doubled home two more runs with a shot down the left-field line, scoring Edman and DeJong, with Flaherty going to third. Wong doubled to the left center field wall to score Flaherty and Fowler, making it 9-0. Goldschmidt lined to right, with Wong going to third on the play, and then Ozuna struck out swinging, but the ball got away from catcher Brian McCann, allowing Ozuna to reach first and scoring Wong to make it 10-0. A Molina ground out ended the inning.
St. Louis extended its lead in the second when DeJong doubled home Edman, and in the third, back-to-back singles by Harrison Bader and DeJong scored two more runs to make it 13-0. A Josh Donaldson fourth-inning home run to center made it 13-1, but it would be the final run scored of the game.
Flaherty pitched magnificently for the Cardinals, allowing four hits and one run over six innings, walking one and striking out eight batters in getting the win. Foltynewicz only lasted one-third of an inning, allowing three hits but seven runs, six of them earned, walking three with no strikeouts.
Giovanny Gallegos, John Brebbia and Genesis Cabrera pitched the final three innings to preserve the win for St. Louis.
Following the game, McCann, a long-time catcher for the Braves, announced his retirement.
The Cardinals advanced to their first National League Championship Series since 2014, a five-game loss to the eventual World Champions San Francisco Giants, and will play the Washington Nationals in the best-of-seven series, with the first two games at Busch Stadium. The Nationals advanced to the franchises’ second-ever NLCS, the first since 1981 as the Montreal Expos, with a dramatic 7-3 win over the two-time defending National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers in 10 innings in the fifth game of their NLDS. Howie Kendrick’s one-out grand slam homer over the center-field fence to put the Nationals in the NLCS, only the second extra-inning grand slam in postseason history.
Game one will be played Friday night, with a start time of 7:08 p.m., and game two is scheduled to start at 3:08 p.m Saturday afternoon. Games three through five will be played at Nationals Park in Washington Monday-Wednesday, Oct. 14-16, with games six and seven, if necessary, will be back at Busch Stadium Oct. 18-19. The 2019 World Series is scheduled to start Oct. 22 at the park of the highest remaining seed.back