The St. Louis offense awoke with a bang in the seventh inning of Saturday evening’s game against the rival Cubs. And what followed was historical.
The Cardinals poured in 12 runs, tying a franchise record set in 1926, before pinch-hitter Tony Cruz struck out swinging to end the frame. They tallied seven doubles in the inning — tying a major league record set in 1936 by the Boston Bees. And they notched a total of eight extra-base hits — becoming the fourth MLB team to ever accomplish that feat.
The Cards are still five games back in the National League Central standings and three games back in the National League Wild Card hunt, but they showed the kind of weapons they have on Saturday at Busch Stadium and should be a team to watch down the stretch.
David Freese finished 3-for-5 with two RBI and is now batting .304 with an .865 OPS on the year. Matt Holliday also drove in two runs. He has a .921 season OPS. Skip Schumaker doubled and tripled.
Your Saturday recaps and box scores:
Braves 4, Nationals 0 (Game 1)
Dodgers 8, Mets 5
Rangers 9, Angels 2
White Sox 1, Tigers 7
Giants 6, Phillies 5 (10 innings)
Orioles 3, Indians 1
Marlins 1, Pirates 5
Braves 2, Nationals 5 (Game 2)
Blue Jays 7, Red Sox 3
Twins 3, Royals 7
Brewers 2, Reds 6
Mariners 2, Rays 1
Cubs 0, Cardinals 12
Astros 3, Diamondbacks 12
Yankees 1, Athletics 2
Rockies 8, Padres 6 (12 innings)
Albert Pujols kicked things off for the Angels in dramatic fashion on Friday night, cranking a two-RBI home run off of the Orioles’ Jeremy Hellickson to give the club an early lead in the first inning. The 350-footer was his 18th home run of the year and No. 609 in his 17-season career, tying Sammy Sosa on the all-time home run list for eighth overall and most home runs hit by a player born outside of the United States.
With the home run, Pujols sits just three homers shy of tying Jim Thome’s 612-home run record for seventh on the all-time list. That figures to be the last major milestone still ahead of the designated hitter this season, with Ken Griffey Jr.’s 630-home run mark still a distant 21 blasts away.
The Angels, meanwhile, ran with Pujols’ lead, collecting home runs from Kole Calhoun, C.J. Cron, Kaleb Cowart and Mike Trout. It wasn’t quite enough to quash the Orioles, however, who surged to a 9-7 finale after Manny Machado went 3-for-5 with three home runs and struck a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth.
The Nationals placed right-hander Max Scherzer on the 10-day disabled list with left neck inflammation, the team announced Friday. Scherzer was scratched from his scheduled start against the Padres and replaced by left-hander Matt Grace, though an official roster move has yet to be made to fill his spot on the roster. The assignment is retroactive to August 15.
Scherzer experienced a similar pain on the right side of his neck at the start of the month, though this is the first official stint he’ll serve on the disabled list in 2017. While comments from club manager Dusty Baker suggest that the injury wasn’t caused by any particular trauma, it seems likely that the ace right-hander will be sidelined for at least one more start.
It’s a terrible time to lose a star pitcher, especially with the Nationals positioned to make a deep run in the postseason, but their 14-game cushion in the NL East should buy them some time while Scherzer’s on the mend. Prior to his bout of inflammation, the 33-year-old looked remarkably healthy this season. He pitched through his fifth consecutive All-Star campaign and currently boasts a 12-5 record in 24 starts, complete with a 2.25 ERA (good for second-best among qualified starters), 2.2 BB/9 and 12.3 SO/9 in 160 1/3 innings.