Edman caps Cardinals’ 5-run 9th in 6-5 win over Nationals

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ST. LOUIS — Tommy Edman was confused.

The St. Louis infielder thought he had made the final out.

Instead, his long drive to left field nicked off the glove of outfielder Alex Call for a two-run, two-out double to cap St. Louis’ five-run ninth inning in a 6-5 victory over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night.

“I definitely thought he caught it at first,” Edman said. “Once I heard the cheering and saw everyone running out to me, I realized what had happened. It went from bad to good pretty quickly.”

St. Louis moved 9 1/2 games ahead of Milwaukee for the NL Central lead, winning for the 20th time in its last 23 home games. The Cardinals are a season-high 25 games over .500 at 81-56.

Edman doubled to left off reliever Kyle Finnegan (5-3) to cap the rally.

“That last inning was pretty incredible,” Edman said. “We had seven or eight good at-bats. We kind of played pass the baton.”

Explained St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol, “To stay locked in, it speaks to the culture of this team. The fight there at the end is impressive to see.”

Edman had his second walk-off hit of the season. He hit a late two-run homer to beat Cincinnati 5-4 on June 11. He extended his hitting streak to 10 games.

The Cardinals became the first team this season to win a game after trailing by four or more runs entering the ninth inning.

Paul Goldschmidt hit his 35th homer, a solo homer off Cory Abbott leading off the fourth. Goldschmidt leads the NL with 108 RBIs. He’s one homer shy of tying his career best.

Jordan Montgomery turned in another strong outing with his new team. Montgomery allowed one run on three hits over 6 2/3 innings and did not get a decision. He struck out six, walked two and left with it tied 1-1.

“I found a good groove,” Montgomery said. “Me and (Yadier Molina) were pretty dialed in there. I was just kind of throwing it to his glove. I was executing a lot of pitches.”

Montgomery is 5-0 in seven starts since he was acquired from the New York Yankees for outfielder Harrison Bader on Aug. 2. The Cardinals are 25-4 since they picked up Montgomery and pitcher Jose Quintana at the trade deadline.

Jake Woodford (4-0) pitched the ninth for the victory.

Luke Voit hit a two-run homer for Washington.

Abbott allowed one run on five hits over 4 1/3 innings. He struck out five and did not walk a batter.

Joey Meneses broke a 1-1 tie with two-out single in the eighth of reliever Giovanny Gallegos. Voit followed with his 19th homer of the season for a 4-1 cushion. He made his major league debut in St. Louis and played 70 games with the Cardinals from 2017-18.

The Nationals tied it at 1 on a two-out triple by Cesar Hernandez in the seventh. Nelson Cruz drew a one-out walk to start the rally.

“I thought we played really well up until that last inning,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said. “I saw a lot of positive things.”

St. Louis climbed within 5-4 in the ninth on a run-scoring double by Nolan Arenado, a ground out by Corey Dickerson and an RBI single by Molina.

BIG HITTER

Golf star John Daly threw out the first pitch prior to the contest. Daly is in town to compete in the Ascension Charity Classic this weekend at nearby Norwood Hills Country Club. The two-time major champion attended Helias High School in Jefferson City.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals: OF Dylan Carlson was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left thumb strain. He is not expected to swing a bat for at least the next four days.

UP NEXT

RHP Adam Wainwright (10-9, 3.21) will face Washington RHP Josiah Gray (7-9, 4.91) in the finale of the four-game series on Thursday afternoon. Wainwright and batterymate Yadier Molina will likely tie the career record for most games together at 324, which is currently held by the Detroit Tigers duo of Mickey Lolich and Bill Freehan (1963-1975).

Biden praises Braves’ ‘unstoppable, joyful run’ to 2021 win

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said the Atlanta Braves will be “forever known as the upset kings of October” for their improbable 2021 World Series win, as he welcomed the team to the White House for a victory celebration.

Biden called the Braves’ drive an “unstoppable, joyful run.” The team got its White House visit in with just over a week left before the 2022 regular season wraps up and the Major League Baseball playoffs begin again. The Braves trail the New York Mets by 1.5 games in the National League East but have clinched a wildcard spot for the MLB playoffs that begin Oct. 7. Chief Executive Officer Terry McGuirk said he hoped they’d be back to the White House again soon.

In August 2021, the Braves were a mess, playing barely at .500. But then they started winning. And they kept it up, taking the World Series in six games over the Houston Astros.

Biden called their performance of “history’s greatest turnarounds.”

“This team has literally been part of American history for over 150 years,” said Biden. “But none of it came easy … people counting you out. Heck, I know something about being counted out.”

Players lined up on risers behind Biden, grinning and waving to the crowd, but the player most discussed was one who hasn’t been on the team in nearly 50 years and who died last year: Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.

Hammerin’ Hank was the home run king for 33 years, dethroning Babe Ruth with a shot to left field on April 8, 1974. He was one of the most famous players for Atlanta and in baseball history, a clear-eyed chronicler of the hardships thrown his way – from the poverty and segregation of his Alabama youth to the racist threats he faced during his pursuit of one of America’s most hallowed records. He died in January at 86.

“This is team is defined by the courage of Hank Aaron,” Biden said.

McGuirk said Aaron, who held front office positions with the team and was one of Major League Baseball’s few Black executives, was watching over them.

“He’d have been there every step of the way with us if he was here,” McGuirk added.

The president often honors major league and some college sports champions with a White House ceremony, typically a nonpartisan affair in which the commander in chief pays tribute to the champs’ prowess, poses for photos and comes away with a team jersey.

Those visits were highly charged in the previous administration. Many athletes took issue with President Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric on policing, immigration and more. Trump, for his part, didn’t take kindly to criticism from athletes or their on-field expressions of political opinions.

Under Biden, the tradition appears to be back. He’s hosted the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks and Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the White House. On Monday he joked about first lady Jill Biden’s Philadelphia allegiances.

“Like every Philly fan, she’s convinced she knows more about everything in sports than anybody else,” he said. He added that he couldn’t be too nice to the Atlanta team because it had just beaten the Phillies the previous night in extra innings.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was later questioned about the team’s name, particularly as other professional sports teams have moved away from names – like the Cleveland Indians, now the Guardians, and the Washington Redskins, now the Commanders – following years of complaints from Native American groups over the images and symbols.

She said it was important for the country to have the conversation. “And Native American and Indigenous voices – they should be at the center of this conversation,” she said.

Biden supported MLB’s decision to pull the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest Georgia’s sweeping new voting law, which critics contend is too restrictive.