PHILADELPHIA — In a city where significant political history was made some 246 years ago this month, the Cardinals set a resounding John Hancock on their own history in the first inning of Saturday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies.
For the first time in club annals, the Cardinals hit four consecutive home runs. With two outs in the first, former Mizzou star Kyle Gibson was nailed for back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs by Nolan Arenado, Nolan Gorman, Juan Yepez and Dylan Carlson. Arenado’s homerun was a two-run shot on which Paul Goldschmidt scored.
But after making history, the cardinals also tried not to repeat recent history. Last Sunday, they led 5-0 over Chicago after three innings. But the Cubs rallied and won the game in 10 innings.
This time the spread was 5-0 after one frame. Again, the opposition quickly caught up and tied the score in the third inning. But Arenado and reliever Ryan Helsley prevented it from getting away.
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Arenado’s second homer of the game and third of the series, a striker of the ninth inning off Seranthony Dominguez, made it a 6-6 tie. Helsley (4-1), who fanned three in the eighth, got two more in the ninth when Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol gave a 36th birthday present by battling for a 7-6 verdict.
Cardinals were allowed four in a row two years ago
This was the first time since 2020 that four consecutive home runs have been hit in the majors and the Cardinals were also in the game. Roel Ramirez, in the only game he would play that season for the Cardinals, who had just gone through a long COVID-19 hiatus and were short on pitchers, served four home runs in a row.
They accounted for six runs in the fifth inning of a 7-2 Cardinals loss in Chicago as White Sox sluggers Yoan Moncada, Yasmani Grandal, Jose Abreu and Eloy Jimenez tied each other in succession.
Arenado’s 16th homer, a 354-foot drive to the left of a slider, was his fifth straight hit in two nights, the first of which had resulted in his second career cycle. That homer came on a 2-1 count, as did Gorman’s seventh homer, a 392-foot rocket that went off to the right of a cutter.
Yepez drilled a 1-2 slider 353 feet to the left for his 10th homer and Dylan Carlson belted the longest at 402 feet. Carlson’s fifth homer of the season came on a 1-0 sinker.
This was the first time that a team hit four consecutive homeruns in the first inning of a game. Teams have hit four home runs a total of 11 consecutive times.
Liberatore wastes lead
After moving to that 5-0 lead, lefthanded rookie Matthew Liberatore ran into problems in the second inning when he let the Phillies cut two runs from that deficit. Alex Bohm tripled to the right on a swipe that hit the wall, over a jump attempt by Lars Noobaar. Bohm scored on a sacrifice fly by CBC product Matt Vierling before Odubel Herrera singled, former Cardinal Yairo Munoz doubled and Bryson Stott singled to bring in Herrera. With runners on first and third base and one out, pitching coach Mike Maddux paid a visit to the mound and Liberatore stopped the bleeding, for now, by blowing to Kyle Schwarber and knocking out Rhys Hoskins after a pop-up.
But another sac-fly by Vierling in the third made it 5-3 and when Herrera singled for the second time, putting runners on first and third base again, lefthanded rookie Zack Thompson, who had started to get serious warming up in the raised bullpen in right-center, came in the game with two outs.
Munoz, who was released by the Cardinals after abruptly leaving camp a few springs ago, greeted Thompson with his second double, a two-run drive to left center that sent both runners home. Munoz celebrated with gusto after his second place.
Hicks returns with firearms
Righthander Jordan Hicks, who hadn’t pitched for the Cardinals since May 24 due to a forearm flexion problem, felt it Saturday. While scoring five outs in the fourth and fifth, Hicks, who had a total of 28 pitches, threw 18 pitches at 100mph or higher, including two at 103.4mph and one at 103. 1. There was also an 85mph slider that low-bridged Phillies beat Nick Castellanos in the fourth.
Coincidence or not, Gibson hit Nolan Arenado almost to the waist in the next inning. While Arenado was on first base, Phils-designated batter Kyle Schwarber barked at him from the dugout.
The crux of the Hicks-issue, however, was that the former closer, who was unsuccessful as a starter earlier this season, gave up only two harmless basehits in 1 2/3 innings without walking or striking out anyone.
Hicks took off with a 6-5 lead when Lars Noobaar walked Corey Knebel with a basesloaded base in the top of the fifth. The Phils tied the game 6-6 off Packy Naughton and Junior Fernandez in the sixth.
Photos: Cardinals bounce back in second game in Philadelphia