Lars Nootbaar Homered to Give the Victory, Cardinals Overpower Diamondbacks with 5 Home Runs in 11-7 Victory
10:54 JST, July 27, 2023
PHOENIX (AP) — NolaAPn Gorman hit two of St. Louis’ five home runs in the Cardinals’ 11-7 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday.
Gorman connected leading off the second against All-Star starter Zac Gallen, then hit a two-run blast to dead center in the eighth off Scott McGough.
Gorman, who grew up in Phoenix and had a large contingent of friends and family on hand, has two multi-homer games this season and 22 homers on the season.
“The most special thing is it’s my mom’s birthday,” Gorman said.
He watched Paul Goldschmidt when he was with the Diamondbacks, and now is a teammate. “There’s a lot of little things that I pick up from him that he learned here,” Gorman said.
Goldschmidt, Lars Nootbaar and Andrew Knizner also homered to give the Cardinals the series victory over the slumping Diamondbacks, who have lost six of seven and are 3-9 since the All-Star break.
Andre Pallante (3-1) pitched 1 1/3 innings in relief of Jack Flaherty, who made his final start for the Cardinals before the trade deadline Tuesday.
Flaherty, who will be a free agent after the season, pitched five-plus innings, allowing eight hits and three runs. He walked two and struck out four.
He gave up a leadoff triple to Geraldo Perdomo in the first, but stranded him thanks to a pair of strikeouts.
Flaherty admitted to being distracted by any impending moves. He has been with the Cardinals since 2017.
“It’s something you kinda know, you get a feeling the way things are going. But it’s a business and I got a job to do. Focus on the task at hand,” Flaherty said.
“He threw a lot of pitches (28) in the first but still navigated it well,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said.
Gallen (11-5) lost for the first time at home in 11 starts this season. He pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing five runs, seven hits and two walks. He struck out eight.
Emmanuel Rivera and Christian Walker homered for Arizona. Corbin Carroll and Jake McCarthy had three hits each for the Diamondbacks. Each team had 15 hits.
The Diamondbacks are just two seasons removed from a 110-loss season and find themselves in the buyers’ market for the first time in five years.
With the trade deadline coming Tuesday, general manager Mike Hazen addressed the state of his team before the game and reflected on his team’s rapid ascent even as they have fallen out of first place since the All-Star break.
“We don’t want to waste opportunities that may be in front of us,” Hazen said of acquiring help. “This team will continue to mature, and I think giving this team an opportunity to play in a pennant chase is extremely important.”
The Diamondbacks’ bullpen issues — including a blown save Monday in a loss and six runs allowed Wednesday — have been front and center but Hazen emphasized there are other needs.
“People fixate on the bullpen, but you don’t fixate on the eight innings of opportunities that put your bullpen in situations that end up costing you,” Hazen said. “That’s something that needs to improve for us as a team. We’re not going to beat you up every day. How we respond to this little lull in our season can be very indicative of what we’re looking at.”
The Cardinals, on the other hand, are in the unfamiliar position of becoming sellers. Last year’s NL Central champions are fighting to stay out of last place this season.
Flaherty, who is a free agent after the season, might be of interest to a contending team. Marmol acknowledged that the 27-year-old pitcher would be difficult to lose. He managed Flaherty with Palm Beach in the Class-A Florida State League in 2016.
Still, Marmol realized there’s not much he can do about it. “Until it happens, it’s not even in my thinking. You’re so entrenched in the competition.”
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