Matt Carpenter powered his way to one run Monday night and hustled his way to another.
The third baseman hit his 10th home run to start the scoring and then pulled off a rare bunt double, eventually scoring again, as the Cardinals defeated Miami 5-0 at Busch Stadium.
The home run carried into the first row of the right-center field bleachers in the third inning. His double came against a shifted Miami infield that created wide-open space on the left side and allowed his bunt to roll onto the outfield grass in the fifth.
Carpenter then scored on a two-base fielding error when second baseman Starlin Castro misplayed a fly ball hit by Paul Goldschmidt.
"I do it every time. It's nothing new. Every time they shift me with less than two strikes, I bunt," Carpenter said. "I'm surprised that they did it because it's in the books. If it's less than two strikes and there's nobody over there, I bunt every single time."
Dexter Fowler blew the game open with a three-run homer in the eighth.
Miles Mikolas (5-7) pitched six scoreless innings, allowing six hits with four strikeouts and no walks. Three relievers finished off the shutout in a game in which no walks were issued by either team.
Carpenter had three hits but it was the double that drew the most attention. With the entire Miami infield lined up on the right side, he dropped a bunt that pitcher Elieser Hernandez was forced to pursue.
As Hernandez trotted after the ball, Carpenter rounded first and never hesitated in going to second as the ball rolled several feet onto the outfield grass.
Carpenter also started the eighth-inning rally with an infield single. Paul DeJong followed with a single before Fowler’s eighth home run.
The Cardinals have won six of their last eight games.
"We're playing better," Carpenter said. "We're getting good starting pitching, the bullpen's been great and the offense is starting to find its groove. We know we have good hitters in here. We're looking for everyone to catch fire and hopefully that's starting."
Carpenter bunts for double
The defensive shift deployed against Matt Carpenter backfired on Miami and created a baseball rarity in the fifth inning at Busch Stadium.
Carpenter pushed a bunt to the empty left side of the infield and turned it into a double, eventually scoring on a two-base error to give the Cardinals a 2-0 lead over the Marlins.
Pitcher Elieser Hernandez was left to chase down Carpenter's bunt, which rolled a few feet onto the left-field grass. As Hernandez trotted after the ball, Carpenter rounded first and never hesitated in going to second, which he reached standing up.
Paul Goldschmidt then hit a towering fly ball to shallow center field. Center fielder JT Riddle, shortstop Miguel Rojas and second baseman Starlin Castro converged before Castro misplayed the ball and had it fall with Goldschmidt reaching second and Carpenter scoring.
Carpenter HR opens scoring
Matt Carpenter hit his 10th home run of the season in the third inning to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead over Miami at Busch Stadium, where an early threat of rain was avoided for an on-time start.
Carpenter's homer barely carried into the right-center field seats off of Miami starter Elieser Hernandez.
Miles Mikolas allowed singles in the second and third innings after retiring the Marlins on three ground balls, needing only six pitches, in the first inning.
The Cardinals had singles in the first by Paul DeJong and Marcell Ozuna but Dexter Fowler struck out to end the inning.
Ravelo gets his chance
Righthanded-hitting first baseman/outfielder Rangel Ravelo, a standout for the past three seasons at Class AAA Memphis, finally is getting his first big-league shot. At least, for a day or two.
To replace infielder Yairo Munoz, who went on the paternity list, the Cardinals purchased the contract of Ravelo from Memphis and he is expected to join the team for Monday night’s game against Miami at Busch Stadium.
The 27-year-old Ravelo, hitting .333 with nine homers and 42 runs batted in at Memphis this season, will take the place of righthanded reliever Mike Mayers on the 40-man roster. Mayers, who won’t be able to pitch for the Cardinals for probably another month after suffering a strained lat, was moved from the 10-day injured list to the 60-day IL. He was hurt in mid-April.
Manager Mike Shildt was asked why Ravelo was the choice to promote.
“Have you looked at his numbers? Pretty good,” Shildt said. “That was the recommendation of the front office, so we support that. He’s a guy who had a great spring and has done well offensively.”
Ravelo has played 838 career minor-league games, including stints with the Chicago White Sox and Oakland organizations. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Havana, Cuba native was signed by the Cardinals as a minor league free-agent in April 2017. He played 26 games in left field and 20 at first base this season.
"I think it's every player's dream to be here," Ravelo said. "I had a good minor-league career, and of course the ultimate goal was to be here."
Assigned No. 47, Ravelo will become the sixth Cardinal to make his major league debut this season with his first game appearance. With infielder Jedd Gyorko (strained lower back) due back from the IL on Tuesday and Munoz back later this week, Ravelo’s stay this time might be brief. But he left a strong impression in spring training when he was the Cardinals’ best hitter before suffering a rib-cage injury diving for a ball at first base.
Ravelo hit .314 and .308 in his two previous seasons for Memphis, which won the Pacific Coast League title both times.
Waino could start Thursday
Shildt announced that Daniel Ponce de Leon will start Wednesday’s game and that Thursday’s spot will be filled by Adam Wainwright or Michael Wacha. Wainwright threw a bullpen session Monday that Shildt said was “very favorable.”
“He’s on track to starting soon,” Shildt said.
Wacha will likely start this weekend if not on Thursday, but first a decision must be made about Wainwright’s return. That announcement will likely come Tuesday.
Other player updates
Reliever Ryan Helsley does not appear to be facing a long setback, Shildt said. Helsley was placed on the injured list with an impingement in his right shoulder.
“Everything’s going well and he’s responding,” Shildt said. “He’s had no injections to this point.”
Mike Mayers, who is on the 60-day IL, threw a bullpen session Monday and will have another Thursday. At that point he will be scheduled for a simulated game in St. Louis or in Florida. “He’s actually ahead of schedule,” Shildt said.
Jedd Gyorko could come off the IL on Tuesday. He did some pregame infield work Monday and Shildt said there is a strong possibility he’ll be ready to return.
1. Matt Carpenter, 3B
2. Paul DeJong, SS
3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
4. Marcell Ozuna, LF
5. Dexter Fowler, RF
6. Yadier Molina, C
7. Kolten Wong, 2B
8. Harrison Bader, CF
9. Miles Mikolas, P
1. Curtis Granderson, LF
2. Garrett Cooper, 1B
3. Brian Anderson, 3B
4. Starlin Castro, 2B
5. Harold Ramirez, RF
6. Jorge Alfaro, C
7. JT Riddle, CF
8. Miguel Rojas, SS
9. Elieser Hernandez, P