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Quick hits: Hudson throws six spotless innings but Cardinals lose again to Phillies, 1-0

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Consistency hardly had been a part of Dakota Hudson’s DNA since June 1.

For his first three starts in June, the Cardinals’ right-hander navigated seven innings on each occasion, For the four starts after that, he didn’t make it past five innings.

Walks or long counts—or both—contributed to Hudson throwing more pitches than necessary. But he was on his game in all areas Saturday at Busch Stadium, limiting the Philadelphia Phillies to just two hits and two walks over six innings, which took him only 84 pitches to complete.

There were no runs allowed. But then, again the Cardinals didn’t score any in that time against Mizzou product Kyle Gibson. 

Finally, the Phillies pushed across a run in the ninth against Giovanny Gallegos on Darick Hall’s double, a bunt single by Didi Gregorius and a sacrifice fly by Alec Bohm for a 1-0 win over the Cardinals. The Cardinals had runners at first and third and nobody out in their ninth but Nolan Arenado struck out, Dylan Carlson grounded out and Corey Dickerson flied out a Corey Knebel gained the save.

The shutout was the fourth in seven games suffered by the home side and was their eighth loss in their past 10 games overall. They have scored only two runs in their past 48 innings, not counting an extra-inning game on Thursday when the rules change with automatic runners at second.

Hudson allows hard contact but no runs

The Phillies scorched several balls hard in the first two innings but didn’t scratch. In the first, Rhys Hoskins belted a drive to deep center where Carlson ran it down, reaching back over his shoulder to make the twisting grab.

In the second, Gregorius lined to right fielder Lars Nootbaar near the warning track. With runners at first and second and one out, second baseman Nolan Gorman speared a liner by Bryson Scott and turned into a double play by throwing to shortstop Edmundo Sosa.

Hudson was being more efficient, though, throwing only 28 pitches through three innings although he did issue a leadoff walk to Hall in the second after getting ahead of the rookie at 0-2. Hall was the one doubled off second to end the inning.

Phillies’ Gibson keeps ball in play

After surrendering a record four consecutive homers in the first inning to the Cardinals last Saturday, former Mizzou star Kyle Gibson permitted nothing of the sort in the early going on Saturday. Over the first three frames, Gibson didn’t allow a hit until Andrew Knizner, who had been nothing for 12, rolled a single into left field with two out in the third.

Carlson snatches another hit

Carlson, replacing injured Gold Glover Harrison Bader in center field, turned in another golden play in the fourth when he dived to take away a hit from Gregorius to end the fourth inning. Ahead of that play, Hudson had allowed Hall’s shift-beating single to an unoccupied area on the left side of the field.

Carlson made another “plus” play to wrap up the fifth, retreating to deep center to make an over-the-shoulder reception of CBC product Matt Vierling’s fly ball which carried farther than it looked as if it might.

Still. . . nothing doing

Through five innings, Hudson had thrown only 62 pitches and walked only one. Gibson made it with only 63 pitches. The Phillies’ hurler didn’t allow his second it until Nootbaar hustled out a double to left center with two out in the fifth. Sosa, taking the Cardinals’ first at-bat with a man in scoring position, bounced sharply to third baseman Bohm.

There still was no score. And, when Hudson left after six innings and 84 pitches and Gibson after seven with 84 pitches, each had given up only two hits.

No contact, no runs

Cardinals lefthander Genesis Cabrera, who had been out since June 22 as he had a stay on the COVID-related injured list, struck out the first two men he faced in the seventh and then walked the next two. Right-hander Jordan Hicks, relieving in the later innings for the first time since coming off the IL, retired Vierling on a fly to left to end the inning.

Wheels spin in eighth

The Cardinals sent up Albert Pujols to pinch hit in the eighth inning with a runner at second and two out against left-hander Jose Alvarado. Phils manager Rob Thomson countered Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol by walkng Pujols intentionally. This brought up left-handed hitting Nolan Gorman, four for 12 (.333) against left-handers this season. The Phillies won this battle of wits as Gorman flied to left.

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