PHILADELPHIA — In a city where considerable political history was made 246 years ago this month, the Cardinals added a resounding John Hancock to 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 straight homers. With two first-round stoppages, former Mizzou star Kyle Gibson was pinned for back-to-back home runs by Nolan Arenado, Nolan Gorman, Juan Yepez and Dylan Carlson. Arenado’s homer was a two-run shot that hit Paul Goldschmidt.
But after making history, the cardinals also tried not to repeat recent history. They held a 5-0 lead against Chicago after three innings last Sunday. But the Cubs rallied and won the game in 10 innings.
This time it was 5:0 after one frame. Again, the opponent caught up quickly and leveled the game in the third inning. But Arenado and helper Ryan Helsley made sure he didn’t get away.
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Arenado’s second homer of the game and third of the series, a shot in the ninth inning ahead of Seranthony Dominguez, tied the game 6-6. Helsley (4-1), who fanned three in game eight, got two more in game ninth as the Cardinals gave manager Oliver Marmol a 36th birthday gift by rallying for a 7-6 verdict.
Cardinals allowed four in a row two years ago
This was the first time since 2020 that four consecutive homers were hit in the majors, and the Cardinals were involved in that one too. Roel Ramirez, in the only game he would play this season for the Cardinals, who just came off a long COVID-19 hiatus and were shorthanded in their pitching, served four straight homers.
With six carries in the fifth inning of a 7-2 Cardinals loss in Chicago, White Sox hitters Yoan Moncada, Yasmani Grandal, Jose Abreu and Eloy Jimenez met back-to-back.
Arenado’s 16th homer, a 354-foot drive to the left of a slider, was his fifth straight hit over two nights, the first of which had led to his second career cycle. That homer came 2-1, as did Gorman’s seventh homer, a 392-foot rocket to right center of a cutter.
Yepez drilled a 1-2 slider 353 feet to the left for his 10th homer and Dylan Carlson laced the longest at 402 feet. Carlson’s fifth homer of the season ended in a 1-0 sinker.
This was the first time a team had hit four straight home runs in the first inning of a game. The teams have hit four home runs a total of 11 times in a row.
Liberatore wastes leadership
After that 5-0 lead, left-hander Matthew Liberatore found himself in trouble in the second inning when he allowed the Phillies to close that gap by two runs. Alex Bohm tripled over a jump attempt by Lars Nootbaar to the right on a drive that ricocheted off the wall. Bohm scored with a sacrificial flight from CBC product Matt Vierling before Odubel Herrera folded, former Cardinal Yairo Munoz doubled and Bryson Stott folded and Herrera scored. With runners in first and third place and one outfitted, pitching coach Mike Maddux paid the mound a visit and Liberatore stopped the bleeding for the moment by fanning Kyle Schwarber and retiring Rhys Hoskins.
But another victim fly from four of a kind in the third made it 5-3, and as Herrera scored a second single and sent the runners into first and third place, left-handed rookie Zack Thompson, who was serious about warming up in the elevated bullpen on the right, came along -Center, went in 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 chased both runners home. Munoz celebrated enthusiastically after coming second.
Hiccup returns with guns blazing
Right-hander Jordan Hicks, who hasn’t served for the Cardinals since May 24 because of a forearm flexion problem, felt it Saturday. Hitting five outs in the fourth and fifth, Hicks, who totaled 28 pitches, threw 18 pitches at speeds of 100 mph or greater, including two at 103.4 mph and one at 103.1. There was also an 85-mile slider that beat Phillies Nick Castellanos in the fourth with low bridge.
Accident or not, Gibson hit Nolan Arenado near the waist in the next inning. As Arenado stood at first base, Phil’s designated hitter Kyle Schwarber barked at him from the dugout.
The crux of the Hicks thing, however, was that the former closer, unsuccessful as a starter earlier this season, only allowed two harmless singles in 1 2/3 innings without walking or hitting anyone.
Hicks took a 6-5 lead after Lars Nootbaar snatched a bases-loaded walk from Corey Knebel at the top of fifth place. The Phils drew 6-6 against Packy Naughton and Junior Fernandez in the sixth.
Photos: Cardinals recover in game two in Philadelphia