Paul Goldschmidt wins walk-in Grand Slam in 10th

ST. LOUIS — At this point, it’s probably an understatement to say that the St. Louis Cardinals are undergoing a youth movement.

It’s more like their farming system matured at the right time, blending seamlessly with a roster of veterans. Paul Goldschmidt hit a grand slam to drive Lars Nootbaar, Tommy Edman and Edmundo Sosa in the 10th inning to give the Cardinals a 7-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night in a game featuring rookies Brendan Donovan and Juan Yepez once again had their fingerprints everywhere.

They came at a time in Cardinals history when many of their Minor League teammates also got their first call-ups due to injuries and underperformance by some veterans. Although much less advertised than many of the team’s top prospects, these two rookies have had the biggest impact so far.

In just 23 Major League games, Donovan played at six positions, including right field in place of injured Dylan Carlson on Monday, while posting a 1.004 OPS and scoring 11 points. It’s a measure of how far he’s come in the short time that Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo chose to intentionally step on Donovan with first base open and a ninth-inning outing to surrender to veteran Corey Dickerson. , who immediately made the move pay. hitting in an endgame double play

Donovan also landed a dive into right field to keep the Blue Jays scoreless in the 10th, setting up the game-winning rally.

Yepez, who is hitting .522 in 18 games, hit the seventh-inning home run that sparked a Cardinals offense that had been put to sleep by José Berríos’ snappy off-speed tricks and propensity for working fast.

“It’s fun because I played with these guys together, and we struggled in the minor leagues,” Yepez said. “To be able to all be here to have fun and win games for this club is really amazing.”

Yepez and Donovan were teammates at Single-A Peoria and Triple-A Memphis.

“I always tell him you’re the best hitter I know because he has such good control of the strike zone. He knows what pitches to hit, what pitches to give up,” Yepez said of Donovan. “I remember when we got here he wasn’t hitting so well and he was like, ‘Man, I don’t have my walks. I was like, ‘Wait until you start getting hits and you’ll get your rides.’ Then he got up to .300, and he started walking, and I said, ‘It’s like I told you. You are the best hitter I have ever met.

After seeing several of their starting pitchers leave games early lately and putting a starter, Steven Matz, on injured reserve for the first time of the season earlier today, the Cardinals needed a good departure Monday evening.

Miles Mikolas agreed, but Berríos tied it, allowing the teams to play the first six innings in just over 90 minutes.

“There were a few innings where I went down to get a drink or go to the bathroom and walked out, and it was like two outs, two strikes. I had to get my things back and start over,” Mikolas said. “As much as I wish we scored a bunch of points, I love not having to sit for a long time when I’m feeling good.”

Berríos didn’t have much history with the arrival of the Cardinals. What he had was pitching for the Twins, and that was pretty impressive. He continued his success against St. Louis by knocking out the team in the first inning and adding two more puffs in the third. By the time Donovan took a third strike called in the fourth, Berríos had amassed 24 career strikeouts against the Cardinals in just 16 1/3 innings.

But amid his relative early dominance, Nolan Arenado started the second inning with a single to center, then scored on Donovan’s brace in the right-field corner.

The Cardinals’ only other run while Berríos was pitching came on a line drive that went over the top of the left field wall off Yepez’s atbat in the seventh inning.

Mikolas couldn’t match Berríos’ strikeout total, but he surpassed it by scoring zeros through the first five innings.

George Springer ended his shutout attempt with a left-line home run to start the sixth inning.

Mikolas seemingly found his form starting in 2018, when – after three dominant seasons in Japan – he won 18 games and had a 2.83 ERA for the Cardinals to finish sixth in Cy Young’s ballot. Mikolas ranks eighth in MLB in ERA (1.96) and 11th in WHIP (0.98) this season despite ranking 43rd with just 41 strikeouts. He’s back to cause bad contact and pile up balls on the ground.

He said he loved seeing all the young players come in and contribute to a team led by Yadier Molina, Adam Wainwright and Albert Pujols, all aged 39 or older.

“The Tokyo Giants have done a good job. We had a lot of young guys coming up when I was there, mingling with a lot of veterans, but I think the Cardinals could be one of the best in that area,” Mikolas said.

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