Yadier Molina punched a three-run triple into the right field corner again”st closer David Robertson in the eighth inning, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 3-2 victory over the White Sox Wednesday.
Robertson, called on for a four-out save after the Cardinals loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth against Sox lefthander Zach Duke, had two strikes on Molina, who reached out for a Robertson cut fastball on the outer half of the plate to clear the bases and erase a 2-0 White Sox lead. The Cardinals loaded the bases against Duke on a single by Randal Grichuk, a pitch that hit Matt Holliday on the foot and a catcher’s interference call on Tyler Flowers with Jason Heyward batting.
Heyward fouled off a pitch and made contact with Flowers’ mitt.
“An odd play, unfortunate,” manager Robin Ventura said of the interference call. “And we ended up paying for it.”
Robertson suffered his fifth blown save.
“I thought it was a great pitch,” Robertson said. “He’s a really good hitter. I thought I was going to be able to beat him with it. But he did what good hitters do, he found a hole in the outfield, put a good swing on it and drove in all three runs and I ended up with a blown save.
“He flipped it into the perfect spot. A triple from a catcher is a tough one to take. He’s a good hitter. I don’t know what else to say — I threw my best pitch and he got me.”
A large contingent of Cardinals fans among the 30,046 paid erupted as Avisail Garcia ran a long way into the corner to track down Molina’s hit.
“I think it was a cutter, right on the corner away,” Molina said. “I was looking for something middle, middle away,” Molina said. “It was a good pitch. I mean, I just got lucky to put the bat on the ball and got lucky to find a hole.”
Sox left-hander John Danks pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing no walks and five hits while striking out five to lower his ERA in July to 2.25. Danks left in the seventh with a 2-0 lead provided by back-to-back RBI singles from Jose Abreu and Melky Cabrera against Lance Lynn in the sixth.
“It was tough when Johnny pitches like that,” Ventura said. “He was fantastic tonight, command, changed speeds, everything. I thought he was great.”
The Sox had a chance in the eighth to answer Molina’s blow when Abreu and Avisail Garcia singled to put runners on the corners, but left-hander Kevin Siegrist struck out Adam LaRoche on three pitches.
Trevor Rosenthal retired the Sox in order in the ninth to earn his 29th save. The Cardinals (60-34), swept in two games by the Sox in St. Louis earlier this month, returned the favor by sweeping two from the Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.
The Sox (42-50) have lost four in a row and six of their last seven. They open a four-game series in Cleveland Thursday, followed by four in Boston against the Red Sox that concludes at the trade deadline that could see Sox players dealt away.
“I would hate to see somebody go,” Danks said. “It’s part of it and we have nobody to blame but ourselves but we definitely don’t want to see anybody go. We have a pretty tight group here. We know what we’re capable of. It’s just a shame we haven’t played up to expectations to this point.
“We have to win ballgames. There’s not really any time left. We have to go. I feel like we have played better than our record shows this first week, but at the end of the day it’s all about wins and losses. We have to do better. We know that. Pick it up tomorrow. Hopefully we can beat up on a central division opponent and go from there.
“It’s been a disappointing season to this point. We didn’t expect to be here. We have nobody to blame but ourselves. We know what we’re capable of, we just have to go out there and do it. Like I said, time is getting short.”