Lars Nootbaar hit on the first pitch of the game, Nolan Gorman added a three-run shot and the Cardinals defeated the Mariners 7-3 on Sunday to prevent a 3-game sweep.
SEATTLE — SEATTLE (AP) — Lars Nootbaar hit a homer in first place of the game, Nolan Gorman added a three-run shot and the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Seattle Mariners 7-3 on Sunday to a three-game win – Prevent sweep.
Paul DeJong also went deep on his season debut and Jack Flaherty recovered from early trouble to hit six solid innings with nine strikeouts for St. Louis.
Gorman’s three-run homer down right center gave the Cardinals a 6-3 lead in the fourth. He has six home runs and NL-leading 14 two-from RBIs this season. His game-changing drive came after second baseman Kolten Wong failed to catch JP Crawford’s throw on a double-play attempt after the shortstop set up a liner by Paul Goldschmidt.
“That’s a big home run,” said Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol. “And he continues to take big swings for us. I mean, if you look at his homers, they weren’t just five homers. He puts us in the lead and ties ball games. He takes big swings in big moments.”
Jarred Kelenic hit a homer for the second day in a row and Ty France had a two-run single for Seattle.
Nootbaar connected on the first pitch with Mariners starter Chris Flexen (0-4).
“That gets all the guys ready,” Flaherty said.
DeJong had three hits, including a solo homer in the seventh, during his first game of the season after returning from the injured list.
Flaherty (2-2) fell 3-2 in the second but held the Mariners back by one hit in his final 4 1/3 innings. He walked two and threw 104 pitches.
“We talked about it as a guy who understands what’s at stake, like finishing an inning to make him go a little deeper and get us going,” Marmol said. “He accepted that and did just that.”
The right-hander gave up five hits to extend his streak to 30 games and allow six hits or fewer. He ranks seventh in major league history with Marcelino Lopez. Nolan Ryan is sixth at 31.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Flaherty said when asked about the series. “That’s good to know.”
Kelenic hit a solo homer in the second, and France delivered a two-run single as Seattle batted around in the inning.
Tyler O’Neill tied it 3-all for the Cardinals with an RBI single in the third.
“I thought it was going to be one of those games where we would go back and forth, but we just couldn’t recover from the big hit from Gorman,” said Mariners manager Scott Servais.
Nootbaar had the opportunity to meet up with his personal baseball hero, Ichiro Suzuki, during the series. The two discussed Japan’s WBC championship, which Nootbaar helped the team win last month. Suzuki, a longtime Seattle star, is a special assistant to the chairman at the Mariners.
Cardinals new signing Willson Contreras was thrown in fifth place for barking at the umpire as he walked back to the dugout after a swinging strike. Contreras smashed his racquet, upset by two announced strikes earlier in the plate performance. It was his seventh career exit.
DeJong went 3 for 4. He missed the first 21 games of this season after injuring his back during spring training. To free up space on the list, INF Taylor Motter was designated for assignment.
Cardinals: LHP Jordan Montgomery (2-2, 4.84 ERA) starts the first of four games in San Francisco on Monday. Montgomery gave up his career with seven carries and 10 hits in his last appearance, an 8-7 loss to Arizona.
Mariners: RHP Logan Gilbert (1-1, 3.57) takes the mound Tuesday in Philadelphia to start a nine-game road trip.