Goldschmidt homers, Molina passes Pudge in Cards’ 3-1 win

With his 11 putouts, Yadier Molina ranked first in Major League Baseball history for a catcher with 14,870 putouts in his 18 seasons.

ST. LOUIS — Paul Goldschmidt hit a homer in two runs and drove in three, leading the St. Louis Cardinals 3-1 against Pittsburgh on Tuesday in a doubleheader opener that extended the Pirates’ losing streak to eight.

Goldschmidt hit his 14th home run, a two-run go-ahead drive in the third inning from JT Brubaker (0-7) and increased the lead to 3-0 with an RBI ground shot in the fourth. Goldschmidt is hitting .383 with 11 homers and 34 RBIs since May 12, taking his 51 RBI average to an NL-leading .338, second in the NL to Pete Alonso of the New York Mets.

Yadier Molina had 11 putouts from 10 strikeouts and one foul popup, and with 14,870 he passed Iván Rodríguez (14,864) for most catchers in major league history. The 39-year-old, a 10-time All-Star, received a standing ovation with the record-holder when he caught Ke’Bryan Hayes’ sixth-inning pop-up.

Pittsburgh had four errors, three from shortstop Diego Castillo — including poor throws at groundouts on back-to-back pitches. He only had two errors coming in.

Matthew Liberatore (2-1) allowed three hits in five scoreless innings, batting five and walking two in his fourth big league starts. The 22-year-old left-hander, who was drafted after 79 pitches, has thrown a shutout ball in his two wins, the first against Milwaukee on May 28.

St. Louis won for the fourth time in five games. The Pirates are on their longest slide for the eighth straight August 4-12.

Giovanny Gallegos hit a ninth one-hit on his ninth save with 12 chances and finished a seven-hitter.

St. Louis assisted its pitchers with two double plays and has the fourth-highest total in the major leagues at 58.

Brubaker (0-7) was winless in 13 starts this year. He gave up three runs — two earned — and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Yu Chang shot down in the seventh from Génesis Cabrera.

Miles Mikolas (4-4, 2.93) should start the second game for the Cardinals and Bryse Wilson (0-3, 7.53) for the Pirates.

Goldschmidt scored his 50th at Busch Stadium on a 418-foot drive to center.

Castillo made two errors in the fourth. He made an easy throw for first, which bounced on Molina’s grounder, then sailed a high throw for first on Edmundo Sosa’s grounder.

Brubaker switched to a windup with a 3-2 count against Nolan Gorman, and Molina started for third place. Brubaker got out and threw for second in a pickoff attempt, and after an umpire deliberation, second base umpire Dan Iassogna called a balk, prompting Pirates manager Derek Shelton to come onto the field to to argue.

Gorman went to load the bases. and Goldschmidt followed with a three in the middle. Gorman beat Castillo’s backhand throw for second and kept running to get caught in a rundown that allowed Molina to score. After throws to catcher Jason Delay, Hayes in third place, Castillo and Delay, Sosa was on the plate.

Delay, a 27-year-old who was drafted by Vanderbilt in the fourth round of the 2017 amateur draft, made his big-league debut going with a walk 0 for 2. He became the sixth catcher drafted this season for the Pirates played, the most since 2016.

Pittsburgh’s Canaan Smith-Njigba pinch scored in ninth place and doubled on his major league debut. The 23-year-old was drafted by the Yankees in the fourth round in 2017 and was acquired in January 2021, which sent pitcher Jameson Taillon to New York. His younger brother Jaxon was the MVP of this year’s Rose Bowl as a huge achievement for Ohio State.

Brendan Donovan, the lead for the Cardinals, has appeared on all nine rosters this season, played all four infield positions and right and left field.


Albert Pujols played his 1,340. Played at first base and connected Jim Bottomley for the most in Cardinals history. It was also his 1,739. Game with the Cardinals in which he overtook Curt Flood for seventh most in franchise history.

Pirates: RHP Duane Underwood Jr. was placed on the COVID-19 injured list on Monday.

Cardinals RHP Jack Flaherty (right shoulder) will make his season debut in Wednesday night’s series finals rather than make a third rehab start for minor league injuries. It is expected to have a limit of around 60 spaces. RHP Roansy Contreras (1-1, 2.57) starts for Pittsburgh.

More AP MLB: and Goldschmidt homers, Molina passes Pudge in Cards’ 3-1 win

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