Paul DeJong hit an RBI double in the tenth inning and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Chicago White Sox 4-3 on Sunday.
DeJong hit a pitch from Keynan Middleton (2-1) down the left-field line to score Nolan Gorman, who led off the inning at second base. It was DeJong’s second straight strike, coming off a 1-for-19 drop.
“I was looking for something up that I could hit to the outfield and I just flipped it over and got to second,” DeJong said.
The Cardinals won their second straight game on the South Side despite three errors that led to Chicago losing every race.
“We kept our composure and didn’t give up,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said.
St. Louis catcher Willson Contreras hit a two-run home run and reached base four times on two hits, one walk and one hit-by-pitch. He is 11-for-17 with two homers and five RBIs in his last five games.
“He’s been settling in and feeling a lot better at the plate and driving the ball to all fields,” Mármol said. “We are seeing the Contreras that we are used to seeing.”
Contreras batted fourth and returned behind the plate after missing two games following a dental procedure Friday. The receiver was penalized with two passes and a shooting error.
JoJo Romero (1-0), the Cardinals’ fourth reliever, pitched two innings for his first career win.
Romero thought he had gotten a win on May 7 in the Cardinals’ 12-6 win over Detroit. But the 26-year-old lefty got just one out and allowed two runs in that one, and the official scorer awarded the win to Drew VerHagen.
“This one is special,” Romero said. “It’s one that I hope they can’t take away.”
The Cardinals tied it at 3 in the top of the ninth after loading the bases against Kendall Graveman with one out.
Alec Burleson’s chopper up the middle ricocheted off Graveman’s glove, and the White Sox could only get one out at second, rather than a game-ending double play. Lars Nootbar, who had doubled to lead off the inning, scored from third.
Zach Remillard scored Chicago’s third unearned run of the game on Luis Robert Jr.’s sacrifice fly in the eighth to put Chicago up 3–2.
In his first start since May 24, St. Louis left-hander Steven Matz allowed one unearned run and struck out nine in 5 1-3 innings. He gave up just two hits and walked no.
Matz dueled with Chicago right-hander Lucas Giolito, who allowed just two hits, both to Contreras, and two runs in seven innings.
“Gio was spectacular,” Chicago coach Pedro Grifol said. “On the offensive end we couldn’t do much today. This one hurts to end the first half”.
Matz made 10 starts to start this season, going 0-6 with a 5.72 ERA, before moving to the bullpen. He went 0-1 with a 2.81 ERA in relief and his longest outing was 3 1/3 innings.
The 32-year-old likely earned a spot in the rotation with this outing, throwing 57 of 75 pitches for strikes.
“He pitched a little bit today,” Mármol said. “Today we call him very condemned.”
Matz struck out six of the first 10 batters he faced, but the White Sox got an unearned run in the third to take a 1-0 lead.
Oscar Colas reached when first baseman Paul Goldschmidt missed his chopper. Colas advanced to second on a pass ball, then to third when Contreras’ throw to second went to center field.
Colas scored on Elvis Andrus’s single to left field.
Contreras hit his 10th home run into the bottom of the left-field bullpen for the first hit off Giolito and a 2–1 lead for St. Louis in the fourth.
The White Sox tied it at 2 in the seventh. Gorman was unable to find the rebound from pinch hitter Carlos Pérez and the error allowed Robert Jr. to score.