Rally Squirrel II: Critter shows up, Cards beat Tigers 5-2

DETROIT (AP) The St. Louis Cardinals needed something to get them going on Sunday against the Detroit Tigers.

Out of nowhere - again - a squirrel appeared.

In an episode sure to revive St. Louis fans' memories of the 2011 Rally Squirrel, this game at Comerica Park was scoreless going into the seventh inning. That's when a squirrel took up residence between second and third base.

There was a delay and, with some prompting from the Tigers infield, the critter moved into foul territory and eventually made its escape in right field.

The Cardinals wound up scoring five times in the inning and avoided a series sweep with a 5-2 victory.

''I don't think you can discount that factor,'' manager Mike Shildt said. ''The squirrel shows up and we score five runs. We only had six in the whole series before that.''

During the 2011 NL Division Series, a squirrel cut across the diamond at Busch Stadium, running right past home plate during a game against Philadelphia. The Cards went on to win the playoff series and later the championship - their World Series rings even depicted a squirrel.

''I don't necessarily believe in superstitions like that,'' said Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong, who had a hit in the seventh. But he added: ''Maybe you could call it the Rally Squirrel.''

The Cardinals lost the first two games of the series in walk-off fashion and didn't have a baserunner until the sixth against Michael Fulmer.

St. Louis, which has a one-game lead for the second NL wild card spot, won for the third time in eight games.

''You never want to get swept by anybody,'' said Kolten Wong, who drove in the Cardinals' first run. ''We knew they could be dangerous, because they have nothing to lose, and they gave us a battle. Luckily, we were able to get one.''

Detroit's four-game winning streak was snapped.

John Gant (7-5) allowed two runs on five hits and a walk in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out six.

''I knew I really needed to bear down, because we needed this game,'' Gant said. ''I had to go out there and give my best effort.''

Carlos Martinez pitched the ninth for his second save. After the game, Shildt said Martinez will replace Bud Norris as the team's closer.

Fulmer (3-11) was perfect through five innings but only got four more outs. He allowed five runs on five hits and three walks in 6 1/3 innings, striking out five.

''He was cruising, and then everything fell apart behind him,'' Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. ''We didn't make a couple plays, we dropped a ball and they found a bunch of holes. I don't think they hit a ball hard off him.''

Fulmer fell to 0-6 in his last nine starts, with the Tigers losing all nine.

''My job is to help this team win games, and I'm obviously not doing that,'' he said. ''But I can feel the progress every time. This is the best I've felt in two years.''

In the seventh, Marcell Ozuna and DeJong both hit infield singles with one out, and Wong followed with an RBI single to left. Yairo Munoz followed with a flyball down the right-field line that Niko Goodrum dropped, allowing the second run to score.

Greg Garcia was intentionally walked, loading the bases, and Carson Kelly hit the third infield single of the inning to make it 3-0. Victor Alcantara replaced Fulmer and allowed a sacrifice fly to Matt Carpenter before Jose Martinez's RBI single gave the Cardinals a five-run lead.

''Fulmer was really tough, but we found some little holes,'' Kelly said. ''You never know when that squirrel will show up, but we needed it there.''

The Tigers got their two runs in the bottom of the seventh, thanks to doubles from Nicholas Castellanos, James McCann and Ronny Rodriguez.

Carpenter and Shildt were both ejected after Carpenter was called out on strikes to end the ninth.

ROSTER MOVES

The Tigers brought up three players from Triple-A Toledo, one day after the Mud Hens were eliminated from the International League playoffs. Prospect Christin Stewart is expected to play regularly in left field, while C Jarrod Saltalamacchia will serve as the third catcher and RHP Zac Reininger will add a bullpen arm. Stewart made his major-league debut, pinch-hitting for Ronny Rodriguez with two out in the ninth. He popped out to third to end the game.

UP NEXT

Cardinals: Return home for a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Adam Wainwright (1-3, 4.00 ERA) starts Monday for the Cardinals against Pittsburgh's Trevor Williams (12-9, 3.15).

Tigers: Justin Verlander (14-9, 2.73) returns to Comerica Park to face the Tigers on Monday in the first of a three-game series with the Houston Astros. Francisco Liriano (4-9, 4.90) starts for Detroit.

---

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/tag/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

123456789RHE
STL79-64
000000500570
DET59-84
000000200251
  • W: J. Gant (7-5)L: M. Fulmer (3-11)S: C. Martinez (2)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
M. Carpenter DH40010022.270.384.558.9420.0
J. Martinez RF40110012.303.362.456.8171.5
H. Bader PR-CF00000000.274.344.431.7740.0
M. Adams 1B40000022.246.318.491.809-1.0
M. Ozuna LF41100010.278.321.434.7551.5
P. DeJong SS41200000.231.310.427.7373.0
K. Wong 2B41110011.246.328.388.7162.5
Y. Munoz CF-RF-3B21010101.279.346.434.7812.0
G. Garcia 3B11000200.217.305.303.6083.0
T. O'Neill RF10000000.243.277.468.7460.0
C. Kelly C40210000.138.219.138.3573.0
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    J. Candelario 3B40000011.228.315.408.723-0.5
    J. Adduci 1B40000020.289.314.415.729-1.0
    N. Castellanos DH31200110.295.352.489.8415.5
    N. Goodrum RF40100013.236.312.430.7422.5
    M. Mahtook LF40010011.209.288.357.6450.5
    J. McCann C41100000.220.268.314.5823.0
    R. Rodriguez SS30110010.219.256.342.5992.5
    a- C. Stewart PH10000000.000.000.000.0000.0
    D. Lugo 2B10000200.270.325.351.6762.0
    J. Jones CF30000003.207.262.373.6350.0
    • a-popped out for Rodriguez in the 9th
    BATTING
    • SF - M. Carpenter (4), Y. Munoz (2)
    • RBI - M. Carpenter (77), J. Martinez (79), K. Wong (33), Y. Munoz (37), C. Kelly (3)
    • 2-Out RBI - J. Martinez (40)
    • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - J. Martinez 2 (2), M. Adams 2 (2), Y. Munoz
    BATTING
    • 2B - N. Castellanos 2 (39), J. McCann (15), R. Rodriguez (6)
    • RBI - M. Mahtook (21), R. Rodriguez (19)
    • 2-Out RBI - R. Rodriguez (7)
    • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - N. Goodrum 2 (2), M. Mahtook, J. Jones 2 (2)
    BASERUNNING
    • CS - Y. Munoz (6)
    BASERUNNING
    • SB - N. Goodrum (12)
    FIELDING
    • DP - (Adams)
    FIELDING
    • E - N. Goodrum (13)
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    J. Gant (W, 7-5)6.25221603.161.2123.0
    D. Hudson (H, 9)0.10001003.261.34-1.0
    J. Hicks (H, 23)1.00001103.171.282.5
    C. Martinez (S, 2)1.00000003.201.3310.0
    PITCHERSIP
    J. Gant (W, 7-5)6.2
    D. Hudson (H, 9)0.1
    J. Hicks (H, 23)1.0
    C. Martinez (S, 2)1.0
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    M. Fulmer (L, 3-11)6.15533504.561.307.5
    V. Alcantara0.21000002.551.18-1.0
    S. Baez1.01000100.000.682.5
    L. Coleman1.00000103.721.303.5
    PITCHERSIP
    M. Fulmer (L, 3-11)6.1
    V. Alcantara0.2
    S. Baez1.0
    L. Coleman1.0
    PITCHING
    • Pitches-Strikes - J. Gant 94-62, D. Hudson 9-4, J. Hicks 18-11, C. Martinez 11-6
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Gant 6-7, D. Hudson 1-0, J. Hicks 1-1, C. Martinez 1-2
    • Batters Faced - J. Gant 25, D. Hudson 2, J. Hicks 4, C. Martinez 3
    PITCHING
    • IBB - M. Fulmer
    • Pitches-Strikes - M. Fulmer 97-66, V. Alcantara 9-6, S. Baez 15-11, L. Coleman 10-7
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - M. Fulmer 5-9, V. Alcantara 1-1, S. Baez 2-0
    • Batters Faced - M. Fulmer 27, V. Alcantara 3, S. Baez 4, L. Coleman 3
    PLAYERS OF THE GAME
    123456789RHE
    STL79-64
    000000500570
    DET59-84
    000000200251
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    M. Carpenter DH40010022.270.384.558.9420.0
    J. Martinez RF40110012.303.362.456.8171.5
    H. Bader PR-CF00000000.274.344.431.7740.0
    M. Adams 1B40000022.246.318.491.809-1.0
    M. Ozuna LF41100010.278.321.434.7551.5
    P. DeJong SS41200000.231.310.427.7373.0
    K. Wong 2B41110011.246.328.388.7162.5
    Y. Munoz CF-RF-3B21010101.279.346.434.7812.0
    G. Garcia 3B11000200.217.305.303.6083.0
    T. O'Neill RF10000000.243.277.468.7460.0
    C. Kelly C40210000.138.219.138.3573.0
    Total325750378-----
    HITTERSAB
    M. Carpenter DH4
    J. Martinez RF4
    H. Bader PR-CF0
    M. Adams 1B4
    M. Ozuna LF4
    P. DeJong SS4
    K. Wong 2B4
    Y. Munoz CF-RF-3B2
    G. Garcia 3B1
    T. O'Neill RF1
    C. Kelly C4
    Total32
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      J. Candelario 3B40000011.228.315.408.723-0.5
      J. Adduci 1B40000020.289.314.415.729-1.0
      N. Castellanos DH31200110.295.352.489.8415.5
      N. Goodrum RF40100013.236.312.430.7422.5
      M. Mahtook LF40010011.209.288.357.6450.5
      J. McCann C41100000.220.268.314.5823.0
      R. Rodriguez SS30110010.219.256.342.5992.5
      a- C. Stewart PH10000000.000.000.000.0000.0
      D. Lugo 2B10000200.270.325.351.6762.0
      J. Jones CF30000003.207.262.373.6350.0
      Total312520378-----
      • a-popped out for Rodriguez in the 9th
      BATTING
      • SF - M. Carpenter (4), Y. Munoz (2)
      • RBI - M. Carpenter (77), J. Martinez (79), K. Wong (33), Y. Munoz (37), C. Kelly (3)
      • 2-Out RBI - J. Martinez (40)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - J. Martinez 2 (2), M. Adams 2 (2), Y. Munoz
      BATTING
      • 2B - N. Castellanos 2 (39), J. McCann (15), R. Rodriguez (6)
      • RBI - M. Mahtook (21), R. Rodriguez (19)
      • 2-Out RBI - R. Rodriguez (7)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - N. Goodrum 2 (2), M. Mahtook, J. Jones 2 (2)
      BASERUNNING
      • CS - Y. Munoz (6)
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - N. Goodrum (12)
      FIELDING
      • DP - (Adams)
      FIELDING
      • E - N. Goodrum (13)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      J. Gant (W, 7-5)6.25221603.161.2123.0
      D. Hudson (H, 9)0.10001003.261.34-1.0
      J. Hicks (H, 23)1.00001103.171.282.5
      C. Martinez (S, 2)1.00000003.201.3310.0
      Total9.0522370---
      PITCHERSIP
      J. Gant (W, 7-5)6.2
      D. Hudson (H, 9)0.1
      J. Hicks (H, 23)1.0
      C. Martinez (S, 2)1.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      M. Fulmer (L, 3-11)6.15533504.561.307.5
      V. Alcantara0.21000002.551.18-1.0
      S. Baez1.01000100.000.682.5
      L. Coleman1.00000103.721.303.5
      Total9.0753370---
      PITCHERSIP
      M. Fulmer (L, 3-11)6.1
      V. Alcantara0.2
      S. Baez1.0
      L. Coleman1.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - J. Gant 94-62, D. Hudson 9-4, J. Hicks 18-11, C. Martinez 11-6
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Gant 6-7, D. Hudson 1-0, J. Hicks 1-1, C. Martinez 1-2
      • Batters Faced - J. Gant 25, D. Hudson 2, J. Hicks 4, C. Martinez 3
      PITCHING
      • IBB - M. Fulmer
      • Pitches-Strikes - M. Fulmer 97-66, V. Alcantara 9-6, S. Baez 15-11, L. Coleman 10-7
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - M. Fulmer 5-9, V. Alcantara 1-1, S. Baez 2-0
      • Batters Faced - M. Fulmer 27, V. Alcantara 3, S. Baez 4, L. Coleman 3
      • 7TH INNING
        Rodriguez doubled to left, McCann scored52
        Mahtook grounded out to second, Castellanos scored51
        Martinez singled to left, Garcia scored, Kelly to second50
        Carpenter hit sacrifice fly to center, Munoz scored40
        Kelly reached on an infield single to shortstop, Wong scored, Munoz to third, Garcia to second30
        Munoz hit sacrifice fly to right, DeJong scored, Wong to third on right fielder Goodrum fielding error20
        Wong singled to left, Ozuna scored, DeJong to third, Wong to second10
      • 9TH INNING
        • Louis Coleman relieved Sandy Baez
        • T. O'Neill: Ball, O'Neill flied out to left
        • C. Kelly: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Kelly flied out to center
        • M. Carpenter: Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Carpenter struck out looking
        • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Carlos Martinez relieved Jordan Hicks
        • M. Mahtook: Ball, Strike looking, Mahtook popped out to second
        • J. McCann: Ball, McCann grounded out to third
        • Christin Stewart hit for Ronny Rodriguez
        • C. Stewart: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Stewart popped out to third
        • End of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 8TH INNING
        • Sandy Baez relieved Victor Alcantara
        • M. Ozuna: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ozuna grounded out to third
        • P. DeJong: Strike looking, Strike (foul tip), DeJong singled to shallow left
        • K. Wong: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Wong struck out looking
        • Y. Munoz: Ball, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Munoz grounded out to shortstop
        • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • Tyler O'Neill in right field
        • Jordan Hicks relieved Dakota Hudson
        • J. Candelario: Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Candelario fouled out to third
        • J. Adduci: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Adduci struck out swinging
        • N. Castellanos: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Castellanos walked
        • N. Goodrum: Strike swinging, Goodrum grounded out to pitcher
        • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 7TH INNING
        • M. Fulmer Pitching:
        • M. Adams: Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Adams struck out swinging
        • M. Ozuna: Ball, Ozuna reached on an infield single to third
        • P. DeJong: Ball, Foul, DeJong reached on an infield single to third, Ozuna to second
        • K. Wong: Foul, Foul, Foul, Wong singled to left, Ozuna scored, DeJong to third, Wong to second
        • Y. Munoz: Munoz hit sacrifice fly to right, DeJong scored, Wong to third on right fielder Goodrum fielding error
        • G. Garcia: Garcia intentionally walked
        • C. Kelly: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Kelly reached on an infield single to shortstop, Wong scored, Munoz to third, Garcia to second
        • Victor Alcantara relieved Michael Fulmer
        • M. Carpenter: Carpenter hit sacrifice fly to center, Munoz scored
        • J. Martinez: Ball, Ball, Martinez singled to left, Garcia scored, Kelly to second
        • Harrison Bader ran for Jose Martinez
        • M. Adams: Strike looking, Strike (foul tip), Foul, Ball, Adams grounded out to second
        • Middle of the 7th (5 Runs, 5 Hits, 1 Error)
        • J. Gant Pitching:
        • N. Castellanos: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Castellanos doubled to left
        • N. Goodrum: Goodrum grounded out to first, Castellanos to third
        • M. Mahtook: Mahtook grounded out to second, Castellanos scored
        • J. McCann: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, McCann doubled to right
        • R. Rodriguez: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Rodriguez doubled to left, McCann scored
        • Dakota Hudson relieved John Gant
        • D. Lugo: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Lugo walked
        • J. Jones: Ball, Foul, Jones grounded into fielder's choice to shortstop, Lugo out at second
        • End of the 7th (2 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 6TH INNING
        • M. Fulmer Pitching:
        • Y. Munoz: Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Munoz walked
        • G. Garcia: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Ball (pitchout), Munoz caught stealing second, catcher to shortstop, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Garcia walked
        • C. Kelly: Foul, Kelly singled to right, Garcia to second
        • M. Carpenter: Ball, Carpenter flied out to left
        • J. Martinez: Martinez lined out to center
        • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • J. Gant Pitching:
        • J. Jones: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Jones lined out to shortstop
        • J. Candelario: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Candelario struck out swinging
        • J. Adduci: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Adduci struck out swinging
        • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 5TH INNING
        • M. Fulmer Pitching:
        • M. Ozuna: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Ozuna struck out swinging
        • P. DeJong: Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, DeJong grounded out to third
        • K. Wong: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Wong lined out to right
        • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Gant Pitching:
        • J. McCann: Ball, McCann lined out to center
        • R. Rodriguez: Rodriguez grounded bunt out to pitcher
        • D. Lugo: Strike looking, Strike looking, Lugo lined out to right
        • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 4TH INNING
        • M. Fulmer Pitching:
        • M. Carpenter: Strike looking, Ball, Carpenter lined out to first
        • J. Martinez: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Foul tip, Martinez struck out on foul tip
        • M. Adams: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Adams struck out looking
        • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Gant Pitching:
        • J. Adduci: Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Adduci grounded out to second
        • N. Castellanos: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Castellanos struck out swinging
        • N. Goodrum: Goodrum reached on bunt single to pitcher
        • M. Mahtook: Foul, Ball, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Ball, Goodrum stole second, Strike swinging, Mahtook struck out swinging
        • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 3RD INNING
        • M. Fulmer Pitching:
        • Y. Munoz: Foul, Foul, Foul, Munoz grounded out to third
        • G. Garcia: Strike looking, Ball, Garcia lined out to left
        • C. Kelly: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Kelly popped out to first
        • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Gant Pitching:
        • D. Lugo: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Lugo walked
        • J. Jones: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Jones lined out to left
        • J. Candelario: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Candelario lined out to first, Lugo out at first
        • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 2ND INNING
        • M. Fulmer Pitching:
        • M. Ozuna: Ball, Ozuna grounded out to shortstop
        • P. DeJong: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Ball, DeJong grounded out to shortstop
        • K. Wong: Ball, Wong flied out to deep left
        • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Gant Pitching:
        • M. Mahtook: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Mahtook grounded out to shortstop
        • J. McCann: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, McCann flied out to deep left
        • R. Rodriguez: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Rodriguez struck out swinging
        • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 1ST INNING
        • M. Fulmer Pitching:
        • M. Carpenter: Ball, Strike (foul tip), Strike looking, Strike looking, Carpenter struck out looking
        • J. Martinez: Strike looking, Foul, Martinez grounded out to third
        • M. Adams: Foul, Foul, Adams flied out to center
        • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Gant Pitching:
        • J. Candelario: Candelario grounded out to first
        • J. Adduci: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Adduci flied out to center
        • N. Castellanos: Castellanos doubled to right center
        • N. Goodrum: Foul, Strike looking, Strike looking, Goodrum struck out looking
        • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)