The St. Louis Cardinals aim to continue flexing their muscles on Tuesday when they open a brief two-game series against the host Cleveland Indians.
Harrison Bader and Dylan Carlson each homered to highlight a seven-run fourth inning during St. Louis' 10-6 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday. Fellow outfielder Tyler O'Neill also went deep as the Cardinals used a four-homer barrage to record their sixth win in nine outings.
"All three guys are studs, they are good players, they are coming into their own," St. Louis manager Mike Shildt said of the outfielders. "Showing their consistency and ability to produce. It's fun to watch."
O'Neill acknowledged the chemistry is building after injuries have played a role in consistently keeping the three outfielders from being on the field at the same time.
"This is the first time that Harry, Dylan and myself have had a stretch of games together," O'Neill said. "We're just figuring out how to put it all together."
Nolan Arenado added his team-leading 20th homer among his three hits on Sunday. He is 8-for-26 with five RBIs and six runs scored during his six-game hitting streak.
O'Neill homered twice to help the Cardinals salvage a split of a two-game series against the Indians last month, courtesy of an 8-2 victory in St. Louis. Adam Wainwright, who allowed two runs on three hits over seven innings in that game, is scheduled to make his first career appearance at Progressive Field when he takes the mound on Tuesday.
Wainwright (7-6, 3.56 ERA) sports a 2-0 record with a 2.50 ERA in three career appearances (two starts) versus Cleveland. The 39-year-old right-hander has enjoyed success in small sample sizes versus Jose Ramirez (0-for-6) and Franmil Reyes (0-for-5).
Wainwright received a no-decision in his last trip to the mound on Wednesday despite yielding just one run on six hits in seven innings against the Chicago Cubs.
The Indians averted dropping below the .500 mark for the first time since May 1, rallying for a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday.
"It shows character. They're not going to give up. There's some resiliency with these guys," said Cleveland bench coach DeMarlo Hale, who filled in for manager Terry Francona (head cold) for the second straight game.
Cesar Hernandez went deep in the first inning to boost his career-high total in homers to 17 this season.
Ramirez, who leads Cleveland in homers (20) and RBIs (57), went deep among his three hits and drove in four runs in the Indians' 10-1 romp over St. Louis on June 8. Amed Rosario also had three hits in that contest.
Cleveland right-hander Cal Quantrill (2-2, 3.84) will look to continue his strong pitching when he takes the mound Tuesday. Quantrill owns a 2-0 record with a 3.22 ERA in four starts in July after allowing one run on four hits in six innings of a no-decision versus Tampa Bay on Thursday.
Quantrill, 26, permitted one hit in two scoreless innings against St. Louis on June 9. He owns a 1-0 career mark with a 0.00 ERA in three relief appearances versus the Cardinals.
--Field Level Media