David Campbell – 23 Sports

The reigning NL Central champions, St. Louis Cardinals, faced off against the reigning AL Central champions, Minnesota Twins, in a day-night doubleheader at Busch Stadium on Tuesday. The two squads split the contests.

These two games conclude the four game head-to-head series between the teams. They met in late July at Target Field in Minneapolis with the Twins taking both games pretty handedly.

Those were the final two games before the Cardinals’ 17 day break because of a COVID-19 outbreak in the clubhouse. The redbirds have had to play catch up for almost the entirety of the 60 game 2020 sprint, with many games in a small amount of days, including multiple doubleheaders.

Newly acquired Josh Donaldson got the Twins up early in game one with a three-run home run off Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez. This was the right hander’s first start in over a month. Martinez was one of the Cardinals who tested positive for COVID-19 and has been building up his arm strength since.

With the new 2020 rules in place where doubleheaders are only seven innings each, the Cardinals had to regroup quickly. 

Unfortunately for them, the Twins showed no remorse and kept building their lead. Despite a Tommy Edman two-run homer, the Cardinals fell 7-3. Jose Berrios got the win and Martinez took the loss.

When game two got underway, it looked as if it would be the same story. A second inning home run by Twins outfielder Brent Rooker off Cardinals starter Daniel Ponce de Leon gave Minnesota an early advantage. However, the Cardinals showed brilliant resilience and fought back with a huge 3rd inning. The redbirds scraped together five runs in the bottom frame. Hit by pitch, walk, fielder’s choice, single, and another walk with the bases loaded for all of them got the Cardinals the lead.

That burst of offense gave the redbirds a lead and they never looked back. Final score was 6-4 with Genesis Cabrera taking the win. Former Uber driver Randy Dobnak was given the loss for Minnesota. 

The Twins are a half game out of a three-way tie atop the AL Central. They start an extremely important three-game series back in the Twin Cities against the Cleveland Indians.

The Cardinals will continue their AL Central trek, taking on the Detroit Tigers in a doubleheader this Thursday at Busch Stadium. They have 25 games still to play and have a three-game hole for first place in the NL Central.

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