ARLINGTON, TEXAS — The first two batters of the game reached base against Dakota Hudson and everything could have slowed down from there and led the Cardinals toward another in their recent run of losses.
All the makings were there.
Hudson has lost his pace with runners on base before. The Cardinals had just failed to capitalize in the first inning with a runner in scoring position and no outs. And so many of their mistakes and missed chances from the past two weeks was there to greet them again in the first inning. But Hudson pressed on ... and on ... and on until the offense caught up with him.
The Cardinals' first-year starter pitched six stout innings and pointed the Cardinals toward an 8-2 victory Saturday against Texas at Globe Life Park.
Paul DeJong had the two-run double to break open the game for the Cardinals with a five-run fifth inning. DeJong added a home run later in the game for a season-high four RBIs. He came one RBI shy of tying his career best.
Harrison Bader had two hits and scored two runs. Matt Carpenter had two hit and doubled home a run in the decisive fifth inning.
In his first appearance of the season, Carlos Martinez handled the ninth inning as the third fierce storm of the day rolled overhead. The game ahead already been delayed 2 hours, 11 minutes by the first two waves of showers, lightning, and threats of a tornado. Martinez touched 97 mph with one of his first fastballs, hit batter, and pitched through intensifying rain to finish the game.
Hudson got out of the first inning with a series of groundballs. He struck out two batters in the second inning, and he gained momentum from there. The two runs off Hudson came immediately after the Cardinals had extended their lead to 6-0. It took Hudson seven pitches to complete the sixth inning, and he struck out five against only five hits allowed during his quality start.