Ex-Rays prospect Matthew Liberatore stars in Cards’ win

Ex-Rays prospect Matthew Liberatore stars in Cards' win

Matthew Liberatore showed why he was once ranked among baseball’s top prospects, tossing eight shutout innings in the St. Louis Cardinals‘ 5-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday in St. Petersburg, Fla

The 23-year-old Liberatore, making his 12th appearance and 11th start this season, established career highs for innings and strikeouts in a start (seven), as well as total pitches (101)

The night was sweet for the left-hander who was drafted by the Rays in the first round in 2018 but dealt to the Cardinals in a January 2020 trade that sent All-Star outfielder Randy Arozarena to Tampa Bay

Arozarena had one of two singles off Liberatore (2-4), who didn’t allow a baserunner after Wander Franco singled in the fourth

Andrew Knizer hit a two-run home run and Tommy Edman added a solo shot for the Cardinals, who took two of three in the series

The Rays got on the board in the ninth on Franco’s two-out, RBI triple off JoJo Romero. Franco scored Tampa Bay’s second run on a wild pitch

Zack Littell (2-3) gave up three runs on seven hits with five strikeouts in six innings

St. Louis claimed the lead in the third on Knizer’s two-out, two-run home run. Nolan Arenado singled to lead off the inning, and after Littell logged two outs, Knizer connected on his ninth home run

The Cardinals added a run in the sixth to make it 3-0

Arenado swatted a one-out single, and on a hit-and-run, Alec Burleson slapped a single to right-center. Arenado was able to score from first on Burleson’s RBI hit

The Cardinals manufactured an unearned run in the seventh, padding their lead to 4-0. Off reliever Cooper Criswell, Taylor Motter and Edman each singled. Lars Nootbar ripped a hard grounder that Yandy Diaz snared at first. Diaz went to second for the forceout, but Franco at short, after securing the forceout at second base, made a throwing error to first, with Criswell late covering the bag. Motter trotted home

Edman hit his eighth homer of the season in the ninth

–Field Level Medi

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.