ST. LOUIS (AP) — Dakota Hudson pitched seven strong innings in his second start of the season and Alex Burleson hit a three-run homer, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 7-3 win over the AL Central-leading Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night.
“At the end of the day, I tried to execute every pitch,” Hudson said. “That’s a good team. I didn’t feel like I was predictable in counts or anything. I was just moving the ball around and keep them guessing.”
St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol agreed. “Man, that was a really good outing,” Marmol said. “He pounded the zone. Sinker. Slider. Overall, it was a really nice job. That was a really positive outing. It was fun to watch.”
Lars Nootbaar added a two-run homer and Tyler O’Neill and Jordan Walker added solo homers for the Cardinals. St. Louis had lost four of its previous five games and eight of 11 before busting out against the Twins.
Matt Wallner hit a three-run homer for the Twins in the seventh. It was just the second hit allowed by Hudson.
Hudson (2-0) struck out seven with three walks and one hit batter. The 28-year-old right-hander retired the first 11 batters he faced before issuing a walk in the fourth. Hudson gave up a one-out hit in the sixth inning when Michael Taylor singled up the middle on his 64th pitch.
Joe Ryan (9-8) surrendered nine hits and seven runs in four innings in facing the Cardinals for the first time in his career. He threw 103 pitches and struck four while walking one.
“It was not how we planned the outing going,” Ryan said. “It was pretty frustrating. … I put the ball where I wanted to and they’re doing damage. That’s never a fun combination.”
Burleson belted a three-run homer in the third to drive in Nolan Arenado and Willson Contreras, extending the St. Louis lead to 7-0.
Three home runs gave St. Louis a 4-0 lead in the second inning. It was fifth time this season the Cardinals have hit three homers in an inning.
O’Neill led off with a home run to left field. He had hit a homer in the series opener Tuesday to snap a 26-game drought without a home run, a streak that tied for the longest of his career without a long ball.
O’Neill smacked a career-high 34 home runs in 2021.
With one out, Walker belted a solo homer, his 10th this season. It was just his fifth hit in his last 30 at-bats. Walker became the third youngest Cardinal in age to reach double digits in home runs behind Curt Flood in 1958 and Rogers Horsnby in 1917.
After Tomy Edman singled, Nootbaar hit a two-run shot to right field. That gave each St. Louis outfielder a homer.
“I didn’t realize it until Jordan said it,” Nootbaar said. “That’s pretty cool. It’s always a good day when your teammates out beside you are laughing a little bit more.” The Twins lost for the sixth time in seven games.
1B Paul Goldschmidt has yet to hit a home run in his career\ against the Minnesota Twins. The Twins are the only team the slugger has yet to clear the fence against among his 333 career homers. He would become the 14th active player to complete the circuit.
WIN TOTAL INCREASES
The Cardinals won their 9,999th regular season game all time since their name was changed from the Perfectos before the 1900 season.
Twins: DH Byron Buxton (right hamstring tightness) was a late scratch Wednesday from the lineup. He was scheduled to bat third. He will be evaluated Thursday. Edouard Julien became the DH and hit second in the lineup.
Cardinals: INF Brendan Donovan underwent an internal brace procedure — an alternative to ligament replacement or Tommy John surgery — Wednesday in Texas to address damage in his right elbow. He is expected to be able to take part in spring training next year. … 2B Nolan Gorman was back in the lineup
after not playing Sunday and Tuesday because of back soreness.
Twins: RHP Sonny Gray (4-4, 3.22) has nine career starts against St. Louis and he is 2-5 with a 5.74 ERA. This will be his first start as a Twin against the Cardinals.
Cardinals: LHP Matthew Liberatore (1-3, 6.75) will be making his first career start and appearance against the Twins. The Twins are the seventh different opponent he has faced for the first time in his career this season.
Warren Mayes of the Associated Press contributed to this article