July 21, 2012: Cardinals tie franchise record with 12-run rally vs. Cubs

On July 21, 2012, a single inning proved the difference between the Cardinals and Cubs. It just turned out to be one heck of an inning.

The Cardinals broke a scoreless tie in the seventh inning with a 12-run, 10-hit outburst that led to a 12-0 win and launched the Redbirds into the record books. The 12 runs tied the franchise mark set in 1926, when the Cardinals scored a dozen in the third inning of a double-header against the Phillies. The seven doubles in an inning tied a major league record the Boston Bees set in Game 1 of a double-header against the Cardinals in 1936.[1]

“Sometimes those innings get crazy,” David Freese said. “I think we kept our focus and we kept pushing, and the next thing you know we had 12 runs.”[2]

The game began as a pitcher’s duel between St. Louis’s Jake Westbrook and Chicago’s Matt Garza. Garza, who was the subject of trade rumors, held the Cardinals to just two hits through three innings before manager Dale Sveum removed him from the game. Speculation briefly swirled that Garza had been traded, but he actually left the game due to cramping in his right triceps.[3]

With Garza out of the game, the Cubs called on right-hander Justin Germano, who had been purchased from the Red Sox just a few days earlier. Matching Westbrook pitch for pitch, Germano held the Cardinals scoreless until the seventh, when he allowed an infield single to David Freese.

Entering the game in relief of Germano, James Russell retired Jon Jay on a popped-up bunt attempt that third baseman Luis Valbuena dove to catch. Allen Craig, pinch-hitting for Westbrook, lined a double into the left-field corner before Rafael Furcal followed with a single into left that scored Freese. Skip Schumaker hit a triple over the head of Cubs center fielder David DeJesus to drive in two more runs.

“Until that point, we were really trying to figure out how to get a run in,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “It comes down to the big hit. We talked about that. Rafi comes up with the big hit, and then Skip comes up with a big triple and then everybody followed suit. That’s standard with this team. It seems like if somebody gets going, then it really gets fun to watch.”[4]

Matt Holliday followed Schumaker’s triple with a walk. Beltran hit a ground-rule double that bounced over the right-field wall, and Russell intentionally walked Yadier Molina to load the bases for Lance Berkman.

Russell got Berkman to hit an infield fly for the second out of the inning before Sveum called on Manny Corpas. Freese greeted Corpas with his second hit of the inning, a double down the right-field line that scored Holliday and Beltran. Jay followed with a double into the left-field corner that scored two more runs, and Craig, making his second pinch-hit at-bat of the inning, hit the Cardinals’ third consecutive double to make it 9-0.

“It was crazy,” Craig said. “I don’t think I’ve seen anything like that in the big leagues. I came into the game in a big spot and I was glad I could make something happen.”[5]

After Corpas walked Furcal, Sveum turned to his fourth pitcher of the inning, Rafael Dolis. Schumaker hit an RBI double and Holliday drove in the final two runs of the inning with a double to right. Beltran reached on a strikeout when Dolis’s wild pitch got away from Cubs catcher Geovany Soto, but Dolis struck out pinch hitter Tony Cruz to end the rally.

“That’s really a tough lineup there,” Sveum said. “Five doubles down the right-field line. Two doubles down the left-field line. Quality hitters do that stuff.”[6]

Barret Browning and Victor Marte pitched the eighth inning and Trevor Rosenthal handled ninth-inning duties to finish the game.

Westbrook earned his eighth win of the season with seven shutout innings, allowing just three Cub hits. He walked two and struck out five while lowering his ERA to 3.60.

“The first couple of innings, I was a little erratic. I might have been a little geeked up,” Westbrook said. “After that, I felt really strong.”[7]

Freese finished the game with three hits while Furcal, Schumaker, Holliday, Beltran, Berkman, and Craig each had two.

The 2012 Cardinals went on to an 88-74 record on the season to finish second in the National League Central. After beating the Braves in the NL wild-card game, the Cardinals beat the Nationals in a five-game NLDS but lost to the Giants in seven games in the NLCS.


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[1] Derrick Goold, “Seventh Heaven,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 23, 2012.

[2] Derrick Goold, “Seventh Heaven,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 23, 2012.

[3] Associated Press, “Cardinals tie MLB record with 7 doubles in an inning, win in rout,” ESPN, www.espn.com/mlb/recap?gameId=320721124.

[4] Derrick Goold, “Seventh Heaven,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 23, 2012.

[5] Associated Press, “Cardinals tie MLB record with 7 doubles in an inning, win in rout,” ESPN, www.espn.com/mlb/recap?gameId=320721124.

[6] Derrick Goold, “Seventh Heaven,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 23, 2012.

[7] Associated Press, “Cardinals tie MLB record with 7 doubles in an inning, win in rout,” ESPN, www.espn.com/mlb/recap?gameId=320721124.

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