The St. Louis Cardinals ran themselves out of this one.
Late-inning base path misadventures by Jason Heyward, Pete Kozma and Matt Holliday were easy to point out after a 4-3, 10-inning loss to the Detroit Tigers on Saturday.
“Obviously a couple big things stood out that could have given us that last run,” manager Mike Matheny said. “Sometimes you’re going to trust your instincts and they’re not going to work.”
The Cardinals blew a chance to take the lead in the seventh. Jason Heyward stayed near second base, waiting to tag up, and could only reach third when Randal Grichuk’s flyball hit the wall for a double.
Heyward said he had the “worst seat in the house” when he guessed wrong.
“I looked at the ball, checked the outfield and I was thinking to myself ‘This is so high, I think it’s either going to be gone or caught at the wall,” Heyward said. “Obviously, the ball didn’t get caught.”
In the eighth, Miguel Cabrera caught a foul popup near the first base stands and threw out pinch runner Kozma trying to advance to third. Holliday was easily thrown out trying to stretch a single to a double leading off the 10th.
“He had to make a perfect throw,” Kozma said. “And he did.”
Cabrera hit his 400th career home run, then nearly five hours later Jose Iglesias had an RBI single in the 10th for Detroit.
St. Louis relievers allowed one run in 6 1/3 innings after Tyler Lyons was chased in the fourth. Matheny said that starting spot, filling the void left by ace Adam Wainwright’s season-ending Achilles injury, would be re-evaluated.
Jaime Garcia, who threw six strong innings in his second rehab start on Friday night, could be the leading contender. Matheny said he liked Carlos Villanueva, who worked 3 1/3 scoreless innings in long relief.
“Good to see him here, good to see the line he had yesterday,” Matheny said of Garcia. “Definitely not ruling that out.”
Cabrera’s milestone shot gave him the most homers by a Venezuelan-born player, passing Andres Galarraga. The solo shot came in the first inning just before a rain delay of 1 hour, 20 minutes.
Cabrera has hit four homers in three games, 10 overall and 262 with Detroit, tying him with Willie Horton for fourth on the franchise list.
Adrian Beltre of Texas hit his 400th homer Friday. Cabrera tied Beltre for 52nd place on the career list, with Duke Snider next at 407.
Tigers starter David Price threw only a couple of pitches before the rain delay. He surrendered three homers, matching the total he’d allowed his first seven starts, but all were with the bases empty.
Matt Carpenter, Peter Bourjos and Jhonny Peralta connected for the Cardinals.
Blaine Hardy (1-0) struck out two with a walk in the ninth and Joakim Soria finished for his 12th save in 12 chances. Detroit, which pasted St. Louis 10-4 in the opener, will go for a three-game interleague sweep Sunday. It’s the Cardinals’ first home series loss of the year.
Iglesias, the eighth-place hitter, flied out with the bases loaded to end the third and popped out with two on to finish the fifth. He came through with two outs in the 10th against Matt Belisle (1-1).
J.D. Martinez drew a leadoff walk and Yoenis Cespedes followed with a single. Two outs later, Iglesias singled.
Carpenter’s seventh homer tied it in the bottom of the first, on just the second at-bat after play resumed following the delay. Bourjos had been 1 for 11 against Price before putting the Cardinals ahead in the second with his first homer.
Tigers: Alfredo Simon (4-1, 3.05) was 2-0 in three starts against St. Louis last year while with Cincinnati.
Cardinals: Lance Lynn (2-3, 3.27) is 28-13 with a 2.83 ERA at home.
Tigers: Pitcher Shane Greene underwent an MRI exam Saturday, a day after being removed due to numbness in his pitching hand. Bruce Rondon, on the DL with biceps tendinitis, threw in the bullpen Friday.
Cardinals: Garcia worked six innings for Double-A Springfield Friday.