Wieters has 19-pitch at-bat as Cardinals split DH with Twins

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St. Louis Cardinals' Harrison Bader celebrates after scoring during the third inning in the second game of a baseball doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

ST. LOUIS – Backup catcher Matt Wieters acknowledges he might have to get in better shape for the St. Louis Cardinals.

He nearly did, all in one trip to the plate.

Wieters hit 14 foul balls during a grueling 19-pitch at-bat that finished with a deep flyout with the bases loaded during a wild rally that sent the Cardinals over the Minnesota Twins 6-4 Tuesday night for a doubleheader split.

“Sadly, I would like to say that I wasn't running out of breath up there, but I was,” Wieters said. “I might need to work on some cardio. That's probably the most swings I've taken in a day this year so far.”

Wieters, a switch-hitter, estimated his longest plate appearance before might have been 11 or 12 pitches. He nearly missed a grand slam earlier in the at-bat on a long foul against reliever Caleb Thielbar.

“The hardest part of that at-bat for me was trying not to guess or look for a pitch but to stay locked in and hit whatever he was going to throw up there,” Wieters said. “I knew it was getting up there. I wanted to get a hit there and drive in a couple of runs.”

His teammates were rooting for him to get a hit to finish it off.

“Everyone is laughing,” teammate Tommy Edman said about the players on the bench. “It's just an unbelievable at-bat. I think we were all hoping to see him get to 20 pitches. That would have been a pretty cool landmark. It's an unbelievable job by him. He just missed a grand slam.”