CINCINNATI -- After Jaime Garcia was unable to corral the Reds' lineup in the fifth inning in Wednesday's game, putting a man on second after giving up a home run with two outs to bring the score to 6-5, the Cardinals called on rookie reliever Matt Bowman to get out of the jam.
Bowman obliged, striking out Zack Cozart on four pitches to get out of the inning. The next inning, Bowman was replaced by Dean Kiekhefer, and the Cardinals went on to win the game, 12-7. For his effort, Bowman earned the first win of his career.
"I found out I was in line for it in the eighth inning, I think," Bowman said. "It's just one of those things that it's cool, but it's kind of a statistical luck there that that's how they count it. I don't feel like I did the most work tonight."
For Bowman, the win not only surprised him, but it also beat his expectations. As a middle reliever, he wasn't sure when he'd get a chance at a Major League win.
"In my role, I wasn't totally sure if and when a win was going to come, so it's cool that I got one," Bowman said. " I hadn't envisioned anything at all, to be honest."
While the one-third-of-an-inning win is unorthodox, it does happen on occasion. In fact, Kansas City's Brian Flynn also earned his first career win in a one-third-inning outing on May 18 against the Red Sox.
It is, however, only the fourth time in Cardinals franchise history that a pitcher got a single-out win after entering the game in the fifth inning or earlier, with Jason Motte (Sept. 20, 2014), Kelvin Jimenez (Sept. 6, 2007) and Johnny Beazley (July 5, 1942) being the others. Jimenez also was the last Cards pitcher who earned a one-out win with a strikeout (Sept. 9, 2007).
While seven Cardinals have recorded a one-out win, Bowman is the only one to record his first career win in such a way.
Cody Pace is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.