The Cardinals took two of three from the Cincinnati Reds this week. Randal Grichuk and Matt Carpenter continued their hitting successes, while the pitching staff did their thing.
On Monday, the Cardinals outrighted first baseman Dan Johnson and pitcher Marcus Hatley to Triple-A Memphis. They were both designated for assignment last week.
Game one was started by Anthony DeSclafani and John Lackey. The Reds were able to pounce on Lackey to the tune of three runs on five hits in the first inning, and that was all the offensive succor that Cincy’s pitching staff needed. That was certainly congenial for them because Mr. Lackey quickly made a u-turn in the path in which his outing looked to be heading down. He allowed only one hit in his five innings of work following the first inning. DeSclafani had a solid start, six innings and two runs. The pair of Cardinals’ runs were courtesy of Matt Carpenter’s two-run homer in the third inning. Closer Aroldis Chapman closed things down in the ninth to give the Reds a 3-2 victory.
The middle game of the series was started by David Holmberg and Carlos Martinez. The Reds, analogously with game one, scored three runs off of the Cardinal hurler. Contradictorily speaking, though, the Cardinals were able to tally more than just two runs. Down 3-0 after four innings, the ‘birds began to peck away at the deficit. They were able to score twice in the sixth inning and also knock out the Reds’ starter. Randal Grichuk was right in the middle of the scoring, which is becoming the norm. He doubled to bring home the first run of the top of the sixth. With the score unbalanced at 3-2, Matt Carpenter quickly laid a brick onto the Cardinals’ side of things. His fifteenth homer of the year tied the game. The game would remain tied, with the pivotal help of two sturdy bullpens, of course, until the thirteenth inning. Randal Grichuk hammered a breaking ball belonging to Reds’ reliever Dylan Axelrod 376 feet to put St. Louis on top 4-3. Seth Maness preserved his fourth win and team’s sixty-eighth by taking care of business in the game’s final frame.
The third and final game of the series was started by Michael Lorenzen and Michael Wacha. After a delay totaling over an hour to begin the game, the Cardinals’ starting Michael didn’t miss a beat. Wacha tossed seven shutout innings and allowed only four hits and two walks to Joey Votto. And, luckily for his win-loss record, the Cards provided him with a cushion of three runs. Tony Cruz singled in the first run in the fourth inning and Kolten Wong drove in the final two in the fifth. Trevor Rosenthal earned his thirty-second save.
With the win on Thursday afternoon, the Cardinals have moved to thirty games above the .500 mark. They also picked up a half-game on the idle Pittsburgh Pirates. The Cardinals will travel to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to begin a weekend series with the (47-63) Brewers. Tyler Cravy and Lance Lynn will start the game for their respected teams.
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