Photo is credited to Getty Images.
This week, the Cardinals and Reds met at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio to play a three-game series, the teams’ first series of the season in Cincy.
Game One: Reds 7, Cardinals 6 — WP: Tony Cingrani (1-2) LP: Kevin Siegirst (4-1)
Though late-inning bullpen malfunctions cost John Lamb his second win in as many starts, Joey Votto bailed Cincinnati out of further frustration with a statistically-improbable, game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to win the ballgame, 7-6.
Mike Leake started for St. Louis and matched Lamb through the first three innings before the Cardinals jumped out to a one-run lead in the fourth against Lamb, one of the rare hiccups in his outing. Cincinnati quickly overshadowed the deficit by scoring four times in the home-half of the fourth, highlighted by Adam Duvall’s three-run, team-leading, seventeenth homer of the season.
The Reds plated a couple more tallies in the seventh to cap off Leake’s evening against his former team. Cincinnati scored six runs off their former first-round pick in his 6 1/3 frames. St. Louis scored three runs in the eighth and two in the ninth to tie the score at six, marking the second game in a row that the Reds’ bullpen has blown a five-run lead.
Lamb worked into the eighth inning and allowed three runs, though only one was earned since second baseman Brandon Phillips committed two errors in the eighth inning.
With an even score, the Cardinals called in Kevin Siegrist to work the bottom of the ninth inning against the heart of the Reds’ batting order. With one down, Votto stepped in the box. Having no hits and six strikeouts in sixteen prior plate appearances against the left-handed pitcher, Votto looked for his pitch with a 2-0 count, and he did not miss it, sending it out to left-center field for his eleventh homer of the season.
–In his first game after being activated from the disabled list, Jhonny Peralta went 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs.
Game Two: Cardinals 12, Reds 7 — WP: Matt Bowman (1-1) LP: Alfredo Simon (2-6)
A close game in the early going between the Cardinals and Reds turned into a slugfest, one the Cardinals proved victorious in, winning the contest by a 12-7 score with the support of four home runs.
Alfredo Simon started for the Reds and lasted five innings; Jaime Garcia started for the Cardinals and didn’t escape the fifth. Simon exited the game on the unfavorable side of a 6-5 score.
The Cardinals put up six runs across the seventh and eighth innings, half of the runs coming on a three-run shot by Jhonny Peralta, his first homer of the season to give the Cardinals a seven run lead.
Tyler Lyons, who worked only two innings over the last ten days, pitched the eighth and ninth innings for the Cardinals and allowed two runs. Both runs came in the bottom of the ninth, credits to a Brandon Phillips run-scoring double and Adam Duvall’s RBI groundout.
-The Cardinals and Reds combined for six home runs on Wednesday, including homers from the Reds’ shortstop and catcher — Zack Cozart and Tucker Barnhart — and the Cardinals’ Matt Adams, Jhonny Peralta, and Brandon Moss; Moss hit two home runs, the eighth game in his career that he went yard twice in.
Game Three: Cardinals 3, Reds 2 — WP: Seung Hwan Oh (2-0) LP: Ross Ohlendorf (4-5) SV: Trevor Rosenthal (11)
After the two clubs combined for 30 hits in the middle game of the series, the Cardinals and Reds played a much closer game in the series finale, one that St. Louis came out on top of by a run, 3-2.
The Reds scored two runs off Adam Wainwright in the bottom of the first, an RBI credited to each Jay Bruce and Adam Duvall. After that, Wainwright turned on cruised control, retiring fourteen of the next fifteen batters he faced; the batter he did not retire was Joey Votto, who was hit by a pitch with two outs in the sixth inning.
Brandon Finnegan held the Cardinals to two runs through his seven-inning outing, walking one batter and striking out seven along the way. This start marked the third consecutive one that has exceeded six innings in length for the left-handed pitcher.
Against reliever Ross Ohlendorf in the eighth, Yadier Molina recorded his third hit of the ballgame, this one plating a run and giving the Cardinals a 3-2 advantage.
Trevor Rosenthal worked a perfect ninth inning for the Cardinals, who are four games over .500 (32-28) for the first time in the 2016 season. As for Rosenthal, he has appeared in three games since walking the bases loaded against the Giants on June 3 and not surrendered a base on balls.
–With four picks in the first day of The 2016 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, the Cardinals selected shortstop Delvin Perez, outfielder Danny Carlson, and right-handed pitchers Dakota Hudson and Connor Jones.
Cardinals: The Cardinals will visit PNC Park in Pittsburgh to take on the Pirates for three games over the weekend. The Pirates and Cardinals are tied for second place in the National League Central division.
Reds: It will be a rematch of the 1990 World Series at Great American Ball Park this weekend, as the Athletics will be in Cincinnati for a three-game set.