Photo is credited to Getty Images.
This week, the Reds met the Cardinals at Busch Stadium for a three-game series, their second meeting within a week.
Game One: Cardinals 5, Reds 4 –WP: Seth Maness (2-2) LP: Tony Cingrani (2-4
By scoring five runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Cardinals erased what had been a damper night for them at the plate, overcoming a 4-0 score that the Reds boasted for much of the evening to steal the series opener in St. Louis on Monday by a 5-4 score.
The Cardinals entered the bottom of the ninth having been virtually shut down by the Reds’ pitching staff for the previous seventeen innings of head-to-head play. That streak was snapped before it could reach eighteen, nonetheless, as Cardinals second baseman Matt Carpenter stepped in the box with two outs and the bases loaded against Reds closer Tony Cingrani and lined a two-run single to left to divide the Reds’ lead in half.
Stephen Piscotty recorded a base hit next to plate another run. Matt Holliday drew a walk next, and that marked the end of the night for Cingrani, who exited with the bases loaded and still one out. Reds manager Bryan Price went with Ross Ohlendorf to try to work out of the jam.
On a 3-2 pitch, Brandon Moss drew a walk to tie the game at four, scoring the pinch-runner for Matt Carpenter, Jeremy Hazelbaker. Yadier Molina, the man who began the inning with a base hit, was hit by an inside pitch from Ohlendorf to force in the Cardinals’ game-winning run.
St. Louis’s walk-off win squashed Reds starter Cody Reed’s chance for his first major-league victory. Reed logged six innings and held the Cardinals to four hits, whiffed just as many, and exited the game in line to pick up the aforementioned win.
The Reds received three of their runs in the third inning that featured four hits, including extra-base hits from Zack Cozart and Joey Votto.
-The Cardinals’ four-run comeback was the first of its kind in St. Louis since August of 2005.
Prior to Tuesday’s game, the Cardinals placed Michael Wacha on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. The inflammation is related to the stress reaction that caused Wacha to miss over two months of the 2014 season.
To replace Wacha on the 25-man roster, the Cardinals promoted top prospect Alex Reyes from Triple-A. For the time being, the 21-year-old Reyes is expected to get his work out of the bullpen. As for the starting rotation, Wacha’s former spot will come up on Saturday, and the Cardinals plan to promote prospect Luke Weaver to start that game.
Game Two: Reds 7, Cardinals 4 — WP: Michael Lorenzen (2-0) LP: Matt Bowman (1-4) SV: Raisel Iglesias (1)
With the score tied at four, the Reds ignited to put up three-run eighth inning to win Tuesday’s ballgame, 7-4, and force a rubber game on Wednesday.
The Reds managed the crooked number while facing Cardinals reliever Matt Bowman, who had turned in two scoreless innings on Monday. Bowman surrendered four hits in the eighth inning, including doubles to Tucker Barnhart and Tyler Holt and singles to Billy Hamilton and Zack Cozart.
Brandon Finnegan and Mike Leake started the game for the Reds and Cardinals, respectively, and they both allowed three runs in their six innings of work. Michael Lorenzen gave the Reds two innings of one-run relief, which preceded Raisel Iglesias in the ninth inning, as Iglesias recorded the first save of his career.
Down 7-4 in the ninth, the Cardinals allowed top prospect Alex Reyes to make his major-league debut, and he did not disappoint. It took Reyes a mere eleven pitches to record three outs, including a strikeout of Adam Duvall. Of the eleven pitches Reyes administered, eight of them registered at 98 MPH or faster.
Game Three: Cardinals 3, Reds, 2 — WP: Jaime Garcia (9-8) LP: Anthony DeSclafani (6-1) SV: Seung Hwan Oh (10)
With his second straight outing of at least eight innings in length, Jaime Garcia pitched the Cardinals to a 3-2 victory over the Reds on Wednesday, snapping the Cardinals’ series-losing streak of two and extending the Reds’ such streak to a pair.
Since he had not yet reached the 80-pitch plateau following completion of the eighth inning, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny allowed Garcia to begin the ninth inning. Garcia allowed consecutive hits to Joey Votto and Adam Duvall to lead off the ninth, however, and was pulled from the game in favor of closer Seung Hwan Oh, who entered following Duvall’s hit and preserved the win for St. Louis on five pitches.
The Cardinals recorded all three of their runs off Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani, who lasted five innings. Two of the runs came on solo home runs, including a leadoff shot off the bat of Matt Carpenter and the 200th home run of Jhonny Peralta’s career.
Reds: After an off day on Thursday, the Reds will begin a three-game series with the Brewers at Miller Park in Milwaukee on Friday night.
Cardinals: The Cardinals will head to the Windy City for a four-game series with the National League Central-leading Cubs, beginning on Thursday evening.