Photo is credited to Getty Images.
This week, the Reds and Cardinals played a four-game series at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, accounting for the teams’ final meeting until the 2017 season.
Depending on the outcome of the Giants game on Thursday night, the Cardinals will enter play on Friday no more than a game removed from the second National League Wild Card that is currently occupied by San Francisco.
Game One: Reds 15, Cardinals 2 — WP: Tim Adleman LP: Jaime Garcia
A season-high fifteen runs drove the Reds to a 15-2 win over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium in the first game of the teams’ four-game set in St. Louis.
Virtually all Reds batters contributed on the offensive front in some shape or form, but the most notable contributors of the evening were Adam Duvall and Steve Selsky. Duvall, an All-Star this season, went 4-for-5 on Monday with two home runs, four runs scored, and a career-high five RBIs, while the rookie Selsky collected hits in all five at-bats and drove in four.
The Reds only did a portion of their damage against Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia, who was pulled from the game after allowing two solo home runs in the first inning. Michael Wacha was charged for seven runs, Luke Weaver for five, and Mike Mayers for one.
Lost in Cincinnati’s offensive outburst is the fine start had by Tim Adleman. Adleman, who picked up the win to up his recorded to 3-4, turned in seven innings of two-run ball. Before Monday, the right-handed Adleman had failed to go seven innings in his first eleven Major League starts. Including his performance in the series opener, Adleman has notched five quality starts in twelve tries.
Game Two: Cardinals 12, Reds 5 — WP: Adam Wainwright (13-9) LP: Robert Stephenson (2-3)
After being lit up for fifteen runs a day before, the Cardinals manufactured a dozen of their own in the second game of the four-game series against the Reds on Tuesday night to pick up a 12-5 victory.
Cardinals third baseman Jhonny Peralta had a big game, as he collected three hits in four at-bats, including a three-run homer, but it was shortstop Aledmys Diaz that stole the show. After missing Monday’s game to be with the family of late childhood friend Jose Fernandez, Diaz, in his second plate appearance since the death of his friend, crushed a dramatic, go-ahead grand slam, the first of his career.
The Reds got to Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright for five runs in just under six innings, but the right-hander was able to pick up his thirteenth win of the season with the help of plenty of run support. In fact, Wainwright has been unable to escape the sixth inning in his last two outings, both, of which, ended with him as a winner.
Game Three: Reds 2, Cardinals 1 — WP: Anthony DeSclafani (9-5) LP: Mike Leake (9-13) SV: Raisel Iglesias (5)
With squandered chances by the Cardinals and the Reds’ timely hitting, Cincinnati came away with a 2-1 win on Wednesday in the third game of the four-game series.
The Cardinals left both the potential tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position in the sixth and eighth innings and failed to take advantage of a leadoff triple in the bottom of the ninth inning.
The Reds’ two-run third inning proved to be enough for starter Anthony DeSclafani, who picked up his ninth win by allowing just one run in his six solid innings. Reds left-fielder Adam Duvall drove in the two runs of the evening for Cincy with a two-out single of Mike Leake.
Game Four: Cardinals 4, Reds 3 — WP: Seung Hwan Oh (6-3) LP: Blake Wood (6-5)
After a one-run lead withered to a tie in the top of the ninth, it was Yadier Molina’s RBI double off Blake Wood in the bottom of the very frame that sealed the deal on a 4-3 win for St. Louis in the series finale on Thursday.
The Reds tied the game at three runs apiece in the top of the ninth on Scott Schebler’s two-out RBI dribbler up the third-base line, but the Cardinals rebounded in their portion of the inning, as Molina lined a double off the left-field, allowing Matt Carpenter — who had been walked by Wood — to score the game-winning run.
Reds starter Dan Straily turned in his 20th quality start by allowing three runs over six innings, although he did not factor into the game’s final decision. Similar can be said about Cardinals hurler Alex Reyes, who, despite logging his third quality start in five tries, was denied a chance at his fifth win by his team’s late-inning faults.
Reds: The Reds will return to Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati for a three-game date with the Cubs, the World Series favorite as we approach the start of the postseason.
Cardinals: The Cardinals will welcome the Pirates on Friday for what may be the final series of the year at Busch Stadium, if the Cardinals are unable to secure a Wild Card spot this weekend.