The Cincinnati Reds were in prime position to steal a weekend series at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, but the Cardinals had other ideas as they rallied to win 4-3 on Sunday.
The series opened Friday with a 14-3 thrashing by the Cardinals (14-3), but the Reds (6-6) responded with nine doubles in their 9-8 victory on Saturday. Jon Moscot nearly completed six innings in his first game back since dislocating his shoulder last June against the Tigers. Michael Wacha surrendered three runs in six innings, but only one of those runs were earned.
Cincinnati didn’t take long to strike against Wacha as Zack Cozart led the game off with a double and then Eugenio Suarez followed with a single. Cozart scored on a sacrifice fly by Joey Votto and the Reds were quickly ahead 1-0. Moscot worked through the first inning with no issues, but in the second he surrendered a solo homer off the bat of Jedd Gyorko and then Eric Fryer doubled in a run to give St. Louis a 2-1 advantage.
The Reds were able to take that lead back in the fourth inning, thanks to some shoddy defense by the Cardinals. It started with an error on Greg Garcia that allowed Brandon Phillips to reach and then Jay Bruce hit an infield single that turned into a scoring opportunity when Wacha threw the ball away to allow Phillips to touch home. With Bruce also moving into scoring position, he scored from second when Devin Mesoraco singled to tilt the game in the Reds favor 3-2. That scored held until Matt Carpenter lead off the bottom of the fifth with a solo homer to tie the game.
Moscot’s day came to an end when he hit Garcia and then walked Fryer with two outs in the sixth inning. Manager Bryan Price elected to go to his bullpen that had been knocked around heavily during the Reds six game road trip. Blake Wood was the first to the mound and he retired the only batter he faced to keep the game tied. Matt Bowman came on to relieve Wacha in the seventh inning and he gave up a two-out double to Jordan Pacheco, which led Cardinals skipper Mike Matheny to call upon Kevin Siegrist (2-0) to hold Cincinnati off the board. He did just that when he caught Cozart looking at strike three to end the frame.
Tony Cingrani worked around a lead-off walk in his scoreless seventh inning, while Siegrist sat the Reds down in order to set up a tie ball game in the top of the eighth. Ross Ohlendorf (2-1) was not able to work around his lead-off walk in the eighth as Fryer, who was spelling everyday catcher Yadier Molina, made the Reds pay with another RBI double to seize the lead at 4-3. That run was the 17th run scored by a Reds opponent against their bullpen in the eighth inning alone this year. Trevor Rosenthal had little trouble dispatching the Reds in order to pick up his third save of the season and give the Cardinals their seventh win in their last nine contests.
The Reds head back to Great American Ballpark on Monday for a seven-game homestand that starts with a three-game set with the Colorado Rockies (7-5). Cincinnati will feature a different look to its rotation during the week as Dan Straily (0-0, 3.24 ERA) moves into the rotation and Tim Melville slides into a bullpen role. Straily will get the nod against Jordan Lyles (0-1, 11.25 ERA) who has allowed five runs in both of his starts this season. With Moscot also joining the rotation, the Reds elected to send Keyvius Sampson to Louisville to make room on the roster. He appeared in just two games in which he allowed four runs in three innings with a 12.00 ERA. With Straily starting Monday it pushes Alfredo Simon to Tuesday’s match-up and Raisel Iglesias to the Wednesday afternoon meeting. Cincinnati and Colorado with get things started Monday night with the first pitch set for 7:10 p.m.