St. Louis jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but the Cincinnati Reds battled back and avoided a 3-game sweep on Sunday afternoon with a 7-6 win, but not without drama as the Cardinals scored twice in the bottom of the 9th.
|Cincinnati Reds (21-39)||7||11||2|
|St. Louis Cardinals (34-27)||6||12||0|
|W: Hoffman (1-0) L: Hudson (4-3) SV: Díaz (2)|
|Statistics | Box Score | Game Thread|
Cincinnati went scoreless in the first three innings and grounded into a double play in each of them. Things started going their way in the 4th. Brandon Drury singled and was followed by walks from Tommy Pham and Joey Votto to load the bases. Kyle Farmer was then hit by a pitch to put the Reds on the board and cut into the Cardinals lead. Another ground ball double play followed, but it brought in the 2nd run of the inning. TJ Frield followed up with an RBI single to tie the game up at 3-3.
Aristides Aquino would lead off the 5th inning with a double and move to third on a sacrifice bunt from Aramis Garcia. Nick Senzel followed up with a sacrifice fly that plated Aquino – but he seemed to get his cleat caught up in the dirt on the slide beyond the plate and when the next half-inning began he was replaced in the field. That was all Cincinnati got in the inning but they held a 4-3 lead.
After the Cardinals tied things up in the bottom of the 5th, both teams score wentless in the 6th. But Cincinnati got a leadoff single from Matt Reynolds to lead off the 7th and TJ Friedl tripled to give the Reds a 5-4 lead. He would score on a sacrifice fly from Albert Almora Jr. two pitches later and Cincinnati went up 6-4. In the 8th inning Tommy Pham crushed a 1-out, 400-foot solo homer to left field that extended the Reds lead to 7-4. It would turn out to be a very important run.
St. Louis started the bottom of the 1st inning off with back-to-back singles. A wild pitch then moved them each up a base. A ground out that didn’t bring a run in followed, but another wild pitch led to the Cardinals 1st run of the day. Two more ground outs followed to get out of the jam with just the one run allowed.
In the 3rd inning the Cardinals got back to it. Nolan Gorman singled to lead off the inning and he would score when Nolan Arenado hit his 11th homer of the year as St. Louis extended their lead to 3-0. After a scoreless 4th inning, Ashcraft ran into trouble in the 5th. Tyler O’Neill led off with a single that went about 10 feet and he moved up to third base on a 1-out single by Brendon Donovan. With two outs Albert Pujols lined a ground rule double into right-center to tie the game up at 4-4. That would be the last pitch Ashcraft would throw, exiting with runners on 2nd and 3rd with Art Warren entering the game. He walked the first batter to load the bases but he struck out Andrew Knizner to end the inning.
Jeff Hoffman took over for the 6th and made quick and easy work of things. After Cincinnati broke a 4-4 tie and grabbed a 6-4 lead in the top of the 7th inning, Hoffman returned for the bottom half. He retired Nolan Arendao to start the inning, but then gave up back-to-back singles to put runners on 1st and 2nd. David Bell then brought in Tony Santillan to face Albert Pujols. Santillan got the future Hall of Famer to pop up and then got a line out to TJ Friedl in right field to strand both runners and hold onto the 2-run lead.
Luis Cessa entered the game in the bottom of the 8th inning and he needed just 10 pitches to strike out two batters in a perfect inning to send the game to the 9th. Alexis Diaz took over in the bottom of the 9th and he made quick work of the first two hitters, but after getting ahead of Brendan Donovan 0-2 he would walk him. Donovan then took second base on defensive indifference. Juan Yepez took the second pitch of the at-bat and lined it into the seats by the foul pole in the left for a 2-run homer to make it a 1-run game. Diaz rebounded by striking out Albert Pujols to end the game.
Key Moment of the Game
It turned out to be Tommy Pham’s solo home run in the 8th inning that gave Cincinnati their 7th run. Unknown at the time – they would need it.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds vs Arizona Diamondbacks
Monday June 13th, 9:40pm ET
Mike Minor (0-2, 8.64 ERA) vs. Merrill Kelly (5-3, 3.32 ERA)