The Short Version: Jose Peraza breaks an all-time franchise record, but the Reds fall short in the final game of the first game. Despite the loss, the Reds will go into the All-Star break feeling pretty good about taking two of three in both St. Louis and Cleveland.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (43-53) 4 8 1
St. Louis Cardinals (48-46) 6 7 0
W: Gant (3-3) L: DeSclafani (4-2) S: Hicks (2)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Jose Peraza had three hits and an RBI. He had eleven hits in this series, the most by a Red in a three-game series — over the entire history of the Cincinnati Reds. That’s crazy.

Peraza finishes the first half with a .293 average and a .339 on-base percentage. Most of us will take that out of our shortstop.

–Joey Votto doubled, walked, and scored a run. Adam Duvall singled, walked, and had a couple of RBI.

–Sal Romano — pitching out of the bullpen for the first time, with the All-Star break ahead of us — Dylan Hernandez, Jared Hughes, and Raisel Iglesias combined for 3.2 innings of shutout relief.

The Bad
–Billy Hamilton was credited with an error in the bottom of the fourth that contributed to the Cardinals comeback, but the error just as easily could have been charged to Tucker Barnhart, who let the throw from center get past him.

–Anthony DeSclafani gave up six runs on five hits and a walk in 3.1 innings.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–That’ll do it for the first half of the season, and what a rollercoaster ride it was. The Reds started 3-18, but went 40-35 after that. Which team is the real Reds?

–It’s always great to go into St. Louis and win a series. There will never be a time that it isn’t fun.

–If not for the two games that the Reds just handed to the Cubs last weekend, this could very easily have been a 7-2 road trip for Cincinnati heading into the All-Star break. As it turned out, it was 5-4, but I’ll take it.

–Down 2-0 in the top of the fourth, the Reds offense demonstrated why they’ve been so effective lately. Lots of batter were patient, got deep into counts, and Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas was forced to work hard in the Sunday sunshine.

Joey Votto led off with a double. Eugenio Suarez quickly got behind in the count 0-2, but was able to work a walk. Jesse Winker singled to center to load the bases. After Tucker Barnhart struck out, Adam Duvall drove a liner to left field that missed being a grand slam by a matter of inches. Oh well, foul ball…Duvall ultimately singled to left to tie the score.

Anthony DeSclafani then laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt down the third base line…so perfect, in fact, that Disco beat out the throw for an infield single. One out later, Jose Peraza grounded one sharply to the pitcher, Mikolas, who was unable to field it; probably should have been an error, but the official scorer called it a single and an RBI. Reds led 3-2.

About ten minutes later, they were losing 6-3, but we’ll always have the top of the fourth.

–Some guy had a really sweet hairdo behind the St. Louis home plate.

–Oh well. Plenty to discuss over the All-Star break. I think it’s safe to say we’re all having a lot more fun watching the Reds right now, despite today’s loss.

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