Luis Castillo allowed one run on two hits in a complete game victory. A Joey Votto 2-run homer in the 1st inning held up for the Cincinnati Reds (20-25) as the St. Louis Cardinals (19-19) could only get a single run in a brilliant start by Castillo.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (20-25)
3 8 0
St. Louis Cardinals (19-19)
1 2 0
W: Castillo (2-5) L: Wainwright (4-1)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

It didn’t take long for the Cincinnati Reds offense to get going. Nick Castellanos singled to center with one out in the 1st inning. Joey Votto appeared to walk, but the umpire had different ideas – calling a very high strike in a 3-0 count. The next pitch was low and inside and Votto hit it 442 feet into the night to put the Reds up 2-0.

After the Cardinals got a run back in the bottom of the 2nd, Cincinnati went to work once again. Shogo Akiyama singled with one out and he moved to second when Joey Votto drew a walk. That brought up Eugenio Suárez, who got the run back with a double down the line to bring Akiyama around to score and make it 3-1.

That was about the end of the night for the offense. There were a few singles and walks mixed in the rest of the way for Cincinnati, but they didn’t put a real threat of scoring again in the minds of the Cardinals pitching staff.

The Pitching

After a 1-2-3 inning to start the game, Luis Castillo ran into a little trouble in the 2nd inning against St. Louis. Brad Miller walked on four pitches to start the inning. Paul DeJong followed up with a double to put runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs. After Yadier Molina grounded out to third, with Eugenio Suárez holding the runner at third in the process, a ground ball to the other side of the infield brought in the Cardinals first run of the game to make it 2-1. Castillo struck out Tyler O’Neill to end the inning and strand DeJong at third.

After that, Luis Castillo was locked in. The Cardinals didn’t get a hit in the 3rd inning. Or the 4th. Their bats were quiet in the 5th inning, too. The 6th inning saw St. Louis go 1-2-3. The 7th inning unfolded the same exact way, as Castillo pitched a full seven innings for the first time all season – and he was just at 88 pitches at this point in the game.

David Bell had Raisel Iglesias warming up in the bullpen, but the Reds manager sent Luis Castillo out to start the 9th inning. He would reward his manager’s confidence in him by striking out Kolten Wong to begin the frame. Tommy Edman followed up by grounding out to Eugenio Suárez for the second out of the inning. But on a full count to Paul Goldschmidt, Laz Diaz called ball four on a pitch that appeared to in the strikezone. Brad Miller would ground out two pitches later to seal the complete game victory for Castillo, and the 20th win of the year for the Reds.

Notes worth noting

Joey Votto’s home run in the 1st inning was 113.2 MPH off of the bat. That’s the hardest ball he’s hit since that stat has been tracked (2015).

Luis Castillo lowered his ERA to 3.44 on the season with this start.

Freddy Galvis and Eugenio Suárez both had two hits in the game. Joey Votto and Shogo Akiyama both went 1-3 and drew a walk on the night.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs St. Louis Cardinals

Saturday September 12th, 8:15pm ET

Tejay Antone (0-1, 2.49 ERA) vs Dakota Hudson (2-2, 3.19 ERA)