It wasn’t easy at all times but the Cincinnati Reds rode a strong start by Tyler Mahle before getting the game to Tejay Antone and Lucas Sims to close the game out. While the sweep is still on the table, the win on Saturday marked a 4-game series win in St. Louis for the first time since 1990.
|Cincinnati Reds (27-29)
|St. Louis Cardinals (31-28)
|W: Mahle (5-2) L: Helsley (3-4) SV: Sims (5)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
Cincinnati didn’t get much doing in the first three innings of the game… that is until the top of the 3rd with two outs when Jonathan India obliterated a Johan Oviedo pitch 419-feet into the stands to tie the game up at 1-1. The Reds played add on in the top of the 4th when Tyler Naquin pulled out a hustle double and scored on a Tucker Barnhart single to make it 2-1.
Jonathan India did all he could go get things going in the 5th with a leadoff double – his 3rd time on base in the game – but he was stranded as the Reds went 1-2-3 to follow. With the game tied up at 2-2 in the top of the 6th Tucker Barnhart led off with a 4-pitch walk and after falling behind 1-2, Eugenio Suárez clobbered a 2-run homer 409 feet into the Cincinnati bullpen to give the team the lead once again.
The Reds were threatening once again in the top of the 7th after Jesse Winker walked and Nick Castellanos singled – extending his hitting streak to a league best 21 games. But Tyler Stephenson came on to pinch hit for Tyler Naquin and struck out, and Tucker Barnhart followed with a strikeout of his own. That left things to Eugenio Suárez to try and get the job done against Genesis Cabrera. But before he had a chance it was Cabrera who got the job done as he fired a 99 MPH fastball over everyone, but the ball ricocheted right back to catcher Andrew Knizner who fired down to third base. If the throw had been anything close to Nolan Arenado then Winker would have been out by 15 feet. It wasn’t. The ball sailed into left field and Winker scored easily to make it 5-2. Suárez would fly out, missing a hit by about 3 inches as Tommy Edman made a diving grab to save a run and end the inning.
Tyler Mahle served up a leadoff double to Tommy Edman to lead off the bottom of the 1st and he’d come around to score on a Nolan Arenado single that put the Cardinals up 1-0. Mahle settled in from there until the bottom of the 4th inning when a little batted ball luck went a long way for St. Louis. A blooper to right field that went 243 feet got by a sliding Nick Castellanos and went for a leadoff triple. A soft single followed to right to bring the run in, but that was all the Cardinals got – but it was enough to tie the game back up at 2-2.
From there it was smooth sailing for Tyler Mahle. He retired all nine batters he faced in the 5th, 6th, and 7th innings – including needing just eight pitches to get through that final frame. He was pinch hit for in the top of the 8th, ending his day with eight strikeouts, a walk, and just two earned runs in 7.0 innings on 95 pitches.
Tejay Antone came on to pitch in the 8th. He did what Tejay Antone does and made easy work of St. Louis getting a 1-2-3 inning on just 10 pitches that included nine strikes to hold onto the 5-2 lead and send it to the 9th.
Lucas Sims came on to try and close the game out in the 9th with a 3-run lead to work with. Nolan Arenado singled to lead off the inning before Sims struck out Andrew Knizner. But Tyler O’Neill crushed a ground-rule double to put runners and 2nd and 3rd. The Reds reliever needed four pitches to strikeout Matt Carpenter for the second out of the frame. A line drive to center by Edmundo Sosa almost fell, but Shogo Akiyama made a charging and sliding catch in center to end the game.
Notes Worth Noting
Tyler Mahle lowered his ERA on the year to 3.32. He now has 20 walks and 72 strikeouts in 62.1 innings this year.
Jonathan India is hitting .261/.367/.428 on the year. After going 0-15 from April 25th through May 12th, the Reds second baseman has been on fire, hitting .328/.446/.574 in a 20 game span.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Cincinnati Reds vs. St. Louis Cardinals
Sunday June 6th, 2:15pm ET
Wade Miley (5-4, 3.26 ERA) vs John Gant (4-3, 1.60 ERA)