A seven-run fourth inning led the St. Louis Cardinals to a 10-6 victory over the Cincinnati Reds Sunday at Great American Ball Park.

Final R H E
St. Louis Cardinals (50-50) 10 12 0
Cincinnati Reds (51-48)
6 10 0
W: Helsley (5-4) L: Gray (2-6)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Cincinnati had numerous chances to come back in this game. St. Louis’s seven-spot gave them a 9-3 lead, and the Reds scratched back to within 9-6 in the seventh. Then in the eighth inning, they loaded the bases with nobody out. But Tyler Naquin struck out, and Aristides Aquino and Kyle Farmer both were retired on popups, and that was essentially the game.

Third-place St. Louis avoided a three-game sweep and pulled back within 1 1/2 games of the Reds. Cincinnati now stands seven games behind first-place Milwaukee, pending the result of the Brewers’ Sunday night home game against the White Sox.

The Offense

After St. Louis scored two in the top of the first on a Tyler O’Neill bomb, Joey Votto responded in the bottom of the inning with two on …

Unfortunately, though, it was a game in which the Reds failed to capitalize upon opportunities thereafter. Tyler Stephenson delivered home a run with a single in the sixth, and Max Schrock delivered a two-out, two-run double in the seventh to pull Cincinnati within 9-6. But for the game, Reds batters were 3-for-17 with runners in scoring position — the three hits mentioned above. For the game, they left 13 on base.

Stephenson led the attack by batting 3-for-3 and drawing two walks. It is the first time in his brief career that he has reached base five times safely.

The Pitching

Sonny Gray didn’t have it today. In 3 1/3 innings, he allowed eight runs, and he and Edgar Garcia allowed seven runs in the fourth inning, which was the pivotal frame.

Jeff Hoffman, Jeff Osich, Tony Santillan and Ryan Hendrix finished things up. Hendrix allowed two batted balls with exit velocity over 100 mph in his inning, and hasn’t been fooling anyone for awhile now. The front office will have no shortage of options when time comes to make room for some of the currently rehabilitating relief pitchers.

Notes Worth Noting

Mike Freeman, starting at third base today, made this sparkling play to retire the speedy Dylan Carlson in the third …

St. Louis Manager Mike Schildt asked for a review, but the umpires said his request came more than 20 seconds after the play, meaning it was too late. Schildt had lots of heated words with the umpires and eventually got ejected.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds at Chicago Cubs

Monday, July 26, 8:05 p.m. ET

Wade Miley (8-4, 2.72 ERA) vs. Kyle Hendricks (12-4, 3.61)

71 Responses

  1. dhmorgan

    I think Aquino fouled out in the 8th – but an outs an out.

    • Jim Walker

      Agree in the 8th Aquino fouled out. He struck out swinging in the 5th also in a bases loaded situation.

      It was a strange if somewhat tough day for him. He did not put a ball in play fair but will end up raising his OPS a tad because he walked twice in 5 plate appearances. He also scored a run off of one of the walks.


        Tom what do you think it cost to get Whitt Merrifield, I don’t believe it would take much, considering what Padres gave up for Frazier. I don’t think it cost any of our top 10 prospects. Put him cf, bat him 6th or 7th ,second leadoff man, really under rated overall player.Have Naquin and Aquino platoon till Nick C gets back or if he even does. In a pinch Merrifield came up as a 3b, just a thought

  2. Hanawi

    Frustrating game. Naquin with a .622 OPS in July after sub-.750 OPS in both May and June. He’s not any kind of long-term answer in CF. Senzel has yet to show he can stay healthy and has not been productive when he is. Wonder if the Reds need to go find another CF in the offseason to go along with a SS and some bullpen help.

  3. Mariners77

    Frustrating loss, too many chances went by the wayside. The bats have been our salvation this season, but couldn’t get it done today. Not meant to be. Even a mediocre Sonny today could have been the difference. Can’t win them all I guess!

    Still, glad to take another series against the Cards. Finished the yard work early, sat on the patio with a cold beverage and a fan, Reds on the radio. Summer in a nutshell. Life is good.

    • Alan Horn

      Yep. Can’t hang this one on the BP. It was all Gray. He got lit up pretty good.

      • JA

        I do agree.
        3.1 innings w 8 ER do not help any team.
        In previous start a week ago, SG just lasted 4.2 vs Mil. w 99 pitches. That game Reds batters were completely silent (8-0 shut out).
        Reeds need better performance by SG.

  4. Mark A Verticchio

    The Reds really need a center fielder no answers on the current roster. At 51 and 48 this season is sleeping away unless they can go on a 20 game tear winning 15+ out of 20 which they haven’t done in years.

  5. Bet on Red

    Upt ultimately in the end we won the series. It didn’t come through today and sunny didn’t have it. However my hit in every inning bet came through, so there is that

  6. Jon

    The problem today was once again the lack of a bullpen. Had Bell been able to have a reliable pitcher to quickly turn to when Gray struggled in the fourth, this game may have turned out differently. Leaving Gray in to face the lead off batter who homered was a mistake. The fact that Hoffman appears to be the long reliever is scary, despite his rare success today.

    Also, why is Freeman on this team? Todd Frazier would be a better option, especially since he has power. The Reds definitely need to trade for a bat this week if they expect to contend with Castellanos out. Either a CF or SS upgrade is needed. Akiyama is obviously not the answer offensively, and Aquino has been unremarkable since his one good month two years ago.

    • Jim Walker

      Aquino had a difficult day today but still has an OPS >.900 for this season (given it is a small sample size). He could still go either way, The encouraging aspect for him this year is his .352 on base % coming into today driven by one of the best base on ball rates on the team (and 2 walks in 5 plate appearances Sunday will boost it slightly).

      HIs PA per HR rate is 12.67 which works out to 38-39 HRs in a season with the minimum number of plate appearances to qualify for offensive leadership stats for a season.

      • VaRedsFan

        I’d rather him got a big hit in a big situation than the 2 walks when the pressure wasn’t as big. He had 3 chances to come up big, which could of helped his playing time situation, and came up empty.

        Remember when he hit a HR when they were losing big the other night?
        This is what people talk about when they say empty stats.

      • Old-school

        Aquino needs to play every day in RF while Castellanos is injured

        See what happens

        Today he didnt get it done

        But he needs to play tomorrow and tuesday and Wednesday knowing that confidence.

        His power and arm are too good to wonder what if . Answer the question since NC isnt in RF

    • Broseph

      Didn’t the bullpen give up 2 ER today and Gray gave up 8? Normally I’d agree that the BP is a huge hole, but they were not at fault today by a long shot.

    • greenmtred

      They scored six runs today. Six runs should ordinarily be enough, and would have been but for the implosion by Gray. Another good bat would help, but a better bullpen would help much more.

  7. kevinz

    Won the series will take it.
    Yea had chances on offense.
    But Pitching is reason why Lost.
    just my opinion of course.
    onto the next series.
    Go Reds.

    • JayTheRed

      The big hurt was in the 8th Inning bases loaded with no outs….
      Strike out
      Pop out foul
      Pop out foul
      Inning over. That hurt.
      Gray didn’t seem very good today again. I suspect he is still dealing with some minor pain or is trying to be careful Hoffman did a much better job in the bullpen as I thought he would. I really think there is no trigger to pull this season for Krall or they could have already found a way to get a reliever or two. I don’t even care if they are not top of the line relievers. Just someone who has a consistent record for getting people out most of the time.

      5 days and counting til the deadline.

      • kevinz

        Yea I can agree with that 8th inn hurt.
        Just blame Pitching needing those runs, to begin with.
        I would not trade anything of value.
        Unless think pushing for a WS.
        Agree need help though.
        But would not Pay huge price, just for a Wild card spot.
        Could be wrong though.
        Just my feelings on it.

  8. TR

    The Reds need a win by the White Sox over the BrewCrew tonight.

    • TR

      Followed by a sweep of the Cubbies at Wrigley.

  9. LDS

    Management is the reason they lost. Bad lineup and pitching decisions. Totally ignores the reality of who hits whom. Lets pitchers get shelled, etc. Yes, the pitchers were pitiful. The batters plated fewer than 1/3 of the baserunners. But at the end of the day, this team would be much better with a different manager. From an analytics perspective, Naquin hits about .350 playing RF (OPS 1.304) but only .219 hitting from CF (OPS .648). Aquino is better out of RF as well but hits 30+ pts better than Naquin when playing CF. And Freeman? Doesn’t hit much at all. And dollars to donuts, Stephenson doesn’t start tomorrow.

    • LDS

      Not ignorance, simply pointing out that one can’t hype analytics and then ignore the numbers. One can drive into all sorts of metrics, day games, lineup slots, etc. and draw all sorts of conclusions. Toss a fair coin and get 5 heads in a row. What’s the odds that the next toss is a tail? As for the management and Freeman comments, I’ll stick with them.

  10. Old-school

    Naquin has filled in admirably but his year to date stats are buttressed to some extent by his early season opportunism in meaningless late inning games. I was at the Easter blow out of the cards. My ear still hurts from naquin’s crack of the bat on a 3 run homer up 7-2 to make to 10-2. A few days later he hit 2 homers and drove in 7 rbi against the Pirates in a 14-2 game.

    While it is looking like the Reds are committed to Gutierrez as a #4/5 starter and Santillan as a core reliever and Shogo with zero trade value and insanity to trade Greene or Lodolo or Barrero…you are looking at Aquino or Naquin plus A level prospects as players the reds could trade for lefty bullpen help.

  11. Old-school

    Well padres just got better and Pirates worse

    Adam Frazier traded.
    Glad the reds dont play the Padres anymore

    • LDS

      Improving the team is what good management, SD, Mil, does. The Reds? Crickets so far. So less than a week to go. What will we see?

    • Bet on Red

      Pirate send Adam and money and get two quality Low A prospects and a utility guy

    • RedAlert

      Padres got a REAL front office … we must still have cardboard cutouts in ours

      Cardboard cutouts would get more accomplished than present group for sure …

    • Arthur

      The three “prospects” Pittsburgh acquired from San Diego wouldn’t even make our Top 25 prospects list. Think about that – a good team acquired a player who started the All Star Game for minor league players who were almost certainly not going to ever contribute to their major league club. And, Frazier is under team control thru the 2022 season. So it isn’t even a “rent-a-player” situation.

      That is the kind of move that will guarantee that the Padres make the playoffs, and the Pirates continue to remain irrelevant.

  12. Bet on Red

    Pirates have sent Adam Fraizer to the Padres. Seems Pittsburg does not think they are making the playoffs this year

    • Jimbo44CN

      Seems like they think they won’t be in business next year.

  13. Jon

    Anyone know what the Reds record this year is in games started by Stephenson vs. games started by Barnhart? Is Stephenson the answer next year at catcher, or do the Reds bring back Barnhart and play Stephenson at 1B/DH (assuming there is one)?

    • LDS

      If Votto can continue and replicate his performance next year, the Reds need someone to platoon for him vs. LH’ers. He’s still hitting substantially worse against lefties. Is that Stephenson? Who knows. But without Barnhart, who do the Reds have?

      • Alan Horn

        We will likely have the DH next year. That should be Votto’s position most games. Stephenson can play 1B and C. Moose (if he is still here) can play 1B when Stephenson catches. Barnhart can play there some also.

    • Old-school

      I like the catching situation.
      It just hard to catch 150 games so I like Barnhart and Stephenson sharing the position. The DH and 1B and Joey Votto seemingly looking like he’s got another year in him is a solid plan for 2022 at catcher /1b/DH

      • Alan Horn

        Agree. I didn’t see your post before I posted above.

    • Jim Walker

      Stephenson needs to play as much as he can while remaining healthy and productive. At a similar point of his career as Stephenson will be next year, Buster Posey started ~140 games a year, over a span of several years. Typically, 110-120 of Posey’s starts were behind the plate, the reminder as 1B with a few at DH.
      So, pencil in Stephenson for ~115 starts at C with the balance, ~25, to come at 1B or DH.

      If the Reds want to maximize Votto and Moustakis , since both are LH batters, the team would likely use one of them at 1B and the other at DH versus RH pitching in most instances (with Suárez or Senzel playing 3B as things stand now).

      Lefthanded pitching could open 1B or DH to rest Stephenson from catching while keeping his bat in the lineup but would also dictate a RH hitting second catcher.

  14. Old-school

    @ Doug

    Do you have a mid-season update on Reds prospects top 30?

    Padres seemingly didnt give up much for a controlled All- star but perhaps those Pirates prospects are crushing it recently.

    I just dont think the price tag is high for players not controlled past the 2022 season…..yet again potentially interrupted MLB season.

  15. Bet on Red

    White Soxs have some slugger named Lance Lynn who plated two as the white sox are up three in MIL

      • JB

        I wish the Reds would let their pitchers hit. They have a better chance of running into one than getting a bunt down.

      • Bet on Red

        It was in this case, a NL pitcher completely mailing it in against an AL pitcher

    • Old-school

      5 th padres prospect and then nothing

      Begs the question what the price tag is for Trae turner

      Mike siani is reds #5

      Throw in (2) Other prospects at A level

      • Bet on Red

        looking more at the return, it is looking like the UT guy may have been the known commodity with 2 lotto ticket pitchers. If this is the baseline things just got allot cheaper

      • DaveCT

        For the Nat’s we can offer a package deal of our overstock 3B players.

        Big Bob is going to gave to trade some of his Legos if he ever wants to get his own big boy parade.

      • Old-school

        Its looking like clubs view 2022 control as nothing because its another lost year like 2020

        Maybe why article up today Luis Castillo is most valued pitcher on trade market

        Also why Reds not playing Shogo. They know they arent paying his full contract in 2022

        Maybe a 1/2 or a 1/3

  16. RedAlert

    Big Bob can also throw in his overstock of
    bobbleheads and fireworks to up the ante in a trade package …..


  17. MK

    Does , Senzel, Hofman, Akiyama and AlfRod get Byron Buxton from the Twins. They would get this year and next before he is free agent eligible. Would make probable loss of Castleanos a little easier to take.

    • JB

      Buxton cannot stay on the field. Constantly hurt.

  18. Jon

    I wrote this last week and I’ll write it again. The Reds cannot afford to lose Castellanos this winter if they expect to contend in 2022. Without Castellanos, the main offensive threats would be the trio of Winker, India, and Stephenson. 38 year-old Votto, Suarez, Senzel, and Moustakas are wildcards who are pluses if healthy/productive, but who cannot be expected to be major contributors.

    Would a 7 year, $175 million extension for Castellanos this winter get the job done? It would take him through 2026, his age-36 season. It would make him the face of the franchise in a ballpark that is excellent for hitters. It would provide continuity as the current face of the franchise, Joey Votto, wraps up his career in two years. We’ve already read plenty about his leadership in the clubhouse and on the field.

    • JB

      I like it because it only takes him to 36. Problem is I dont see Bob spending his money.

    • Jim Walker

      I do not disagree with the baseball need to retain Castellanos. However, given the collective bargaining situation, I will be surprised if any big contracts get done ahead of the possible lockout. I believe that date is December 1, give or take.

      Look no further than the Cubs. Their position player core group are all coming up on potential free agency; and, they seem to have little to no interest in talking to any of them. If I read this linked spreadsheet from Cot’s contracts correctly, the Cubs have only Jason Heyward, Kyle Hendricks, and David Bote on contracts the club cannot walk away from (by paying an option buyout) at the end of the 2021 season: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/14PNYEyVpsPJLZXlNXbB8gqH5z0zf0BkD0qGEwWsJNHw/edit#gid=1520401900

      And anyone with less than 6 years of MLB service time at the end of the year (and not under contract for 2022), they can simply non-tender to be free of any further obligation.

      Given the labor situation, the question with Castellanos comes down to what will he choose to do, since his option is a one way option he controls. If he elects to stay, the team cannot buy him out.

      No doubt Castellanos agent, Scott Boras, is working overtime to run all the scenarios to make an informed decision whether it is more advantageous for Castellanos (and his other clients in similar situations) to be committed to currently existing contracts or to free agents when the dust clears from the labor situation.

      • Jim Walker

        For anyone interested, here is Cot’s spreadsheet of the Reds current and future player contract obligations. Look at the huge amount (compared) to the Cubs that the Reds have committed for next year and 2023:

        The only options on these contracts for 2022 are the player option of Castellanos and the club option on Barnhart for 2022, another (nonbaseball) reason I think the Reds will not pay Barnhart $7.5M for 2022 when they can be free and clear by buying him out for $500K

        And as an aside, is it a coincidence the Cubbies have the decks coming virtually clear of obligation as the labor agreement is expiring? Somehow, I doubt it is.

  19. Jon

    Random trade idea: Bryant and Kimbrel for Senzel. Two rental players who would be gone after this year for a controllable player who is a bit of a wildcard in terms of his health. Could throw in Akiyama as well if the Cubs want him. Overpay or underpay on the part of the Reds?

    • Indy Red Man

      Cubs would need alot more then that. Senzel hasn’t hit that well on the rare occasions when he’s available. He’s got to first play with the Reds and accomplish something to stay in the big leagues.

    • Hanawi

      I can’t imagine Senzel has much value right now. He can’t stay healthy and he really hasn’t produced when he has played. His career OPS is .704. Akiyama has zero (or maybe negative value due to the contract).

    • LGR

      No way that would be enough lol. I do however like Bryant more than Story as a rental. If Senzel was in the mix, they’d probably want something like Senzel, Lopez and Ashcraft. Or Senzel, Santillan and Ashcraft. They’d want way more than Senzel.

  20. Bet on Red

    Chicago comes through… they beat the brewers

  21. LGR

    How I’d like to see the lineup tonight against the Cubs.

    India 2B
    Lopez RF
    Winker LF
    Stephenson C
    Votto 1B
    Farmer SS (preferably Barrero but that’s not happenin)
    Schrock 3B
    Akiyama CF
    Miley P

    Lets switch it up a bit. Aquino and Naquin had some very bad AB’s last night. I’d prefer getting Lopez a start over Schrock, but if they wanted to get Aquino some more time with Nick out, then let Lopez play 3rd. Even though I think Schrock is probably a better pure hitter than Aquino.

    • Jimbo44CN

      After one game? He just got called up and now he’s a better hitter than Aquino? Baseball is hard, his OPS is great, the more he plays the better he will get. Remember how great everyone thought Heineman was, Payton, Goodwin, Davidson? All those guys are long gone and they all played instead of Aquino last year. That is all on David Bell.

      • LGR

        I mean, I never thought any of those guys were good, so.. This isn’t the first we’ve seen Schrock this year either. Before he got hurt, he was hitting very well. I’m not saying he’s a better home run hitter than Aquino, just overall, get on base, hitter. Not someone who’s gonna strike out nearly half the time like Aquino.

  22. Rednat

    yesterday was tough to watch. we really need to sign Castellanos for 2022 or it will be a tough year. Aquino, Naquin, Shogo just don’t make enough hard contact on a consistent basis.

    I had high hopes for Aquino but he has been sloppy in the field, at the plate and on the bases this year. i Ho[e he can turn things around.

    • Indy Red Man

      Aquino has a .960 ops in July. They have to let him play every day and see what happens? Naquin has never played this much and seems to be slowing down. He needs more time off. I think Bell has a much better read on that stuff then he does with the pitching.

      • Jim Walker

        Amen to using Aquino, especially at Wrigley. Right field is the large field there; and, AA can cover it best. Unless the wind is blowing in, just about any ball AA gets well lifted would have a chance of drifting (at least) to the basket from the LF line over to the gap.

        Just as with Votto in the past, some folks are wanting to depreciate AA’s OPS because his high OBP is largely based on drawing walks. Hopefully, these are not the same folks who previously were trashing him for chasing sliders wide or in the dirt.

    • Jimbo44CN

      He made two great catches in yesterdays game. One where he fell headfirst into the stands and held onto the ball. I guess he spilled someones beer while falling in. Sloppy.