Kyle Farmer was the only Cincinnati Reds player to pick up a hit – and he had two of them – as Jon Lester dominated the Reds in a 3-1 win for the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night. The Cardinals moved a game closer to the Reds in the standings with the victory and are now 2.5 games behind Cincinnati.
|St. Louis Cardinals (67-63)
|Cincinnati Reds (71-62)
|W: Lester (5-6) L: Castillo (7-14) SV: Gallegos (3)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
The Reds got on the board in the bottom of the second inning with a Kyle Farmer leadoff home run – his 12th of the season. That was the last baserunner that the Cincinnati Reds had until Joey Votto walked with one out in the 7th inning. Kyle Farmer was up next, but the Cardinals went to their bullpen to bring in lefty T.J. McFarland. Farmer came through with a ground rule double to put two men on with one out. But the Reds put on the contact play and Eugenio Suárez hit a grounder to third base and Joey Votto was out at the plate by 15 feet. That brought Tyler Naquin to the plate and the lefty-on-lefty match up went as you’d expect it to for a guy who had a .609 OPS against lefties on the season would go. He struck out to end the inning and the Cardinals held onto their 3-1 lead as the game went to the 8th.
The Cardinals stuck with the lefty McFarland to begin the inning and he got Aristides Aquino to fly out to the front of the warning track. With the pitchers spot due up the Reds turned to Mike Moustakas as a pinch hitter, but he grounded out to first. Jonathan India kept the inning alive with a little help from Paul Goldschmidt who was charged with an error as India reached first. Tyler Stephenson would fly out to center and end the inning as Cincinnati’s offense continued to search for another hit.
Down by two runs to begin the bottom of the 9th the Cardinals turned the game over to Giovanny Gellegos to face the heart of the Reds order. Nick Castellanos grounded out to shortstop to begin the inning. Joey Votto struck out on five pitches, leaving the game up to the only Red with a hit on the night – Kyle Farmer. After several foul balls he would pop up to end the game.
Walks will haunt. That’s the old saying, and Monday night it was confirmed with a quickness as Tommy Edman walked to lead off the game and then scored when Paul Goldschmidt hit a 2-run homer to follow. Luis Castillo settled in from there, with only a walk by Goldschmidt in the first four innings after that. But in the 5th inning Harrison Bader had a 1-out double to pick up the Cardinals second hit of the game. Castillo took care of business with back-to-back ground outs to strand the runner and keep the St. Louis lead at 2-1.
The next inning it was another 1-out double, this time by Dylan Carlson, that put the Cardinals back in threatening mode. A ground out advanced the runner to third base and a soft chopper that stopped before reaching the infield dirt went as an RBI infield single to extend the St. Louis lead to 3-1. That was all Castillo allowed for the inning, but it would also be his last as he picked up eight strikeouts in 6-innings of 3-run baseball.
Luis Cessa took over in the 7th inning. He allowed a single to Jon Lester, but worked around it for a shutout frame. Jeff Hoffman entered for the 8th inning and after recording the first two outs rather easily he allowed back-to-back singles. But he struck out future Hall of Famer Yadier Molina to end the threat. Justin Wilson came through with a perfect 9th inning to hold the score at 3-1 and give the Reds offense one more chance to do some damage.
Notes Worth Noting
The Cincinnati Reds have completed their trade with the New York Yankees from July. On Monday evening they sent minor league pitcher Jason Parker to the Yankees as the player to be named later. We wrote about Parker and the trade here if you would like more information.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
St. Louis Cardinals vs Cincinnati Reds
Tuesday August 31st, 6:40pm ET
Miles Mikolas (0-1, 2.70 ERA) vs Sonny Gray (6-6, 3.91 ERA)