The St. Louis Cardinals jumped on Ben Lively early, hitting two 2-run home runs in the first two innings to grab a 4-0 lead. In the 7th inning they would hit another 2-run homer to put the game away as they beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-4 in the first game of their 3-game series this weekend.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (29-35)
4 7 0
St. Louis Cardinals (27-37)
7 11 0
W: Montgomery (3-7) L: Lively (3-4) SV: Gallegos (8)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Kevin Newman started out the game with a double into left field, but the Reds offense couldn’t bring him around the bases and left him stranded over at third. In the bottom of the inning the Cardinals also got a runner on, but they didn’t fail in bringing him around as Nolan Arenado hit a 2-run homer to put St. Louis on top early on.

The Cardinals would play add on in the bottom of the 2nd inning when Paul DeJong led off with a single and then scored when Jordan Walker hit a home run that almost went through the wall of the bullpen to make it 4-0. In the bottom of the 4th they would get another run after a 2-out rally that culminated in an RBI single by Brendan Donovan.

Cincinnati finally got something going in the top of the 7th inning. Spencer Steer led off with a single and moved up a base when Tyler Stephenson followed up with a walk. Stuart Fairchild got the Reds on the board with a soft liner into left to bring Steer in from second. Will Benson came off of the bench to hit for Jose Barrero and walked to load the bases with one out for the Reds. Cincinnati got another run on a Kevin Newman sacrifice fly, making it a 5-2 ballgame. That brought Matt McLain to the plate, but on the first pitch Benson attempted to steal second base and was thrown out to end the inning.

That move may have been pivotal because it stopped arguably the teams best hitter from hitting with two men on base. And the next inning saw Ben Lively give up his third 2-run homer of the game – this time to Nolan Gorman – and Cincinnati saw their deficit climb to five runs.

In the top of the 8th Matt McLain stepped back into the box and walked to lead off the inning. He moved up to second on a single by Elly De La Cruz. Spencer Steer walked to load the bases and then McLain would score on a sacrifice fly by Tyler Stephenson on a ball caught at the wall in center. Stuart Fairchild then doubled in a run to make it 7-4. That led to a pitching change for St. Louis and it worked out as Giovanny Gallegos induced a ground out to end the inning and strand both baserunners. Cincinnati went quietly in the 9th, dropping the first game of the series to the Cardinals.

Key Moment of the Game

Nolan Gorman’s 2-run homer in the 7th inning that put the Cardinals up 7-2.

Notes Worth Noting

Matt McLain’s strong start continued with another double and a walk. He’s now hitting .350/.404/.530 through 23 games played.

Elly De La Cruz’s single saw him reach 31.9 feet per second. That’s the 4th fastest sprint speed in Major League Baseball this season.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs St. Louis Cardinals

Saturday June 10th, 2:15pm ET

Andrew Abbott (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs Miles Mikolas (4-2, 3.74 ERA)

44 Responses

  1. Melvin

    Mighty Mac just keeps on rolling. Trying to throw out EDLC on a chopper is hilarious. Not going to happen. lol

  2. Melvin

    We could still use more help. CES with two more hits including a another HR. Votto making progress going 1-3 with two BB and an HR.

    • SteveAReno

      Votto needs to do that more than one game. How about 10 games like that? Good to see he made a nice step there.

    • Jim Walker

      Ramos hit another HR Friday night plus had a single. Maybe it is time to get him up and ride him for a short term boost until he cools down again. Recall that despite his age, he still can be optioned back and forth between MLB and AAA.

    • Jim Walker

      Here’s another note to watch about the guys on rehab at AAA. Votto and Ramos played the entire game Friday night; but, Wil Meyers was pulled after 3 PAs. Meyers lined out in the top of the 5th then was replaced defensively at the start of the bottom of the same inning. The game was Myers’ 1st rehab game so, most likely his exit was planned; but, stay tuned.

  3. TJ

    Reds didn’t win, but they saved the bullpen. Lively’s location wasn’t the best, but he walked only one and went 6 2/3. Kuhnel was shakey, but finished the rest with no further damage. Friedl will be back tomorrow hopefully with Fraley.

  4. CI3J

    Firedl back tomorrow, that’s bye-bye Hopkins, for now.

    He has been overmatched. He looks about as bad as Benson did at the beginning of the year.

    Hopefully the young man returns to AAA with a renewed focus of what he needs to work on and comes back strong in either August or September.

    • Indy Red Man

      Why didn’t Bell pinch-hit Fraley for Hopkins late? Fraley would’ve been the tying run? I’m thinking .500 is the Bridge Too Far for our boys this year, but I’d love to be wrong

      • Old-school

        Fraley wrist contusion

        Reds chronically play a guy down

      • Jim Walker

        The roster situation the Reds are in is really a tough one. With EDLC now up with the MLB team, Noelvi Marte (at AA) and Michael Siani (at AAA) appear to be the only 40 man roster position guys not active at MLB or on the IL.

        Meanwhile, Friedl is eligible to come off the IL Saturday; and, if Bell is to be taken at his word, is probably ready with Ramos such as he is, appearing close to ready based on his rehab at AAA.

        Now that pitchers have to be declared as pitchers and position players can only pitch in extreme mop up situations, maybe it is time to use a system like pro hockey or pro football to carry 1 or 2 “extra” position players but dress only 13 for any given game. And BTW, in such a system a “healthy scratch” can be used by a coach/ manager to send a loud message.

  5. RedlegScott

    Starting pitching? We have Greene and Abbott (however, one good game is not entirely convincing). From there, it gets dicey. No idea how to solve this problem.

    • TR

      Pitching? Spend some money and/or trade a prospect or two who are not at the top of the list for the future. But, that will probably not happen until the offseason when the budget is cleared and in much better shape.

      • SlippinJimmy

        Trade India? Really interested on what kind of return he could bring.

      • MBS

        I think India brings back prospects. If we want a pitcher now, we probably need to trade prospects.

      • JB

        I think prospects in A ball will get it done. Arroyo and Collier should get you something nice. I mean the Reds aren’t dumping McLain or EDLC in the future.

      • RedlegScott

        Agree, TR. I’m still hanging on to the remote possibility of making the play-offs this year. I know – wishful thinking.

  6. JayTheRed

    Didn’t feel the energy the team had at home. I guess it’s why it is called home field advantage. Glad to see EDLC get a hit still.

    Really don’t like Newman leading off nor do I like India batting 3rd. They need to put him back at the leadoff spot.

    Newman just needs to go to the bench period. I know he hit a double to start the game, but the guy doesn’t belong at the top of the order let alone playing every day.

    • J

      Against lefties he’s hit like an all-star. When a lefty is starting, it would be negligent to have him on the bench unless winning the game isn’t a priority.

    • J

      Newman’s OPS against lefties is more than 300 points higher than India’s.

  7. Optimist

    Hate tactical losses, but that’s what this was. They won’t be able to keep both Newman and Fraley, and normally Newman would be more valuable for the defense, but this team does not need infielders. Newman also has more trade value, but still not much.

    Still need 2 relievers and 1 starter for this season, more for next.

  8. Old-school

    This kinda feels like this is who the Reds are. Every time they get 3 or 4 below .500, they recoil back to 6 or 7 under.

    Sorta like that horse at that track that finished 5 th but fought gamely.

    Baltimore Pittsburgh Arizona Miami are proving you can be horrific yet much better 2 years later.

    Love watching the young guys

    Feels like a 75-87 team.


    Going to need some external pitching additions in the off-season – both starting and bullpen.

    • GreatRedLegsFan

      Reds won’t be able to string enough victories to win the division, not this year, the next or ever unless they got additional starting pitching help from outside the organization. In the last few years they’ve traded away or release a number of pitchers that would take a decade to draft and develop, I just can remember Castillo, Mahle, Gray, Miley, DeSclafani, Gausman and Wood, but surely there’re more. Maybe the likes of Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft, Williamson and Abbott will become a good fit, but aside from keeping healthy they should also perform at ML level, which is very unlikely to happen in all cases.

  9. SteveAReno

    It’s a good tactical move to have Kevin Newman lead off against all the southpaws. He’s doing very well. A double to deep left center and on top of that, a sacrifice fly for an RBI. I don’t want to jinx him, but his defense has been superb.

    • Mario

      ESPN says Newman has negative 0.4 WAR for the season. He has a similar OPS to a struggling Fairchild. He’s 30 in August. He has very little trade value so I’m guessing that he’s on this team thru thru the end of the season. Probably getting more 1B, DH, and 3B at bats that should go to CES. This is not Newman hate, this is reality for a below .500 team.

      • greenmtred

        Newman got off to a very slow start, as I recall, and that may account for the WAR. He’s hitting pretty well lately and playing good defense wherever they put him. He may revert, of course, but he’s playing an important role for the injury-plagued Reds.

  10. Mark A Verticchio

    The difference in the game last night besides the starting pitching was clutch hitting as well as the long ball, 3 to 0. The Reds have a lot of warning track power, Stephenson’s ball with the bases loaded. With that in mind not bringing up Strand is difficult to understand especially if Fraley is hurt again. To that point Fraley is not the answer long term, Benson maybe, Freidl Maybe, Hopkins maybe, Fairchild maybe, Fraley no. With all that it is obvious that this team needs out fielders bad. Therefore moving EDLC to center and,or, Steer to left makes sense.

  11. Still a Red

    EDLC 6 strikeouts in a row, before his chopper single. That said, the pitchers are throwing him nothing but junk (his chopper was the only fast ball he saw last night) and nibbling the corners, low and away. The string of strikeouts started when Kershaw got two close calls that EDLC clearly thought were balls and then he just flailed at a breaking ball near the dirt in frustration. Welcome to the big leagues. Hope he (and we) are patient as he figures it out and we don’t have a AA 2.0.

    • Harry Stoner

      The easy days are over feasting on MiLB pitching.
      He’s going to have to learn to foul off the junk and make them earn the Ks or give him something to hit.
      We can expect it to take awhile.

  12. greenmtred

    Sadak (I know, I know) said that EDLC was pitched to the same way when he got to AAA. He got off to a very slow start but then “something clicked.” We’re probably seeing the difference between MLB breaking stuff and AAA breaking stuff.

  13. SR

    I am encouraged by the number of pitches in his last couple strikeouts (8 pitch) at bats. MLB pitchers throw breaking pitches and off speed even when it’s a 3-2 count. He’ll learn tendencies from pitchers in certain situations and adjust. And patience too.

    • Jim Walker

      As one of my professors always liked to say, “Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater”. Currently, EDLC’s strike out issue is a RH batting issue. He has K’ed 5 times in 6 PAs batting RH. Meanwhile, his LH batting OPS is 1.657 and his overall OPS is 1.145.

  14. JB

    People are jumping off my bandwagon at a fast pace. Still only 5 out. There have been times in the past where teams have had their foot on the necks of teams and didn’t put them away and lost the division. Right now Milwaukee is doing that to the Reds and maybe the Cards. The division is there and if we get our guys back and call up CES they are significantly better as a team. Gets rid of dead weight at the bottom of the order and teams will have to pitch to players instead of around them. You Gotta Believe!!

    • Indy Red Man

      Love your optimism, but the Reds have no starting pitching. Not to mention they blew their chance to outscore people and steal alot of these 1 run games earlier by not calling these kids up. Put in CES for Hopkins or Barrero (Steer to OF) and maybe they catch up to them last night?

      Abbott is going to be good, but I suspect his era will be somewhere around 4-4.50 era when its all said and done. Milw’s lineup was trash. To compete they’d have to win like 75% of Abbott & HGs starts moving forward because the rest are trash.

      • Jim Walker

        The 3 catcher scenario has done serious damage to the roster configuration. It has not only taken a spot that could be used for CES, it has also put a guy (Stephenson) into the DH spot about 1/2 of the time who is slugging in the .350-.360 range and has an overall OPS+ in the low 80’s.

        Of the guys on the current 26 man roster, Fraley (.430 slugging; 106 OPS+) should probably be the DH versus RH pitching and pick a name out of the hat vs LH pitching.

        If Stephenson can’t hold up to catching half the games, put him on the IL; and put him on a program like Votto. Given his younger age and less severe shoulder injury, he maybe he could be full go by the All Star break.

    • Tar Heel Red

      The Reds are not contenders this year. Their thin pitching (and the lack of veteran leadership) is coming back to haunt them. We fans are just gonna have to grin and bear it for awhile longer as there will, most likely, be no outside help on the horizon.

      Still, having said that, the team is fun to watch and hope does spring eternal.

      • TR

        After last year, 2023 has been fun to watch and follow the Reds with the goal of getting 2 or 3 games above or below .500, and the main goal to be not finishing this season in last place.

    • wkuchad

      JB, most posters will jump off your bandwagon after every loss, but then jump right back on after every win! 🙂

      • TR

        I doubt Reds fans are unique in jumping on and off the bandwagon after every win or defeat since it’s a long season.

    • wkuchad

      Ugh, I was afraid of that after he wasn’t used yesterday.

      • Still a Red

        Pretty wicked HBP on wrist…supposedly just bruised…hope that’s all.

  15. steve d

    Totally agree with Jim Walker’s assessment of the 3 catchers fiasco. Stevenson should catch or be on the bench except for occasional DH. He has not shown he needs to be DH or hit 5th or 6th in the order. Move him down in the order when he’s catching. He could be a valuable PH when not catching. He seems to have been decent when called upon off the bench.