The Cincinnati Reds scored in each of the first five innings of the game and put the game away before the Cardinals had a chance to go to their bullpen as St. Louis made starter Miles Mikolas take one for the team on the evening. Cincinnati pounded out 16 hits in their 11-4 victory to begin the 4-game series between the two clubs.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (38-43)
11 16 0
St. Louis Cardinals (41-39)
4 7 0
W: Abbott (7-6) L: Mikolas (6-7)
Box Score | Game Thread

The Reds wasted no time against Miles Mikolas and the Cardinals on Thursday night. Jonathan India led off with a single and then scored on a triple from Elly De La Cruz. Cincinnati would strand De La Cruz at third, though.

In the bottom of the inning Andrew Abbott struggled. He walked the leadoff hitter before getting a force out. He then walked the next two batters to load the bases before clamping down to strike out Nolan Arenado.He then got a groundout to avoid any damage.

Cincinnati tacked on a run in the 2nd when India doubled in Will Benson to make it 2-0. They would play add on in the 3rd as they got three doubles to begin the inning from Spencer Steer, Nick Martini, and Noelvi Marte. Will Benson added a sacrifice fly later in the inning to push the Reds lead to 5-0.

After working magic to avoid allowing any runs after walking the bases loaded in the 1st, Andrew Abbott paid the price for a walk in the bottom of the 3rd, but not before getting some help from Stuart Fairchild, who robbed Paul Goldschmidt of extra-bases with a leaping grab against the wall. Nolan Arenado, though, made sure no one could catch his hit as he homered to bring in Willson Contreras and cut the lead to 5-2. Cincinnati’s offense got both of those runs back in the 4th when Elly De La Cruz singled and then stole second base – his 38th steal of the season – before coming around to score on Spencer Steer’s 2-run homer into the seats in left field.

Things kept going the Reds way. Noelvi Marte started the 5th inning out with a single on a soft line drive into right. He then proceeded to steal second base before scoring easily on a double from Will Benson. Stuart Fairchild followed with an RBI double of his own before coming around to score on a sacrifice fly by Luke Maile that made it 10-2.

After not scoring a run in the 6th, the Reds got back to it in the 7th inning. Three singles in the inning from Noelvi Marte, Santiago Espinal, and Stuart Fairchild brought in a run to extend the lead to 11-2. Marte’s single was his third hit of the night.

The Cardinals would put together a rally in the bottom of the 8th inning against Brent Suter. Three consecutive extra-base hits with two outs produced two runs and cut the Reds lead down to seven as the game headed into the 9th. Cincinnati went down in order in their half of the inning. Sam Moll took over for the club in the bottom of the inning and gave up a leadoff triple, but Pedro Pages was stranded there as Moll came back with two strikeouts and a fly out to shallow center to end the game.

Key Moment of the Game

The three straight doubles to lead off the 3rd inning. It really set the tone that the Reds weren’t going to let up on the day.

Notes Worth Noting

Just prior to first pitch, Tyler Stephenson was pulled from the game. He got the phone call that he was about to become a father and presumably headed for the exit, but not before getting congratulations for the entire time throughout the dugout.

Andrew Abbott walked six batters as he battled through five innings. The bullpen didn’t walk anyone.

Noelvi Marte extended his hitting streak to 17 games dating back to the end of the 2023 season. The three hits he had on the day pushed his batting average up to .328 in his 36 career games with the Reds.

Elly De La Cruz also had three hits on the day. He’s been on fire of late, picking up multi-hit games in five of his last six games. He’s also had six extra-base hits during that time frame.

Will Benson had two hits on the day, breaking an 0-25 slump. The two hits he had was more than he had between June 8th and June 26th. Including walks and hit by pitches he only got on base three times during that stretch.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs St. Louis Cardinals

Friday June 28th, 8:15pm ET

Frankie Montas (3-5, 4.48 ERA) vs Andre Pallante (3-3, 5.23 ERA)

66 Responses

  1. Rednat

    Weird year. As a reds fan you have to hate these 4 game series. We are world beaters the first game of the series. Then the bad news bears for the redt of the series.

    • kypodman

      correct, it is uncanny how well the Reds play in the first game of a series. They have now won the first game of a series 12 out of the last 14 times and one of those loses was the 2 game series with Cleveland. We will not discuss what happens next! 🙁

  2. CincyDo

    Top of line up has been doing their job, particularly with JI as lead off hitter. Candle was hot for a long stretch and EDLC alternating between cold, solid, hot. If Marte can give the bottom of line up a spark, there’s hope for a sustainable offense surge. But hey we have been having high hope after first game of every series only to see hope being dashed.

  3. Ted Alfred

    Yep, in the post game India said he’s feeling really good at the top of the order. Hopefully Bell will leave him there, but this is usually about the time Bell does what he usually does and changes it up just because. I really hope I’m wrong.

    • Jason Franklin

      Don’t fret, once Friedl is back, he will probably just put India back to hitting 6th or 7th again. You know, the logical place for your hottest hitter/on-base guy. 🙂

      Serioulsy though, I would probably keep riding the hot hand and keep India first and slide Friedl down 7-9 somewhere.

      • Still a red

        Given Friedl’s off again on again season I’ll bet Bell bat’s him 9th when he comes back again…at least until he gets some rhythm back. Then it might be a righty/lefty thing…or maybe drop everyone down a notch and bat Friedl and India 1 and 2.

      • MK

        For the longest time most were crying for the organization to use more analytics. David Bell and his staff were touted as the modern analytics guys. Woo Hoo, NOT.. The analytics determines the lineup not who is hot in a certain spot in the batting order. I would bet analytics doesn’t say India should not be the leadoff hitter.

  4. DW

    Fun game! Being one of the streakiest hitters I can think of, Benson will probably go on a tear now. I sure hope so. Happy for him finally having a good game.

  5. Eddiek957

    I missed most of the game. Thanks for the write up. A healthy India should always lead off

  6. Mark A Verticchio

    A couple of things, I think we can all only dream about what this team could of been at 100%, and now in the real world they can’t lose the next 3 or tonight meant nothing. One win in the next three is mandatory two would be great.

    • TR

      At least another win is needed in St. Louis to get some momentum going as the second half rolls around. It’s nice to see Marte back. Third base is a key position, offensive wise and certainly defensively. The Reds need to take advantage of, overall, good pitching.

  7. TJ

    I take full credit. Had air conditioning in suite 62. Great night

  8. MBS

    Marte with 3 hits! I missed the game for the debate, but that was a pleasant surprise when I checked the box scores.

    His AAA performance didn’t give me any confidence that he was ready to go. I know one day isn’t proof that he is, but it’s a nice start. Let’s say though that he will be back in rhythm in a week or two, then he does lengthen our lineup. We still need another bat or two if we want our offense to be very productive, but Marte can be a big help.

    • wkuchad

      I missed the first half of the debate for the game, and feel I made the right decision. 🙂

      • MBS

        lol, it was painful, I don’t go political but obtaining from the debate was probably the smart choice.

  9. jmb

    Candy carried the team for a short while there, but India starts to hit and the whole team follow suit. If this is the case, he’ll have to remain at second. Then what do you do with McLain once he returns? He’s got to be short. As Marte is a good defender at third, all this means that EDLC does not have a position. He’s got to be moved to right. This works, as the team is short on quality outfielders (both at the major and minor league levels). This move also works because his wicked arm will keep runners from moving on to third–that’s run prevention! At short, he gives away runs and forces Reds pitchers to throw more by committing too many errors. Will he be a good right fielder? He won’t make as many errors as he does at short, will he?

    • Mauired

      I was thinking Elly would be a better outfielder than at short, but he’s gotten alot better this year. India has been a below average defender for years now. If anyone should be moved it should be India to outfield.

      • MBS

        @Maui, I don’t know if just shoving India into the OF is going to be a defensive gain for the Reds.

        I agree with a lot of people that EDLC could be an excellent CF, I’ve seen him be an excellent 3B, and he’s becoming a MLB quality SS.

        The fact that Marte has been absent for 80, and McLain for possible the whole season has made me more open to keeping EDLC at SS. If we do that McLain needs to move to the OF. I wanted Marte to, but it sure doesn’t seem as if he’d been shagging fly balls while he was suspended.

        As far as 2B, to me that’s a combo of India, and Steer until Arroyo comes up hopefully by mid 2026 EDLC SS, Arroyo 2B, McLain CF. Feel free to jumble those 3 around all you want, but those hopefully will be the 3 up the middle.

      • Jim Walker

        The Reds have to get someone at 2B sooner, not later, who can turn GIDPs. For me this is nonnegotiable. What happens to India or anyone else not named EDLC in the shuffle is a necessary fallout.

      • MBS

        @Jim, McLain didn’t look good at 2B, so if he’s who were counting on to fix the keystone position, we’re in trouble. Maybe I’m overly pessimistic about Arroyo’s timeline, but I don’t see anyone better than India, or Steer to man 2B for the next 2 seasons.

        AAA, and AA are barren of legit MLB infield help. Soto, or Espy are good defenders, but not known for their offense.

        We could draft Bazzana or Wetherholt, but neither will likely be ready to help before Arroyo’s arrival.

        We could trade for a 2B, or sign one in the offseason, but other than that I think we’re stuck with India or Steer as our best options.

      • Mauired

        We must have been watching two different Reds teams last year. I thought McLain looked phenomenal defensively (and offensively) at second last year.

        As far as your comment about moving India from second not helping reds defense. Well common sense says moving your worst defensive player or second worse (Candy is really bad too) to a less demanding spot could help improve the situation.

      • MBS

        @Maui, McLain is awesome, and an above average SS, but just an average 2B.

        India OAA 2B
        21: -7
        22: -10
        23: -6
        24: +2

        McLain OAA 2B
        23: 0
        McLain OAA SS
        23: +2

        Like EDLC has improved at SS this year, McLain could improve at 2B. I just didn’t like what I saw last year. Arroyo is supposedly our best glove, and if he doesn’t displace EDLC at SS, 2B seems to make the most sense to me. Also McLain has CF experience in College, so it’s not new territory for him.

        Like I said though, feel free to jumble EDLC, McLain, and Arroyo up as long as those are the 3 up the middle I’ll be happy.

      • Mauired

        So you want to move Arroyo to second. India somewhere else. Mclain to center. And Friedl somewhere else. The Reds aren’t going to move four guys to new positions.

        I do like Arroyo as a prospect and agree his best spot is probably second if SS is unavailable but he’s hurt and a year or two away so that’s a good problem to have down the road if they don’t trade him first.

        But to address what could be happening this year if McLain comes back, he’s the better second baseman between him and India. I will give India credit because he’s finally getting healthy again and moving much better. But he will never have the foot speed, range, and arm that McLain has.

      • DHud

        Let India go to first and leave Steer in left

    • Still a Red

      I like India alot and hope he can turn in his rookie of the year performance, but I suspect his value increases immensely and will be trade bait again and may bring the hard hitting RH outfielder everyone thinks we need.

  10. Redsgettingbetter

    Reds won the first game of the series as usual looking good in all of aspects
    I was afraid of India exiting early the game… Was it only for the big lead? He’s really in a hot stretch and conforming a letal dúo at the top of tbe lineup with red hot Elly too
    Noelvi Marte was terrible in his rehab at Louisville but looked solid last night…

  11. mac624

    Boost of confidence getting Marte back paid off tonight. Need to win more games than just the first one this series.

    • MK

      All the hand ringing about his rehab stats seem to have been for naught. Just like concern over ST stats.

  12. RedlegScott

    The question bears repeating: What will the Reds do next after the latest first game victory?

  13. JB

    Andrew Abbott is a fighter. The man would not give in and kept battling all night. That’s why you leave pitchers in the game. To battle through your tough stretches or they will never learn how to get out of them. If the Reds ever get to the playoffs this will be beneficial to Abbott when he is in a hostile environment of the opponents stadium.

  14. Jim t

    Injuries have really dampened my enthusiasm for the season

    Friedl. Cf
    McClain 2b
    EDLC. SS
    CES. 1B
    Candy. DH
    Steer. LF
    Marte 3b
    Stephenson C
    Acquire a RH. RF

    This is what I hoped our line up would resemble this year. I guess will have to wait until next year.

    • Indy Red Man

      I would’ve also erased India in January, but I think he’s 2nd in MLB in pitches per at-bat and he’s in the prime of his career. Idk, it could just be a heater and he can’t turn a dp to save his life, but I’d hate to lose him at this point. I’d move Elly to RF

      • Jim t

        @Indy certainly something to consider. While EDLC makes some errors on routine plays I due love his range at SS and his arm. I think he will improve. Him and McCain would be a nice up the middle defense.

        What we really need is a RH hitting RF. That can eliminate Frayley and Benson and Fairchild.

    • west larry

      As much as India has meant to this for this team for the last month or so, and you don’t even have him in your starting line up? He, EDLC and the Candyman have carried this team on their backs this year. hopefully, Stevenson and Marte will add to the fire power.

      • Jim t

        @westLarry, this is what I wanted when the season started. India has been hitting well but right now I hope they can use him to acquire the right fielder we need. We are half way through the season and I understand we are still in the playoff hunt but in my mind we need to build for next year. Hopefully the injured will return and grow their games for next year. CES and McCain are probably gone for this year. My lineup was for next year.sorry if I wasn’t clear.

      • west larry

        No problem. Now I see where you are coming from. I really like India, but would trade him and prospects for Roberts. I know he is injury prone, but what a talent. What if the reds said we will withhold these top three prospects, but you can have India and four of the remaining. prospects. Is that enough to get Roberts?

  15. The Duke

    I happily ate some crow on Twitter after my dire warnings of Marte’s awful rehab stint before the game, lol. I guess he really was just treating it like spring training. Hopefully these kind of games continue.

  16. Steven Ross

    We’ve found a nice one two punch with India and EDLC. When Fridel returns, let’s hope Bell doesn’t mess it up. Slot him 9th. Wisful thinking probably.

    Marte’s return reminds of some vets who go down to the Minors to get ABs yet don’t do well. They get called back up and crush it. Nice to see him back plus have a solid game.

    • MBS

      The #1 priority for me in the lineup is to keep EDLC batting lefty. To that end having him surround by RHB’s is critical.

      We have too many platoon LHB’s that you can’t stack together in the lineup. If the opposing manager wants to turn around one of our guys, or get the advantage over Fraley, or Benson then the next hitter needs to be able to make the manager pay for bringing in a LHP.

      India, EDLC, Steer
      Candy, Stephenson, Fraley
      Marte, Benson, Fairchild

      With Friedl back I’d like this

      India, EDLC, Steer
      Candy, Friedl, Stephenson
      Fraley, Marte, Benson

  17. old-school

    What a month and now season for Jon India. fWAR now at 1.8 with a slash line befitting a good leadoff hitter.

    .272/.377/.394/.771

    In this season of depressed hitting across the league, a good BA and elite OBP with below avg K rate and above avg BB rate is much needed on this team.

    Great to see ROY India back!

  18. Roger Garrett

    I love Jon India cause he is a Red but if he can be packaged with others to get a right handed bat for the outfield you do it in a heart beat.You do it now while the iron is hot and move on.Reds have infielders every where and almost all are much much better in the field then he is or ever will be.Now let me say one thing negative about the game last night.Why would anybody pull a pitcher in the 7th inning up 11-2?Yeah the next hitter was a lefty and Suter gets the call but its 11-2 and the guy he pulled was Buck who is not a high leverage guy that you may need in a tight spot.Did I miss something?Did Buck get hurt?Why rub it in the Cards face to just get a favorable match up.Another one of those you can’t make this kind of stuff up deals.Even in a blow out Bell just has to wake up and manage I guess.

    • DHud

      Thought the same thing when it happened and was none to happy

      But tbf to Bell, Suter did come back out for the 8th where he faced two more LHPs

      So I guess if the game was stacking up that the 8th and/or that part of the lineup was his, then it was the time to make the move

      Farmer had already gone 1.2 and likely was not coming back out for a 3rd inni by of work. All in all you got 3 innings out of those two so I’ll soften my stance on that particular call

    • old-school

      Roger, I dont think it will happen but I threw out the idea of a trade over the off-season with the Nationals with the principals being India and Lane Thomas. Thomas has only this year and next year of team control while India has a very team friendly contract this year and next plus the final year of arb 3 in 2026.

      Thomas is a good RF with speed and pop. He was injured in April but is now blowing up again with OPS over .900 since his injury return in may.

      Right handed bats in Steer/Thomas/marte/McLain/Stephenson would be a solid match up against lefties and Friedl, Elly, Candelario and Fraley would give some lefty hitters. An everyday OF of Steer, Friedl, and Thomas would be pretty good with the infield of Marte/Elly/McLain and Candelario with Fraley working in the OF and DH and Steer playing some 1b as well.

      Im a big fan of India but I agree striking while the irons are hot would be a good way to get less handedness vulnerable to the Reds lineup. There would need to be some peripherals involved with perhaps Reds prospects and perhaps a Nats bullpen piece.

      • Roger Garrett

        Old school I like Thomas as well.I also believe he still hasn’t reached his potential.I agree it may not happen and surely won’t as a straight up one for one deal but we have some prospects that right now could be blocked by our already crowded infield.Lord help us if some of these guys in the minors start hitting this year or next and we have no place for them to play.

      • Rob

        Thomas would be a nice get. He meets the criteria. The key question s whether the Nats would be interested a couple nice prospects. ??? Their rebuild is playing 500 baseball in the wrong Division. Like a couple other players on the Reds radar, the price has increased since March.

      • Harry Stoner

        My hunch is that any team the Reds would approach for a trade would be asking for Lowder + X and Y.

        Just as last year it was Petty and Phillips.

        Neither of those two or Arroyo are likely to net anything this year.

        Who else do the Reds have of obvious value in MiLB to leverage a player like Thomas…..who I agree would be a solid addition.

        Are folks comfortable with trading Lowder?

        And it will cost more than him for Thomas. Lowder + Collier + …..

        I’d wait until I’d see who I’d get in the draft before making that move.

  19. Jim Walker

    As noted by many others, while it is great to see a win, what happens in the rest of the series is the true test.

    The guys showed what they are capable of. Now it is on the manager and coaches to do their part by keeping the effort level high and focused.

    • Jim t

      Jim with the players injured, this can hardly be considered a test. We are missing McCain, CES, Stephenson and Candy may not be available. One game does not show much. There is no coaching staff in the major leagues that is going to turn Frayley, Benson or Fairchild into every day productive players.

      • Jim Walker

        The games are played and decided by the guys on the field, not the guys off the field for whatever reasons. Did the Cardinals look at the Reds lineup and bench their top people because of the people not in the Reds lineup?

        Superior focus can and often does triumph over greater skill that is less focused. The hand dealt to the Reds right now is to bring superior focus into every game to capitalize on the side of their game, the pitching, where for the most part they are not short skills.

      • Jim t

        No doubt the players on the field have a huge impact. But ownership supplies the players. Focus is certainly important but so is talent

  20. LDS

    Having the choice of paying attention to the Reds or watching the debate, I read a book. Looks like either of the other two options would have been entertaining. But, as Roger Garrett stated, strike while the iron is hot and move India. As for McLain being the SS, Doug has posted on a number of occasions that EDLC is a better SS than McLain. McLain goes back to 2nd. Marte did surprisingly well, despite his lackluster rehab assignment. OTH, Fairchild and Benson both had 2 hits, even Martini had a hit. So maybe we shouldn’t read too much into last night’s game. The baseball gods were throwing the Reds a bone. Let’s hope they don’t snatch it back the rest of this weekend.

    • Jim Walker

      Or let’s hope the Reds firmly grasp the bone in their mouths and run like the wind with it.

    • Tar Heel Red

      I did watch the debate and, just like a Reds game, it featured several errors, poor fundamentals and a general lack of leadership!

  21. Roger Garrett

    Reds put the ball in play and when they do that good things happen.Sonny Gray may punch out 10 in 5 or 6 innings tonight.Its just who they are and will be until they aren’t but I for one don’t believe it will just happens on its own.Unless going the other way and cutting down on your swing with 2 strikes is part of your strategy to hit and is practiced and stressed on by the coach it will not happen.Inida went the other way and has been doing it and Marte did it twice on off speed pitches which is hard to do.Reds are not and I repeat a power hitting team so to better utilize their team speed they just need to put the ball in play more often.Really good at going from first to third and good at scoring from first on a double.Thats who they are when they win but you have to get on base.Great team win and AA just fought like crazy to go 5 innings but he did it.GO REDS.Would be nice to get one of the next two cause we know what we will see on the field in the throw away game special brought to us on Sunday.Probably see the minor league catcher,Jordan back from coffee and doughnut duty and Espy as the DH with Stuie against the righty.When you see it so often hard to not expect it.We shall see.

  22. Rob

    Glad that Marte had three hits.

    However, a guy just back from an embarrassing 80-game suspension should not be calling attention to himself with a “Look at me” look. All the yellow — neck chain, sleeve, elbow and ankle protectors, bands and gloves. Look at me! Look at me! Look at me!

    If you play for the Reds, respect and wear the Reds’ colors– red and black. If you want to wear yellow, request a trade to the Pirates.

    • Frankie Tomatoes

      OK Boomer. It’s 11:30am time to get ready for your afternoon nap.

    • DHud

      He wore that literally every game last year…

      I think that voice you’re hearing is the one in your own head, not his

    • Harry Stoner

      I’m interested in seeing Marte face Gray.

      NM faced three different StL pitchers with different approaches last night and looked to adjust as he went along.

      That ability to adjust was one of the impressive things about his brief intro last year.

      Gray will be a big test…to see if he can get beyond the obvious huge adrenaline rush of being back in the lineup last night.

      Yikes. Sonny Gray pitching for the Curds. That’s a tough thing to swallow in its own right.

      Chase Petty better get real good in a hurry.

  23. VaRedsFan

    Doug, can you provide any insight?

    I stumbled across this and found it interesting.
    I tried to find out if the Reds were using it, but couldn’t confirm or deny.
    It’s criminal malpractice if they aren’t using it.
    ————————————————————-

    https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/40401564/trajekt-arc-new-technology-controversy-mlb-hitters-pitchers-advantage
    ——————————————————————
    MLB’s data-fueled pitching revolution has left hitters struggling to keep up, but new technology is helping them fight back and even the playing field, Jeff writes.

    ?

    High-tech batting practice: A new machine called Trajekt Arc can replicate the experience of facing any pitcher, allowing hitters to practice against every pitch. The product was first launched three years ago and 19 of 30 MLB teams are now using it.

    ?

    Trajekt features a video screen that projects a full-size hologram of any pitcher, imitating their exact windup, arm angle and pitch mix, per ESPN.
    This season, MLB decided to allow teams to use it during games, meaning hitters can head down to the cages and take swings against the exact pitches they’re about to see.

    What they’re saying: “This is the first piece of technology we’ve had that truly benefits us,” one position player told ESPN. Pitchers aren’t so thrilled: “It’s impossible for a pitcher to mimic the at-bat … but they could be hitting my fastball for the next three hours? That’s not fair,” said Yankees reliever Caleb Ferguson.

    ?

    Is it working? The jury’s still out. While some believe in-game use of Trajekt is contributing to the lower strikeout rate against relievers this season, 2024 offenses are still producing some of the worst offensive numbers in MLB history.

    • Jim Walker

      I saw the article and wondered the same, are the Reds using the system? It sounds like something Dick Williams would have been at the head of line to buy but now???

    • JB

      I would be shocked if the Reds ponied up for this.

    • LDS

      If the Reds are using it, they aren’t learning much from it. When even lousy pitchers can make the Reds look like Little Leaguers, the technology isn’t working or the Reds aren’t using it.

  24. Frankie Tomatoes

    The Reds seem to do well in the first game of the series and after the game everyone talked about that. Lets see if they can do something new tonight and win the second game.

    • Jim Walker

      Yeah, after winning game 1 instead of taking a breath and relaxing, take a breath and focus even more intensely.