The St. Louis Cardinals took advantage of things early in the game and jumped out to a 6-0 lead before the Reds got on the board. Cincinnati didn’t have a big enough rally in them to come all of the way back on Friday night as they dropped the first game of a 3-game series at home to the last place Cardinals.
|St. Louis Cardinals (62-79)
|Cincinnati Reds (73-70)
|W: Liberatore (3-5) L: Abbott (8-5)|
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
Andrew Abbott began the game with a strikeout and a pop up, but then things went south. Paul Goldschmidt walked and then moved to third base when Noelvi Marte made a throwing error. With the inning extended Willson Contreras took advantage of the opportunity presented to him and crushed a 440-foot 3-run homer.
In the bottom of the 2nd the Reds offense got a little something going when Christian Encarnacion-Strand singled and Stuart Fairchild walked to put two men on with one out. Luke Maile would walk with two outs to load the bases, but Cincinnati couldn’t cash in and stranded all three runners.
St. Louis went right back to work in the top of the 3rd inning and it all began with a 2-out walk to Paul Goldschmidt. A single and a walk followed to load the bases for Luken Baker. Andrew Abbott got ahead of him 0-2, but he caught too much of the middle of the zone with a breaking ball and Baker doubled in all three runners to extend the Cardinals lead to 6-0.
Spencer Steer began the bottom of the 3rd with a single. He would come around to score on the next pitch when Hunter Renfroe hit his 20th homer of the year – his first for the Reds – to cut into the St. Louis lead and make it 6-2. Nick Senzel would make it 6-3 when he slugged his 11th homer of the season – a 408-foot shot into the seats into the left field season.
Noelvi Marte got things started for Cincinnati in the bottom of the 4th inning with a single into left. He moved to third base on a 1-out single from Harrison Bader, but Bader was thrown out at second on the play. Spencer Steer was hit by a pitch to keep the inning alive and he would steal second base. The throw to second wasn’t caught cleanly and Marte took home on the play – being credited with a steal of home in the process and made it a 6-4 ballgame.
Buck Farmer took over for Andrew Abbott to begin the 5th inning. He gave up a leadoff double but worked out of the jam by getting a fly out and two pop ups to strand Tyler O’Neill on second base.
Cincinnati would threaten in the bottom of the 6th inning with the help from the Cardinals bullpen. Luke Maile was hit by a pitch to start the inning, but was swapped out on the bases when Will Benson grounded into a dorce out. Hunter Renfroe picked up a 2-out walk before St. Louis made a pitching change to bring in Matthew Liberatore to face Elly De La Cruz, but the Reds shortstop walked to load the bases. David Bell then called on Tyler Stephenson to come off of the bench. He battled with Liberatore, but he would strike out swinging on the 7th pitch of the at-bat as the Cardinals held onto their 2-run lead. It was the first strikeout of the game for the Reds.
That could have been a pivotal point in the game because after Fernando Cruz took over for Chasen Shreve in the top of the 7th with one out, things got away from him and the Reds. Cruz hit Tommy Edman, walked Tyler O’Neill, then threw two wild pitches to move everyone up two bases and bring in a 7th run for the Cardinals. Nolan Arenado then came through with a 2-out single that made it 8-4.
St. Louis would pick up another run in the 8th when Jordan Walker kept the inning alive with a 2-out single into right and scored when Lars Nootbaar doubled off of Tejay Antone to extend the lead to 9-4.
Derek Law would throw a scoreless top of the 9th inning and give his club’s offense one final shot to put together a rally – and in this case, they needed at least five runs. They didn’t reach base, going down in order to drop the opening game of the series.
Key Moment of the Game
Luken Baker’s 3-run double in the top of the 3rd inning that made it a 6-0 game.
Notes worth noting
The Reds had more hits in the game than the Cardinals did. They also walked more. They simply didn’t take advantage of their opportunities as often.
With the loss and an Arizona win, the Reds are now 1.5 games back of the final wild card spot with 19 games to play.
Elly De La Cruz went 0-4 with a walk. He didn’t strike out for the 4th straight game. He has walked in all four of those games for a total of five walks since his last strikeout.
Noelvi Marte stole his 6th base in just his 19th game with the team.
Jonathan India went 1-2 with a walk, double, 2 runs, and 2 RBI in his rehab game in Louisville.
Joey Votto went 1-4 with a double and 2 RBI in his rehab game in Louisville.
Kevin Newman went 3-4 with a run and an RBI in his rehab game in Louisville.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
St. Louis Cardinals vs Cincinnati Reds
Saturday September 9th, 6:40pm ET
Zack Thompson (4-5, 3.91 ERA) vs Carson Spiers (0-0, 6.75 ERA)