The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Cincinnati Reds in dominating fashion on Sunday, 8-2. With the victory, the Cardinals secured a series win over the Reds, and have now won five of their last six games.
The St. Louis offense lead the way, jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the third inning, after RBI singles from Jon Jay and Matt Holliday, and never looked back. For Holliday, that would be his first of four hits in a monstrous 4-5, 4 RBI performance. The #2 star of the game (if this was hockey) for the Cardinals was Allen Craig. In the fifth frame, Craig launched a Homer Bailey pitch into the second deck in the left field bleachers for a two-run shot, which put the visitors up 5-0. It was the 20th home run of the year for Craig, who is quietly putting up an excellent season.
The Reds would get a threat going in the sixth inning and test Adam Wainwright for the first time all day, when Chris Heisey and Ryan Ludwick got RBI singles to make the game 5-2. After Ludwick’s hit, Cardinals skipper Mike Matheny decided to pull Wainwright and put in Marc Rzepczynski to face the dangerous lefty Jay Bruce with two outs, who could have tied the game with home run. However, Rzepcyznski got the job done by getting Bruce to line out to left field, and Cincinnati’s threat was over.
In the top of the next inning, Holliday and Craig notched an RBI double and single, respectively, which extended the lead to 7-2, and in the ninth, who else but Hollidy delivered again with an RBI single up the middle which put the Cardinals up 8-2, and that’s the way the game would end.
Adam Wainwright, who is looking more and more like his old pre-injury self lately, picks up his 13th win of the year, lowering his ERA to 3.63, and Homer Bailey gets the loss for Cincinnati, dropping his record to 10-9.
This was a huge win for the Cards. Sweeping the Astros this past week was good–and expected–but taking two of three from the division-leading and bitter rival Reds was great. And winning this last game the way they did, with outstanding all-around baseball, makes it even better. Several of today’s games are still being played, but the redbirds currently stand alone in the second Wild Cart spot, with a record of 70-57. Tomorrow, they’ll head to Pittsburgh to face the third place Pirates, who are only 1.5 games behind them, so it will be another series with big-time playoff implications. Let’s hope the Cards can stay hot!