Renteria#039;s grand slam topples Cincinnati, 10-5
ST. LOUIS -- Edgar Renteria got the St. Louis Cardinals back into the ballgame. Scott Rolen put them ahead.
Renteria hit a grand slam and Rolen hit the first pinch-hit homer of his career as the Cardinals rallied from a five-run deficit to beat the Cincinnati Reds 10-5 Wednesday night.
Renteria set a career high with five RBIs, Albert Pujols got a career-best four hits and Tino Martinez homered for the NL Central leaders, who have staged 36 come-from-behind victories this season.
''We never put our heads down,'' Renteria said. ''We know we have a good team and we have a good bullpen. So if we score some runs, we've got time to come back. We knew we had to work hard every at-bat. That's the way we do it.''
Jason LaRue hit a grand slam for the Reds.
Rolen had started 14 consecutive games since sitting out Aug. 18-19 with a sore left shoulder. Before the game, manager Tony La Russa said he wanted to give the All-Star third baseman a day to rest.
But with one out in the sixth, Rolen came up to hit for J.D. Drew against left-handed reliever Bruce Chen (2-5). Rolen hit the first pitch off the left-field foul screen for a 6-5 lead.
''That was one of those moves where everybody in the ballpark knew what I was going to do,'' La Russa said. ''He was trying to get ahead of Scott and Scott was ready to swing.''
Rolen said you have to be aggressive as a pinch-hitter and swing at the first good strike. That's what he did.
''Fortunately, it hit my barrel,'' Rolen said. ''I had a pretty good idea it was out. I get excited when I hit a home run.''
Luther Hackman (5-4) pitched two innings for the victory.
''I can't think of anyone who didn't play well,'' said La Russa, who used 21 players, including six pitchers. ''Take your pick. I think they were all stars.''
St. Louis added a run in the seventh when Pujols doubled and Martinez singled. Pujols hit an RBI single in a three-run eighth.
''Albert blistered the ball all night,'' La Russa said.
Cincinnati starter Ryan Dempster could not hold the 5-0 lead. Dempster, who was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning, is 2-5 in 11 starts since the Reds traded with Florida for him.
Martinez, who had three hits, tied it at 5 in the fifth with a leadoff homer into the right-center field bleachers. It was just Martinez's third homer since July 30.
Trailing 5-0 in the third inning, Renteria hit a grand slam that cut the Reds' lead to a run.
''We were down by five and all of a sudden, it's a one-run game,'' La Russa said. ''That swing changed the game.''
It was Renteria's second career grand slam. His first came on Aug. 18 at Philadelphia after 955 games in the major leagues.
''He hit a fastball that just sat there for him,'' Dempster said. ''It didn't move at all. When they loaded the bases I lost my focus and didn't make the pitches I should have. When our offense scores five runs for you, you should win the game.''
Cincinnati manager Bob Boone agreed.
''We couldn't hold a five-run lead,'' Boone said. ''You're not going to win a game like this when you do that.''
Cincinnati scored five times in the second off Jamey Wright, making his second start for the Cardinals since being acquired from Milwaukee. LaRue hit his second grand slam of the season and third of his career.
The Reds have hit seven grand slams this season, tying a team record set previously three times.
Wright lasted three innings, giving up six hits and four walks. Lifetime, he is 0-4 with a 9.67 ERA lifetime at Busch Stadium.
Notes: It was the Cardinals' fifth pinch-hit homer this season. … Reds 3B Brandon Larson was hit by a foul ball in the Reds dugout in the fourth inning. Todd Walker was hitting and he sliced a foul ball that smacked Larson in the right ear as he was leaning against some protection netting at the top of the dugout. He was taken to a hospital for precautionary cat scan that turned out negative. However, Larson fell when he was hit and broke his left hand. He is out for the season, Boone said. … The win gives La Russa 1,905 victories in 3,613 games as a manager. He is tied for eighth place with Casey Stengel. … the Cardinals and Reds are tied for the National League lead with seven grand slams apiece. Cleveland leads the majors with eight. The Associated Press