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Cardinals, Boggs bounce back to beat Reds

ST. LOUIS (AP) — After five perfect innings, Bronson Arroyo felt like an underdog. The St. Louis Cardinals often have that effect.

“I never feel comfortable against this lineup until it’s 27 outs and we’ve got a win in our back pocket because it just never comes easy against these guys,” Arroyo said after the Cincinnati Reds lost 5-1 on Tuesday night. “Some teams and some environments are very difficult to pitch in, and this is definitely one of them.”

Arroyo is 8-14 with a 4.60 ERA against the Cardinals and 3-7 with a 5.46 ERA in 15 starts at 8-year-old Busch Stadium.

“They’ve got a lot of scrappy lefties and some power right-handed hitters who I’ve faced so many times it’s like a chess match,” Arroyo said. “You always know that they’re going to make a push and you just hope that push isn’t four runs.”

Lance Lynn struck out 10 in six sharp innings and rookie Matt Adams connected for his first career pinch-hit homer off a curveball from Arroyo (1-1) in a four-run sixth. Allen Craig and Carlos Beltran also drove in runs.

“I didn’t have really any information on Adams other than a little bit of a scouting report,” Arroyo said. “I threw a breaking ball on the wrong side of the plate and let him get his arms extended.”

St. Louis bounced back nicely a day after the Reds roughed up the bullpen for nine runs in the ninth inning of a 13-4 victory that made for a sour home opener.

Brandon Phillips had a sacrifice fly and Shin-Soo Choo had two hits for Cincinnati. The Reds were held to five hits, ending a run of four consecutive games with double-figure hit totals. Choo has four straight two-hit games is 11 for 25 (.440) during a six-game hitting streak.

“We didn’t do anything offensively,” Zack Cozart said after going 1 for 4. “Offense has to do a better job. We’ll be ready tomorrow.”

Mitchell Boggs, the stand-in closer, worked a perfect ninth a day after allowing six runs in one-third of an inning. The Cardinals announced before the game that Jason Motte may require reconstructive surgery if his strained right elbow isn’t significantly improved by the start of May.

Jake Westbrook (0-1) opposes Homer Bailey (1-0) in the finale of the three-game series on Wednesday. The defending NL Central champion Reds are just 3-22-2 in 27 series in St. Louis since the start of the 2003 season and are trying for their first series win at Busch Stadium since Sept. 2-4, 2011.

Lynn (1-0) retired his first 10 batters with seven strikeouts before the Reds scratched out a run in the fourth on consecutive one-hit singles from Cozart and Joey Votto and Phillips’ sacrifice fly. Left fielder Matt Holliday made a sliding catch on the warning track in left-center to limit the damage to a run.

Arroyo needed just 63 pitches to get through five, keeping the Cardinals guessing with his assortment of off-speed pitches. Right fielder Jay Bruce’s sliding catch robbed Yadier Molina of a hit to end the fifth, but Arroyo allowed hits to four of the first five batters in the sixth.

Daniel Descalso doubled on an 0-1 pitch to open the inning, making him 8 for 19 against Arroyo, and advanced on a groundout before Adams’ shot over the wall in right-center. The Cardinals had three more hits and an intentional walk in the inning, getting an RBI groundout from Craig and a run-scoring single from Beltran.

St. Louis might have missed a chance for even more when Matt Carpenter retreated a few steps to third on Beltran’s liner to center, causing Holliday to slow trying to score from second, and Choo’s strong throw caught Holliday at the plate for the third out.

NOTES: Derrick Robinson made his first career start for the Reds and played LF, going 1 for 3 with two strikeouts.