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Mesoraco, Reds beat Cardinals, 8-3

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

CINCINNATI — Needing a big win, Devin Mesoraco gave the Cincinnati Reds a big game.

The Reds’ catcher went 2-for-4 with two home runs and three runs batted in as Cincinnati won 8-3 and bounced back from Friday’s 13-3 loss.

“I’m more concered with winning ballgames. I got a couple of balls in the middle of the plate and I got some good swings on them,” said Mesoraco.

“The more you play the more comfortable you’re going to be on the field. The more reps definitely help. I’m getting to play every day and you’re getting the rhythm.”

The Cardinals wasted little time jumping on Reds’ rookie lefthander Tony Cingrani.

Jon Jay walked to start the game and scored on a double to deep center by Carlos Beltran.

But Cingrani struck out Allen Craig, walked Matt Holliday, struck out David Freese and got Daniel Descalso to fly out and end the inning.

The Reds answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning to lead 2-1.

Chris Heisey singled with one out, Joey Votto walked and Brandon Phillips grounded out as the runners advanced.

Jay Bruce was walked intentionally but Jack Hannahan crossed up the strategy with a two-run single to center.

The Reds pushed the lead to 4-1 in the fourth inning on a two-out, two-run homer by Mesoraco following a walk to Zack Cozart.

Cincinnati extended the lead to 5-1 in the fifth on a two-out walk to Votto and a run-scoring double by Phillips, his 83rd RBI of the season.

Cingrani (5-1) struggled with his control early. He walked three batters in the first and second innings. But he walked just two other batters, one an intentional free pass in the fourth to Pete Kozma.

He went five-plus innings allowing four hits. He struck out seven and gave up three runs, all earned.

St. Louis chased Cingrani in the sixth when Holliday doubled, Freese walked, Descalso singled to load the bases.

Alfredo Simon relieved Cingrani and Rob Johnson hit into a fielder’s choice on a nice play by Phillips as a run scored. Matt Carpenter pinch-hit for Kozma and grounded out to Phillips as another run scored to make it 5-3.

Mesoraco hit a solo home run in the eighth inning to give the Reds a 6-3 lead and the first multiple home run game of his career. Todd Frazier followed with a walk and Shin-Soo Choo drilled a two-run homer — his 15th of the season — and it was 8-3.

Aroldis Chapman — the fourth Reds’ reliever — retired all three batters he faced in the ninth including a pair of strikeouts.

Cardinals’ starter Jake Westbrook took the loss.