Reds fall in series finale to Cardinals, 9-2

Published 12:46 am Monday, September 14, 2015

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Reds were the better team through the first 31 innings of their four-game series against St. Louis. The last five innings didn’t go as well, but it was still a good weekend for Cincinnati.

Tommy Pham hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the sixth, pinch-hitter Matt Adams added a two-run drive in a five-run eighth and St. Louis rallied to beat Cincinnati 9-2 Sunday and avoid getting swept in the series.

“You hate to lose the last game, but if you would say at the beginning you’d win three of four, we’d take it,” Reds manager Bryan Price said.

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The Cardinals, on their worst stretch this season, had lost eight of 10 going into the finale, and their division lead over Pittsburgh is down to 2 1/2 games. St. Louis then fell behind 2-0 on Todd Frazier’s second-inning homer and Tucker Barnhart’s fourth-inning sacrifice fly.

Frazier hit his eighth home run since the All-Star break. He leads the NL with 40 doubles and needs seven more home runs to be the first player in franchise history to hit 40 home runs and 40 doubles in a season.

Frazier was more concerned with competing in the pennant race, even with the Reds out of it.

“We played a good Cardinal team and took three out of four,” Frazier said. “We’ll take that any day of the week. We helped a couple teams. We made the race a little closer. It’s hard to take four from any team.”

Those were the only runs the Reds would score against Michael Wacha (16-5), who allowed three hits and four walks in six innings.

Outscored 20-3 in the first three games, the Cardinals tied the score in the fifth against Raisel Iglesias on Kolten Wong’s run-scoring infield single and Matt Carpenter’s RBI single.

Sam LeCure (0-1) walked Greg Garcia, and Pham homered on a 2-2 pitch for a 4-2 lead, his second home run of the season and first since July 5.

St. Louis broke open the game in the eighth against Carlos Contreras, when Barnhart’s passed ball allowed Wong to come home from third, and Jason Heyward hit an RBI double and scored on Yadier Molina’s single.

“I’m not going to use Hoover and Chapman every game to keep it close. We got some of the other guys out there and it got out of hand,” Price said.

The Reds bullpen came into the game with 14 2-3 scoreless innings over the last four games.

Adams was activated from the disabled list on Wednesday after missing 91 games with a right quadriceps injury. He homered for the first time since May 20.

Jason Heyward, who watched Adam Duvall’s go-ahead, two-run homer bounce off the top of the wall in Saturday’s completion of a suspended game, made a leaping catch in right to rob Ivan De Jesus Jr. of what would have been a go-ahead home run in the fifth.

Iglesias gave up two runs in five innings in his 16th start, extending the Reds’ ML-record streak of 44 starts by rookie pitchers.

“Raisel didn’t have his top grade velocity but he battled,” Price said.


St. Louis C Yadier Molina threw out Billy Hamilton, the Major League steals leader, trying to steal second base in the seventh. Hamilton had been 10 for 10 in his career against the All-Star and Gold Glove winner, including two swipes in this series that included two throwing errors by Molina.


Todd Frazier’s 33rd home run on Sunday is the third-highest total for a Reds’ third baseman in franchise history. Only Hall of Famer Tony Perez has hit more — 39 in 1970 and 37 in 1967.


Cardinals: Manager Mike Matheny wouldn’t commit to RHP Adam Wainwright (Achilles tendon) or OF Matt Holliday (quadriceps strain) returning for the series in Milwaukee that starts Tuesday.

Reds: RF Jay Bruce and 2B Brandon Phillips both got Sunday off.


Cardinals: After an off day, RHP Carlos Martinez (13-7) starts at the Brewers on Tuesday.

Reds: RHP Keyvius Sampson (2-4) is Cincinnati’s scheduled starter in Monday’s opener of a three-game series in San Francisco.