If the past eight games are any indication, that trend is finally
The Cardinals knocked around Cincinnati ace Johnny Cueto and got
seven shutout innings from Lance Lynn to complete a three-game sweep
of the fading Reds with a rain-delayed 7-3 win Wednesday night at
"I saw lots of good, grinding at-bats tonight," St. Louis manager
Mike Matheny said. "We got the big hits when we needed them."
In winning for the seventh time in eight games and improving to a
season-high 12 games over .500, the Cardinals (69-57) knocked Cueto
out before he could record an out in the sixth. Cueto (15-7) was
charged with seven hits and five runs. He walked four and fanned
"We think we're going to win every day when Cueto's out there, but
you can't have your 'A' game all the time," Reds second baseman
Brandon Phillips said. "The Cardinals put some good swings on the
ball and found some holes."
Meanwhile, Lynn (14-8) was dealing before a 58-minute rain delay
following the seventh inning forced him out. Lynn gave up just four
singles, walked two and whiffed five, throwing 62 of his 94 pitches
for strikes in beating Cincinnati for the third time this year.
Lynn relished the idea of going up against Cueto, who started the
night second in the National League in ERA, trailing only Clayton
Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"I outpitched him and we won the game," Lynn said. "I feel like any
time I'm on the mound, we have a chance to win the game. Anyone who
doesn't feel that way, that's their problem."
St. Louis drew within 1 1/2 games of the first-place Milwaukee
Brewers in the National League Central and also maintained its
two-game lead on the San Francisco Giants for the NL's first
The Cardinals' offense, which led the league in groundball rate and
double-play grounders most of the year while ranking last in homers,
of late looks like the crew that averaged nearly five runs per game
in 2013 while reaching the World Series.
St. Louis is averaging 5.4 runs in the past eight games, scoring at
least four in every game. The Cardinals' 10-hit attack Wednesday
included contributions up and down the lineup, led by three hits,
two runs and an RBI from center fielder Jon Jay.
Jay, who stretched his hitting streak to 12 games with a
third-inning single, has 18 hits in his past 35 at-bats.
"We've kept working hard all season," he said of the offense's
recent success. "We're getting some breaks and finding some holes."
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Jay started the first two rallies with singles. He scored in the third on
a one-out double by left fielder Matt Holliday, then rode home in the
fifth when shortstop Jhonny Peralta broke the game open with a three-run
Third baseman Matt Carpenter added a sacrifice fly in the sixth. Center
fielder Peter Bourjos contributed an RBI double in the eighth, and Jay
singled him home for a 7-0 lead.
The Reds (61-66) scored their runs in the ninth off reliever Carlos
Martinez on a two-run error by left fielder Shane Robinson and an
infield single by pinch hitter Kris Negron. Cincinnati filled the bases
with two outs, but closer Trevor Rosenthal retired first baseman Todd
Frazier on a fielder's choice grounder for his 37th save in 42 chances.
It was the 10th loss in 12 games for the Reds and their fifth in a row.
They had one highlight, as Phillips singled in the seventh for his
1,500th career hit.
"I never thought I'd have 1,500 hits," he said. "I didn't even know I
was that close until someone told me the other day."
NOTES: St. Louis manager Mike Matheny decided to flip his rotation for
the weekend series in Philadelphia, moving RHP Adam Wainwright up to
Friday night's opener and moving RHP Shelby Miller to Saturday night.
... Cincinnati will call up LHP David Holmberg from Triple-A Louisville
to start Thursday night when it opens a four-game series with the
Atlanta Braves at the Great American Ball Park. That means one of the
team's eight relievers probably will be sent down. ... Reds RHP J.J.
Hoover set a franchise record with his 10th consecutive loss Tuesday
night. He tied Harry Gumbert (1947) and Tom Hume (1980) for the
single-season club record for most losses by a reliever.
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