Eric Fryer went 3-for-3 with a walk and knocked in the
game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth Sunday as he led St.
Louis to a 4-3 decision over the Cincinnati Reds at sold-out Busch
With two outs and pinch-hitter Aledmys Diaz at first after a leadoff
walk, Fryer lashed a 1-0 fastball from reliever Ross Ohlendorf (2-1)
into the left-center field gap for a double, easily scoring Diaz.
The tie-breaking hit upped Fryer to 6-for-6 on the year, making him
the first Cardinal to start a season with five straight hits since
Eli Marrero did it in 2002.
"As a catcher, I'm definitely going to take more pride in my
defense," Fryer said, "but I'm pretty proud of my hitting too. I
knew Ohlendorf likes to throw his fastball on the outer half, but it
probably caught more of the plate than he wanted, and I put a good
swing on it."
There were nothing but good swings for the 30-year old Fryer, who's
spent parts of the last three seasons with Minnesota after making
his MLB debut with Pittsburgh in 2011. Fryer gave St. Louis (7-5) a
2-1 lead with an RBI double down the right field line in the second,
then added a single in the fourth and a walk in the sixth.
It was the third three-hit game of Fryer's 69-game MLB career.
"Great day overall," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Fryer.
"Had a nice, short swing and got to the ball well. It's nice to be
able to get Yadi a day and to have (Fryer) come in and do what he
Molina did enter for the ninth as part of a series of defensive
changes, catching for Trevor Rosenthal as he mowed down Cincinnati
(6-6) in order for his third save in as many chances.
Kevin Siegrist (2-0) earned the win by retiring all four hitters he
faced, three via strikeouts. The Cardinals' bullpen delivered three
scoreless innings, permitting only one hit and notching five
Cincinnati touched starter Michael Wacha for a first inning run on
Joey Votto's sacrifice fly, but the Reds compromised their chances
for a big rally when Wacha picked Eugenio Suarez off first after
Suarez singled Zack Cozart to third.
Jedd Gyorko's one-out homer and Fryer's first run-scoring double
gave the Cardinals a brief advantage, but Cincinnati regained the
lead when St. Louis' often-leaky defense betrayed it during a
two-run fourth inning.
After Brandon Phillips reached on a fielding error by shortstop Greg
Garcia, Jay Bruce beat out an infield hit. Wacha's rushed throw to
first rolled down the right field line, scoring Phillips all the way
from first, and Bruce came home on Devin Mesoraco's RBI single.
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The pair of miscues gave the Cardinals 14 in their first 12 games,
tied with the Reds for the National League lead. But that was all
Cincinnati managed off Wacha, who gave up seven hits and one earned
run in six innings with a walk and five strikeouts.
St. Louis equalized in the fifth when Matt Carpenter cracked a
leadoff homer into its bullpen in right-center, his second homer of
the year and the Cardinals' 10th of the series.
That was it for the offenses until Fryer capped perhaps the best day
of his MLB career with the deciding hit.
"It was a close game today that came down to them getting the last
big hit," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "It wasn't a game that got
away. It was a game that they won by a run."
Cincinnati starter Jon Moscot worked 5 2/3 innings, allowing six
hits and three runs with a walk and two strikeouts in his first
outing of the season.
But the unquestioned man of the hour was the guy who hadn't started
a game since late last season in Minnesota, filling in only to give
St. Louis' ironman catcher a break.
"We finally got a good catcher, I guess. I don't know," joked
NOTES: Cincinnati activated RHP Jon Moscot (strained left
intercostal muscle) from the 15-day DL and started him on Sunday,
optioning RHP Keyvius Sampson to Triple-A Louisville. ... St. Louis
SS Ruben Tejada (left quad strain) will be activated Monday if he's
deemed to be ready after playing three games in a rehab stint at
Double-A Springfield. The team is still deciding on a corresponding
move. ... Reds LHP John Lamb started a rehab assignment at
Louisville Saturday night and worked three innings, giving up six
hits and three runs with a walk and four strikeouts over 65 pitches.
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