By Jenifer Langosch and Mark Sheldon
MLB.com |@LangoschMLB |
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals continued their recent dominance of the Reds on Saturday, this time spoiling Homer Bailey's season debut with a steady offensive attack that lifted them to a 5-2 win in front of a sellout Busch Stadium crowd. The victory assures the Cardinals of also claiming a series win, making this the 14th straight three-game series between these two clubs that has gone St. Louis' way.
Bailey, whose start to the season was delayed as he finished his recovery from torn flexor mass tendon surgery, likely would have preferred to draw another opponent in his first appearance since Aug. 7, 2014. Saturday's loss was his 11th against the Cardinals, who have scored at least four runs off him 11 times. This time, he was charged with five. More >
The Cardinals scored in four of Bailey's six innings, with all but one of the runs coming with two outs. Jason Heyward delivered the team's first home run at Busch Stadium in 2015, and Matt Carpenter provided some breathing room for the bullpen with a two-out, two-run double in the sixth.
It was more than enough support for Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez, whose only costly blemish over six innings was a solo homer allowed to Zack Cozart. Martinez, after winning a rotation spot in Spring Training, has opened the season by allowing three runs in 12 innings against the Reds.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Heyward homers: After 143 homerless at-bats by the Cardinals, Heyward connected for the home team's first long ball at Busch Stadium this season. Heyward's solo shot, which he deposited 414 feet over the right-field wall, was also his first in a St. Louis uniform. More >
Cozart also homers: It was a 3-0 game in the top of the fifth when Cozart put the Reds on the scoreboard with a leadoff homer to left field on a first pitch from Martinez. It was Cozart's first homer of the season and it also extended his hitting streak to a team-high seven games to raise his average to .368.
Doubles trouble: Just as it looked like the Cards would waste away another scoring opportunity against Bailey, Carpenter came up with his seventh double in five games. The two-out hit scored two and extended Carpenter's streak of multi-hit games to six. The double improved Carpenter to 17-for-29 against Bailey, who was knocked out of the game by the sixth-inning extra-base hit.
"Carp comes up again today and takes a real nice aggressive swing," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "[He's] driving the ball and not just taking pitches. It's a nice stroke he has going right now."
Missed chances: Cincinnati had the tying run at the plate in both the eighth and ninth innings and was unable to come back. In the eighth against Jordan Walden, Marlon Byrd -- in his 5,000th career at-bat -- grounded to shortstop for an inning-ending fielder's choice. In the ninth inning with two on against closer Trevor Rosenthal, Kristopher Negron grounded out to first base and Joey Votto looked at strike three to end the game.
"We kept coming at them, we hit some balls hard, we had some balls we hit pretty good in this game today, a lot better than yesterday," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "We just weren't able to get the big base hit, the big inning to keep ourselves in that ballgame. It always feels like digging out of a hole."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips committed an eighth-inning fielding error on Jon Jay's groundball, giving him his second error of the season and in back-to-back games. The last time Phillips made errors in consecutive games was Aug. 20-21, 2013.
After doubling and scoring the game's first run, Matt Holliday exited the game due to mid-back tightness. Matheny said afterward that he expects Holliday to be ready to return to the lineup on Sunday. More >
In the top of the eighth inning, Billy Hamilton left the game with a sore right groin while beating out an infield single to second base. Hamilton is listed as day-to-day. More >
After the game, Matheny announced that outfielder Randal Grichuk was being placed on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain. Grichuk injured himself squatting on Friday. He'll be replaced on the roster by Dean Anna. More >
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Matheny challenged an eighth-inning ruling that Hamilton reached first safely on the infield single to second. The call was not overturned, and Negron, pinch-running for Hamilton, scored later in the frame.
In the bottom of the eighth with one out and a runner at first base, Pete Kozma grounded to shortstop, where Cozart flipped to Phillips for the force play before the throw to first was not in time. Kozma was ruled safe, prompting a challenge from the Reds. After the review, it was determined that the call stands.
Reds:Mike Leake will be making his third start, and seeking his first victory, when the Reds conclude the three-game series with the Cardinals on Sunday night. It will be Leake's 150th career game in the Majors, and his 145th start.
Cardinals:Adam Wainwright draws his second Sunday Night start of the season in his first matchup against Cincinnati this year. Wainwright enters the game with a 17-inning scoreless streak against the Reds, who haven't tallied a run off him since 2013.