Cardinals come through late, complete sweep of Reds

Cardinals come through late, complete sweep of Reds

ST. LOUIS -- A half-inning after the Reds squandered a bases-loaded opportunity against Adam Wainwright, the Cardinals capitalized on a leadoff double by Jon Jay in the eighth to break a tie and position themselves for a series-sweeping 2-1 win at Busch Stadium on Sunday night.

Kolten Wong's one-out sacrifice fly was plenty deep to score Jay, who had moved to third on a productive groundout by Yadier Molina. Those eighth-inning at-bats represented the Cardinals' only ones with a runner in scoring position against Reds starter Mike Leake, who had retired 20 of 22 after allowing a leadoff homer to Matt Carpenter.

Carpenter's solo shot

"Basically the same pitch that [Jay] hit for the double," Leake said of his pitch to Carpenter. "Just a fastball that was supposed to be in. It just went back over the plate for him to hit. They both made me pay."

After the Reds evened the game with Brandon Phillips' third-inning RBI single, Leake and Wainwright matched each other with one brisk inning after another. Combined, the two retired 20 consecutive batters beginning in the top of the third. Wainwright induced 13 outs on first- or second-pitch contact. Leake had 11 such outs and finished eight innings with only 86 pitches.

Wainwright's impressive outing

The Cardinals' one-run lead was entrusted not to Trevor Rosenthal, but to Jordan Walden, the closer du jour. Walden allowed a leadoff single, but stranded the potential tying run at second. The win wrapped up a 5-1 opening homestand for St. Louis. More >

Walden's first Cardinals save

"Overall, you don't know how a game like that is going to turn out, knowing that this team is trying to keep us from sweeping," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "Fortunately, guys kept going about it the right way. It was a great finish to a very good homestand."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED

Waino leaves 'em full: After retiring 15 of 16 batters, Wainwright allowed a pair of two-out, eighth-inning singles that drew Matheny out of the dugout. The mound discussion ended with Matheny leaving alone, allowing Wainwright the chance to get out of his own mess in a 1-1 game. The ace walked Jay Bruce to load the bases before getting Zack Cozart to ground into a forceout on a first-pitch cutter. Cozart had his seven-game hitting streak snapped with an 0-for-4 night. More >

Wainwright escapes trouble

Phillips drives in Votto: In the third inning following Joey Votto's second hit -- a two-out single -- and a Todd Frazier walk of four pitches vs. Wainwright, Phillips lofted a bloop RBI single into center field that made it a 1-1 game. Phillips, who also singled in the eighth, is 12-for-29 (.414) since Monday -- with all 12 hits being singles.

Phillips' RBI single

Carpenter continues to crush: Carpenter launched the Cardinals to an early lead with the fifth leadoff home run of his career, and second long ball of the season. The 416-foot blast to center gave Carpenter an extra-base hit in his seventh consecutive game. With another hit off Leake later in the night, Carpenter became the 37th Cardinal in the last century to notch seven straight multihit games. The only other player to do so since 1994 was Lance Berkman (2011).

"I didn't know I had that in me," Carpenter said of depositing a ball onto the grass beyond center field. "I got a good swing off, and I guess it was carrying a little bit better tonight than usual, because I don't hit balls up there often."

Third complete game for Leake: This was Leake's third career complete game, with the other two being wins in 2012. He was super-efficient with his pitches, throwing 86 in the game, including 66 for strikes. He needed only seven pitches in the fifth inning, 10 in the sixth and 10 in the seventh, which including eight to Matt Adams alone before striking him out. More >

Leake's solid start

QUOTABLE

"You blink and it's the next inning. We're sitting down there and are like, 'It's already the fifth?' Wow. We better start stretching.' The next thing you know, it's the seventh inning. But it's good. It keeps us into it. We don't have to sit down there and look at each other." -- Walden, on the crisp two-hour, two-minute time of game

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS

With his first-inning homer and sixth-inning single, Carpenter tied the Cardinals' franchise record for most consecutive multihit games with at least one extra-base hit in each. That record of seven was set by Ripper Collins in 1935. Carpenter also became the first Cardinals player with exactly two hits in seven straight games since now-third base coach Jose Oquendo in 1988. The club record is nine, set by Wattie Holm in 1927.

WHAT'S NEXT

Reds: The 11-day, 10-game road trip moves to its third city on Monday, when the Reds start a four-game series vs. the Brewers at Miller Park. First pitch is at 7:20 p.m. ET, with Anthony DeSclafani working for Cincinnati against Wily Peralta.

Cardinals: After opening the season with 11 games against National League Central opponents, the Cardinals will leave the division to face Washington in a three-game series at Nationals Park. Lance Lynn will face Gio Gonzalez to open that series on Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. CT.

Watch every out-of-market regular season game live on MLB.TV.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.