By Jenifer Langosch and Robert Bondy
MLB.com |@LangoschMLB |
CINCINNATI -- Randal Grichuk, who had earlier missed a game-tying homer by mere inches, left no doubt with his 13th-inning blast, one that lifted the Cardinals to a 4-3 win over the Reds on Wednesday. The 370-foot home run gave St. Louis its first lead of the night and 14th final-at-bat win of the season.
The Reds held a three-run lead through four innings, but watched the Cards chip away with a two-run sixth and game-tying homer from Matt Carpenter in the eighth. Both bullpens then traded zeroes until Grichuk tattooed a changeup from Dylan Axelrod with one out in the 13th.
"You know the ball flies here, but you want to have a quality at-bat still," Grichuk said. "Obviously, any guy who has pop has that in the back of his head. You just try not to let it affect your swing."
"It was good, a well-pitched ball game by both clubs," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "Both teams asked a lot out of their bullpens tonight. They were down to basically their second to last guy. [Randy] Choate was down there for them and we had [Pedro] Villarreal, and it came down to, as everyone anticipated, one swing of the bat. Grichuk gets an elevated pitch and he hits it out of the ballpark."
St. Louis starter Carlos Martinez lasted five innings, while Cincinnati's David Holmberg went five-plus. Martinez, who has not pitched past the fifth in three of his last four starts, allowed three runs (one earned) on six hits and three walks. Holmberg left with a lead even after being charged with a pair of sixth-inning runs.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Carpenter connects ... again: Carpenter evened the game at three with a one-out blast off reliever J.J. Hoover in the eighth. The homer, Carpenter's 15th of the season, was also his fifth in sixth games. Since returning to the leadoff spot on July 30, Carpenter is 10-for-26 with a National League-best five homers and eight runs scored.
"I don't think there's correlation," Carpenter said of the uptick in power coming with his bump up to the top of the lineup. "I think I just happened to start swinging the bat better once he moved me up there. As far as the power goes, I don't know. I'm getting good pitches to hit and putting good swings on them."
Reds cash in Peralta error: With two outs in the bottom of the third and runners on first and second, shortstop Jhonny Peralta was unable to handle a sharp grounder hit by Marlon Byrd to load the bases. The fielding error kept the inning alive and Brayan Pena was able to take advantage of the Peralta miscue with a two-run double to give the Reds a 2-0 lead.
Too many freebies: Martinez allowed six hits in his outing but was especially hurt by the free passes he issued. His one-out walk to Joey Votto in the third inning set up a two-run frame for Cincinnati. Martinez then issued a leadoff walk to Holmberg in the fourth, which eventually led to Holmberg scoring the Reds' third run. With three walks on the night, Martinez now has 51 on the season, second most by an NL pitcher.
"He didn't have his stuff. He didn't have fastball command today," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Martinez. "He did a nice job of surviving basically with his slider."
Votto, Frazier can't convert: The Reds had the winning run in scoring position in the ninth, but neither Votto nor Todd Frazier could bring home Brandon Phillips from second base. After Phillips was able to single and steal second base, Votto struck out looking and Frazier grounded out to second baseman Kolten Wong to end the threat.
"It was tremendous. Set the donut. One guy comes in. You just try to match that and keep passing the ball." -- Maness, one of six Cardinals relievers to make a scoreless appearance
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Wednesday's extra-inning game was the 15th played by the Cardinals this season. That ties the Cubs for the most by an NL team. The only American League club with more is Seattle, which has played 16 games longer than nine innings.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The umpires initiated a crew chief review of Grichuk's RBI double in the sixth to determine if it had actually cleared the left-center field wall as a game-tying three run homer. The call stood after a four-minute, one-second review as replays showed that Grichuk's blast hit just off the top of the yellow line and bounced back into play.
"I saw it on replay. It went over the yellow pad, so I think it's a homer," Grichuk said. "I don't know. [The umpires] kind of explained it as that's part of the fence, so it technically hit the fence even though it went over the yellow [line]."
A Reds challenge in the 13th inning worked out in their favor when the call on the field was overturned. Jason Heyward was called safe at first base when Eugenio Suarez's throw appeared to pull Votto off the bag. However, after a one-minute review it was determined Votto was able to get his foot back on the base before Heyward got there.
Cardinals:Michael Wacha will attempt to become the NL's second 13-game winner when he takes the mound on Thursday against the Reds. Wacha threw seven scoreless innings in his last start, and is 3-1 with a 2.01 ERA in eight career appearances (seven starts) against Cincinnati.
Reds: Right-handed rookie Michael Lorenzen (3-6, 4.80 ERA) will get the start in the three-game series finale. He is in the midst of a tough stretch with a 0-4 record and 8.61 ERA in his last five starts. First pitch from Great American Ball Park is at 12:35 p.m. ET/1:35 p.m. CT.