ST. LOUIS -- The Reds have every reason to take a moment and savor the flavor of a rare series win at Busch Stadium. Sunday's 8-0 victory over the Cardinals not only gave Cincinnati two of three games, but also just its fourth series win out of the last 29 at St. Louis since 2006.
It was July 27-29, 2015, when the Reds last came to town and took a series from the Cardinals. Sunday's win was powered by Adam Duvall's 3-for-4, two-RBI game while starting pitcher Scott Feldman cruised with six-plus scoreless innings, allowing four hits with one walk and collecting six strikeouts for his first win with the Reds. More >
"It's not facing demons and ghosts of series in years past. Our team is better than it's been in the last few years, with a lot of new guys that just want to come in and play baseball, play hard and play well," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "We pitched two shutouts here. Not only is that unlikely, but to come in here and be able to do and extract two wins is a big deal for us in the early start of a season."
Coming off of 7 1/3 scoreless innings and 10 strikeouts on Opening Day vs. the Cubs, Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez fared poorly in his second outing. Martinez pitched five-plus innings with six runs (five earned), six hits, one walk, three strikeouts and he hit two batters. A four-run top of the sixth -- which included three Cardinals errors -- knocked him from the game before he could record an out in the inning.
"Stuff looked pretty good," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Martinez. "Just looked like he had trouble really putting it where he wanted to. That's the difference between today and a week ago. He was so sharp putting pitches where he wanted to. … Some days it's just not going to be as sharp."
Duvall made it a 1-0 game leading off the second inning with his second home run of the season, a drive into the left-field bullpen. In the fifth inning, Zack Cozart extended his hitting streak to six games with an RBI triple that scored Scott Schebler for a two-run lead.
Cincinnati notched its third shutout of the week, including both wins over the Cardinals. It won Friday's opener, 2-0, before being blown out with a 10-4 loss Saturday.
"We pitched very well. We got some timely hits," Duvall said. "You're going to win some games if you do that. Hopefully we'll continue to do that and continue to get better."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Duvall does it: Duvall was 0-for-8 in his first two games vs. the Cardinals, with his last hit being a homer in his final at-bat Thursday vs. the Phillies. When he took Martinez's full-count changeup deep, it left the bat at 101 mph and traveled 388 feet, according to Statcast™. Duvall's RBI single in the sixth inning provided the first run of the rally that blew the game open.
"He's got a good fastball," Duvall said of Martinez and his second-inning at-bat. "I wanted to try and stay square on him and try to over-pull the ball. Then it opens the outer half. With Yadi [Molina] back there and those two going, it's going to be a tough at-bat. I was able to get something to hit and put the barrel on it."
Mistakes help Reds: Following Duvall's single in the sixth, three Cardinals errors helped the Reds and two of them came from third baseman Jhonny Peralta on one play. Peralta booted Eugenio Suarez's grounder near the line and then chucked his fielder's-choice throw into right field for another error that allowed Joey Votto to score. Martinez was lifted for reliever Brett Cecil, who gave up Schebler's RBI double to right field. Randal Grichuk bobbled the ball after playing it off of the wall for an error that allowed Suarez to score.
"I've made three or four errors sometimes in a game before," Peralta said. "It happens to everybody. Today, I made a really dumb play."
"It's a great series win, obviously against a good team. It says a lot about the way we've been playing. Hopefully we can keep it going. St. Louis always puts a tough team on the field. To come in here and get two out of three, it says a lot about the way we've been swinging the bats and playing defense and things like that." -- Feldman
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Votto's ninth-inning home run off Cardinals closer Seung Hwan Oh was the sixth home run surrendered by five St. Louis relievers in the first six games. Oh, who gave up five homers in 76 appearances a year ago, has allowed two in his first two games in 2017.
"I think he's not his sharpest right now, but we know what we've got with him," Matheny said. "He's going to be one of the best in the game this year. We just have to keep giving him the work he needs to be sharp."
TURNER GETS FIRST HIT, FRIEND GETS THE BASE
In the top of the third inning, Reds catcher Stuart Turner notched his first big league hit with a double into left field. Turner, a Rule 5 pick who was in Double-A last season, was starting for the second time this season. His brother and a friend were in the seats and the friend, Derek Maggio, scored a coveted tchotchke. Maggio went to the Cardinals' game-used authentics shop and purchased second base for $200 during the game. Reds clubhouse manager Rick Stowe gave it to Maggio afterwards.
WHAT'S NEXT Reds: The road trip moves on to Pittsburgh Monday at 7:05 p.m. ET for the first of three games vs. the Pirates. Brandon Finnegan, who struck out nine over seven scoreless innings in his first start, will make the start for Cincinnati.
Cardinals: The Cardinals head on the road for the first time with a six-game road trip that begins in Washington on Monday night. Righty Adam Wainwright, who took the loss in his first start after allowing two runs on three hits in five innings against the Cubs, gets the start. First pitch is 6:05 CT.