Castillo helps Reds shut down Cardinals
Luis Castillo and two relievers combined on a two-hitter to lead the Cincinnati Reds to a 4-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday night.
The Reds snapped a three-game losing streak.
St. Louis, which won a major league-best 22 games in August, lost for the second time in six games.
The Cardinals are 4 1/2 games behind Chicago in the NL Central after the Cubs beat Philadelphia 7-1.
Castillo (8-11) gave up two hits and struck out a career-high 11 in 6 2/3 innings. He gave up a leadoff single to Matt Carpenter in the first before retiring 15 of the next 16 hitters.
David Hernandez and Raisel Iglesias completed the two-hitter.
Suarez keyed a three-run outburst against Daniel Poncedeleon (0-1) in the fourth. Joey Votto broke the scoreless tie with a run-scoring double. Scooter Gennett followed with a hit to set the stage for Suarez's drive off the wall in left.
Tucker Barnhart added a run-scoring single in the seventh.
Poncedeleon, in his third major league start, retired the first 10 batters he faced on 43 pitches. But the next six hitters reached safely ending his night after 3 1-3 innings. Poncedeleon gave up three runs on five hits. He struck out four and walked one.
St. Louis has won 20 of its last 26 and has a 29-14 record since manager Mike Shildt took over for Mike Matheny on July 15.
Cardinals: OF Marcell Ozuna was activated from the 10-day disabled list prior to the contest. Ozuna has been bothered by right shoulder inflammation. He is expected to start on Sunday.
RHP Anthony DeSclafani (7-4, 4.34) will face Luke Weaver (7-11, 4.59) in the final game of the three-game series on Sunday. DeSclafani has gone at least six innings in each of his last five starts with a 3-1 record and a 2.62 ERA over that span. Weaver is 3-0 lifetime against the Reds.