Molina hits go-ahead homer, Cardinals hold off Reds 4-3
Yadier Molina hit a tiebreaking home run in the seventh inning and rookie reliever Jordan Hicks got Scooter Gennett to ground into a game-ending double play with the bases loaded, lifting the St. Louis Cardinals over the Cincinnati Reds 4-3 Saturday.
The Cardinals have won seven of eight, including six against the Reds. The Reds dropped their fourth straight, and second under interim manager Jim Riggleman, and fell to 3-17 this season.
St. Louis has won 10 in a row from the Reds dating to last season, matching its longest streak against them since 1949, when the Cardinals won 11 straight.
Hicks (1-0) recorded the final seven outs. Jared Hughes (0-2) gave up Molina's sixth homer, a solo drive.
Cincinnati scored three times in the seventh to tie it. The Reds strung together four singles and a walk, with Gennett's two-run hit making it 3-all. Hicks used one pitch to get Cliff Pennington to fly out, ending the inning with runners at the corners.
Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez pitched six scoreless innings, giving up three hits and striking out seven. He was pulled after 91 pitches and exited with an 18-inning scoreless streak, leaving with a 1.42 ERA.
Home runs by Paul DeJong and Dexter Fowler helped the Cardinals build a 3-0 lead through six.
Cincinnati starter Homer Bailey lasted 5 2/3 innings, allowing seven hits, striking four and walking two.
DeJong hit his sixth home run in the second. Fowler's third homer opened the sixth for the Cardinals.
BRINGING THE LEATHER
Cardinals 2B Kolten Wong sprinted into right field and had to make a full extension of his glove arm to pull in a flare from Reds OF Adam Duvall in the sixth. Wong then tossed the ball to 1B Jose Martinez to double off Gennett, who had already rounded second base.
Reds: RHP David Hernandez began his rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Louisville on Friday. He pitched 1/3 of an inning, giving up three hits, four earned runs and striking out one while throwing 19 pitches. He is recovering from right shoulder inflammation.
Cardinals: OF Tommy Pham was held out of the starting lineup because of flu-like symptoms and also to provide another day off to rest a sore groin. Manager Mike Matheny said Pham was available off the bench, but he did not get into the game.
Reds: RHP Luis Castillo (1-2, 6.75) starts the final game of a three-game set in St. Louis against Cardinals RHP Miles Mikolas (2-0, 4.26). Castillo earned the victory in his first appearance this season, but lasted just five innings in his last two starts in which he took the loss both times. Mikolas will go for his first victory at Busch Stadium since joining the Cardinals in the offseason. He got a no-decision in his only home start this year, a 5-4 loss to Milwaukee.