Cessa, though, is blossoming into a legitimate candidate to be part of next season’s rotation with Hunter Greene, Nick Lobolo, Graham Ashcraft and a mystery guest.
They gave Cessa, a 30-year-old year-old right hander from Cordoba, Mexico, the chance at the end of this season and starting is what he wants.
The Cardinals gave Cessa and the Reds a slight break by resting two of their best players, Paul Goldschmidt and Tommy Edman.
The only disturbance the Cardinals made against Cessa was in the third. He walked Nolan Gorman on a full count with one out. DeJong produced his single off Barrera’s glove and Brendan Donovan reached on second baseman Matt Reynolds’ error.
That filled the bases with one out, but Cessa coaxed an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play from Corey Dickerson.
The Cardinals started left-hander Jordan Montgomery, 4-and-1 with a .2.28 earned run average since the Cardinals acquired him in a trade at the deadline with the Yankees.
A couple of Reds rookies provided the offense. Spencer Steer, batting second and playing second base, singled home catcher Chuckie Robinson in the third inning. Robinson reached on a double, breaking a 0-for-26 slump.
Cincinnati had gone 13 innings without scoring a run and had scored one run in 20 innings when Steer drove in the run.
Barrero singled with one out, Jonathan India drew a nine-pitch walk and Steer produced with two outs.
The Reds made it 3-0 in the sixth when Nick Senzel singled and Stuart Fairchild crushed a two-run home run over the center-field wall, a blast that traveled 403 feet.
The Cardinals threatened in the seventh after relief pitcher Law retired the first two. He walked Lars Nootbaar and Yadier Molina singled. Kuhnel replaced Law and blew away Gorman with three straight strikes.
Kuhnel remained for the eighth and pitched a 1-2-3 inning and Farmer pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to complete the two-hit shutout.