Just when the Cincinnati Reds seemed to be on their way to snapping a pair of frustrating losing streaks against St. Louis, the Cardinals stretched them to historic lengths.
St. Louis reached closer Raisel Iglesias (1-1) for a walk and back-to-back singles by Yadier Molina and Jedd Gyorko to push Greg Garcia across the plate with the winning run in a 7-6, 10-inning win.
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Joey Votto and Jesse Winker each had a run-scoring single while the Reds were collecting four hits to tie the game against St. Louis closer Bud Norris (3-1) in the ninth, but the rally fizzled on Jose Peraza’s soft line drive to first baseman Matt Carpenter.
“You have to take the positives out of it,” said right fielder Scott Schebler, who finished with a career-high four hits. “Sure, right now, you feel bad, but I feel like if we can grinding like we have been, we can carry this into some kind of streak.”
A Fireworks Friday crowd of 26,144 watched the Reds suffer their 12th consecutive loss to St. Louis, Cincinnati’s longest losing streak against the Cardinals since losing 12 straight in a stretch the spanned the 1931 and 1932 seasons. The loss was the Reds’ 10thstraight to St. Louis in Cincinnati, the Reds’ longest home losing streak against the Cardinals since dropping10 straight in a stretch that spanned the 1930 and 1931 seasons.
The Reds, 1-3 on their six-game home stand, next attempt to snap the streaks is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. on Saturday, when right-hander Luis Castillo (4-6) meets right-hander Michael Wacha (7-1). Wacha is an eye-popping 10-1 in 18 career appearances against the Reds, including 16 starts, and he’s already 2-0 in two starts against Cincinnati this season.
Rain started falling in the bottom of the first inning and lasted a couple of innings before stopping, only to resume in the bottom of the eighth and force a 36-minute delay in the middle of the ninth inning.
This was the second straight day the Reds erased a multi-run deficit in the late stages to force extra innings. They were trailing Colorado, 5-2, going into the eighth inning before tying the score in the ninth and winning, 7-5, in the 13th.
“We’ve been doing that,” interim manager Jim Riggleman said. “We’ve done it in a number of games – come back from multiple runs down. Tonight, we just couldn’t get over the hump.”
Massive St. Louis first baseman Jose Martinez clubbed home runs in each of his first two at bats against Matt Harvey. The 6-foot-7, 230-pound Martinez lofted Harvey’s ninth pitch of the game down the right field line and into the Reds bullpen for an opposite-field home run that gave St. Louis a quick 1-0 lead with two outs in the first inning.
Shortstop Yairo Munoz hit a line drive that barely cleared the left field wall for a two-out, 2-0 Cardinals lead in the second, a run the Reds got back when the Cardinals couldn’t turn a double play on Jose Peraza’s slow grounder to second baseman Kolten Wong, allowing Eugenio Suarez to score from third base.
The aroused Cardinals opened the third with Carpenter’s walk, Tommy Pham’s single and Martinez’s second homer of the game, a no-doubt drive to left-center field for a 5-1 lead.
Scooter Gennett – who went into the game ranked second in the National League batting race, five percentage points behind the Dodgers’ Matt Kemp – extended his hitting streak to six games by following Votto’s two-out walk with a booming double that bounced off the left-center field wall.
Harvey, 1-5 overall and 1-3 in six starts for the Reds after being acquired from the Mets for catcher Devin Mesoraco, needed only three innings to allow three homers in one game for the fifth time in his career. He regrouped to allow just two walks and face one batter over the minimum after Martinez’s second home run before leaving after six innings.
“I think he had more well-thrown balls tonight than in any of his starts for us, but the few bad pitches he had really hurt us,” Riggleman said. “I thought he threw the ball well. Hopefully, this is something we can build on.”
Winker got an RBI in the fifth with a bases-loaded walk, and the Reds used three walks and Votto’s line drive single to right to cut the lead to 5-4 in the sixth, an inning that ended with catcher Tucker Barnhart thrown out trying to steal third base. He took his lead, took a couple of steps toward third, stopped and then had no choice but to keep going and hope for the best.
“Tuck was getting a good secondary lead,” Riggleman said. “He read the swing and was so confident of contact, but his feet got tangled up a little bit and he couldn’t spin around to go back. It’s one of those things that happens. It’s over.”
Michael Lorenzen walked the first batter he faced in the seventh, setting up Carpenter’s run-scoring single for a 6-4 St. Louis lead.
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