Rookie leads Cardinals past Reds

Reds starter Luis Castillo pitches against the Brewers on Wednesday, June 28, 2017, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff

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Reds starter Luis Castillo pitches against the Brewers on Wednesday, June 28, 2017, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. David Jablonski/Staff

Paul DeJong is putting his rocky August start behind him.

The St. Louis rookie shortstop hit a two-run homer and Lance Lynn got past Joey Votto’s first-inning home run to win his fourth straight start as the Cardinals eased past the Cincinnati Reds 4-1 on Saturday night.

DeJong snapped an 0-for-16 slump with two hits on Friday and followed that up with his go-ahead shot into the left field seats on a 1-0 fastball with one out in the third inning on Saturday. It was the Cardinals’ first hit of the game. The homer was his 15th of the season and first since July 25.

“Guys are making adjustments on me,” said DeJong, the first Cardinal to reach 15 homers this season. “They know I’m aggressive in the zone and aggressive outside the zone. I’m seeing more patterns. It’s kind of a cat-and-mouse game.”

DeJong, the National League Rookie of the Month for July, needed 57 games to reach 15 homers with St. Louis after hitting 13 in 48 at Triple-A Memphis.

Lynn (10-6), in his first start since the July 31 trade deadline, retired 12 of the last 14 batters he faced, walking Votto twice. The right-hander, who was rumored to possibly be on the block. limited the Reds to three hits and a run with three walks and four strikeouts.

Cincinnati rookie Luis Castillo (2-5) struggled with his control, tying his season and career high with five walks and hitting two batters while giving up four runs - three earned. The Cardinals collected just three hits with four strikeouts in his 6 1/3 innings.

“I didn’t have my best stuff,” Castillo said through an interpreter. “These are days you have to compete and stay longer in the game. Mentally, I just stay 100 percent focused and try to compete.”

“I thought his stuff was really good,” manager Bryan Price.” His command wasn’t there for him as much today. Four hits total, but they had nine base runners via walks and hit by pitches. That kind of set the table for them.”

Votto drove a 1-1 curveball into the right field seats for his 28th homer of the season, one shy of matching his total from last season. Adam Duvall followed with a drive that seemed to glance off center fielder Tommy Pham’s glove and squarely hit the top of the outfield wall before bouncing back on the field for a triple.

Lynn coaxed Scooter Bennett into flying out to right field to end the threat.

“You don’t want to let things snowball,” Lynn said. “I made two bad pitches, and one cost me a run. The second one would’ve if Tommy hadn’t gotten a glove on it. Other than that, I thought it went pretty good.”

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