St. Louis snapped a three-game losing streak with a 13-6 win over the Reds on Saturday. The Cardinals suffered a frustrating 4-2, 12-inning loss to the Reds on Friday, mustering only four hits in the last eleven innings.
They have won only twice in their last seven games, dropping four of five to the rival Chicago Cubs prior to this weekend set.
“You’ve got to separate them,” St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said. “It was really tough (Friday) night, and everybody was very disappointed. The worst thing you can do is carry it over.”
The Cardinals went 11-for-17 against Reds starter Dan Serafini (0-3) after he struck out the first two. The left-hander allowed 10 runs—five earned— and 11 hits in 2 2-3 innings.
Albert Pujols hit his 39th homer in the first inning and got on base five times. Edgar Renteria got his 83rd RBI, setting a new team record for shortstops, and rookie Bo Hart contributed four hits and three RBIs.
“We came in the dugout after the first inning and said `Hey, let’s get three,’ and we got three,” Hart said. “It’s nice to kind of relax a little bit and get your hits.”
Even starting pitcher Woody Williams had his third two-hit game of the year and scored twice as he won his first decision since July 26.
Eli Marrero, in his first start since May 11 due to torn ankle ligaments, had a two-run triple and drove in three runs.
“I’m nice and fresh,” said Marrero. ”(La Russa) can go out there and kill me if he wants. I feel strong. My legs feel strong. I have a quick bat right now. A lot of guys are tired from playing the whole season. So hopefully that will pay off for us.”
The Cardinals are 1 1/2 games behind the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros for first place in the NL Central.
The Reds have lost 10 of their last 14 games.
STANDINGS: Reds - 6th place, 13 1/2 GB, NL Central. Cardinals - 3rd place, 1 1/2 GB, NL Central.
REDS PROBABLE STARTER: Seth Etherton (2-2, 4.84 ERA). Etherton gave up one run and three hits over six innings in the Reds’ 5-4 win over Milwaukee on Tuesday. This will be his first start against St. Louis.
CARDINALS PROBABLE STARTER: Matt Morris (9-6, 3.80 ERA). Morris allowed five hits over seven innings in a 2-0 win over the Cubs on Tuesday. He is 3-3 with a 4.70 ERA in nine career starts against Cincinnati.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Reds - Sean Casey, .287 avg. and 70 RBIs; Adam Dunn, 27 HRs and 70 runs; Ryan Freel, Felipe Lopez and Dunn, 8 SBs. Cardinals - Pujols, .365 avg., 39 HRs, 118 RBIs and 122 runs; Renteria, 28 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Reds, 9-6.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Reds - C Jason La Rue left Saturday’s game with a bruised left heel in the top of the fifth, but said he’d be available to play Sunday. … Cincinnati committed a season-high five errors Saturday. … RHP Etherton is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in two road starts this year. Cardinals - 1B Pujols homered for the second straight game Saturday and has an NL-leading 56 multi-hit games. … RHP Morris is 5-3 with a 4.39 ERA in 14 home starts this year. … Rookie RHP Jimmy Journell was activated from the 15-day disabled list Saturday after missing 18 games. He had a sprain in an AC joint in his right shoulder and manager La Russa plans to use him in short relief.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Reds - 30-40 on the road; Cardinals - 41-29 at home.
INJURIES: Reds - SS Barry Larkin (finger), 15-day DL; LF Dunn (thumb), 15-day DL; RHP Jose Acevedo (ankle), 15-day DL; RHP Ryan Dempster (elbow), 15-day DL; LHP Mark Watson (kidney), 15-day DL; RHP Jimmy Haynes (back), 60-day DL; RHP Luke Prokopec (shoulder), 60-day DL; 3B Brandon Larson (shoulder), 60-day DL; CF Ken Griffey Jr. (ankle), 60-day DL; RF-CF Austin Kearns (shoulder), 60-day DL; OF Reggie Taylor (shoulder), 60-day DL. Cardinals - C Steve Torrealba (elbow), 15-day DL; LHP Lance Painter (calf), 15-day DL; RHP Kiko Calero (knee), 60-day DL; RHP Chris Carpenter (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Gene Stechschulte (shoulder), 60-day DL.