Now, they’ll look to make up ground in the NL Central race when they continue their four-game series with division-leading St. Louis on Wednesday at Great American Ball Park.
The Reds (58-55) lost Monday’s opener 13-1, but bounced back with a 10-3 victory on Tuesday. Cincinnati is tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the lead in the NL wild-card race and in second place in the Central, 3 1/2 games behind St. Louis (61-51).
The Reds and Cardinals face each other five more times in the next nine days, wrapping up a season series that Cincinnati leads 7-3.
“Everybody’s been saying the wheels are going to fall off pretty much since March 1, but we keep hanging in there and keep battling,” Reds manager Jerry Narron said.
Ryan Freel had three hits and made a spectacular diving catch Tuesday for the Reds, who have won three of five after a five-game losing streak. Rich Aurilia homered for Cincinnati, which matched a season high with 17 hits after allowing that many in the opener.
Scott Spiezio and So Taguchi each drove in a run for the Cardinals, who lost for the first time in four games. Their three-game winning streak came on the heels of a season high-tying eight-game losing skid.
Aaron Harang (12-7, 3.53 ERA) will take the mound for the Reds on Wednesday. He gave up two runs and five hits in six innings of Friday’s 5-4 win over Atlanta.
Harang, tied for the NL lead in victories, is 3-5 with a 4.08 ERA in nine career starts against the Cardinals. He has won both of his starts against them this season, posting a 2.13 ERA in those outings.
The right-hander threw seven innings against the Cardinals on April 14 in earning a 1-0 win. Chris Carpenter, who will start Wednesday for St. Louis, gave up one run in eight innings in that contest but was charged with the loss.
Carpenter (10-6, 3.06) lost his second straight start on Friday, allowing four runs and seven hits in six innings of a 4-3 defeat to Milwaukee. He has allowed nine runs in 10 innings over his last two outings after winning his previous four decisions.
Carpenter, last season’s NL Cy Young Award winner, was hit on the right thumb by a high chopper in the sixth inning against the Brewers, but stayed in the game and faced one batter before being lifted for a pinch- hitter in the bottom of the inning.
“He threw pretty good today,” trainer Barry Weinberg said after Carpenter’s bullpen session on Sunday. “He’s on schedule.”
The right-hander is 2-3 with a 2.17 ERA in seven career starts against the Reds. He has lost both of his starts against them this season despite registering a 2.77 ERA in those outings.