Reds 8, Cardinals 5
CINCINNATI (AP)—One more bad inning set up one more disappointment for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Instead, they remained tied with Houston atop the NL Central, a half-game ahead of the Chicago Cubs. The Astros lost to San Diego 7-1, while the Cubs beat Milwaukee 4-2 to gain ground.
The scaled-down Reds sent 10 batters to the plate in the sixth against Dan Haren (3-5) and reliever Jason Simontacchi, a big rally against a team that’s been giving them up. In each of their last seven losses, the Cardinals have been undone by one big inning.
“You give up one or two hits and it’s just a whirlwind trying to get outs,” said Haren, who allowed two hits, walked two and hit a batter in the inning. “A lot of our pitchers have been struggling with that one big inning.”
The Cardinals have struggled with the Reds all season. Cincinnati is 8-3 against St. Louis, including a four-game sweep at Great American Ball Park from May 5-8.
All it takes to beat the Reds these days is a solid game. The Cardinals weren’t up to it, helping Cincinnati break its five-game losing streak.
“We played a hard game, but not a perfect game,” St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said.
“I kind of pitched around other people to get to Stinnett because I was pretty confident I could get him out,” Haren said. “I just made a bad pitch to him, one of the few bad pitches I threw. It was a tailing fastball that just got away from me.”
Hummel pinch-hit for Bale and singled home two more runs on Simontacchi’s first pitch. Ryan Freel’s RBI single completed a rally that was out of character for the Reds, who have scored three or fewer runs in 18 of their last 24 games.
Hummel is one of the players acquired in the Reds’ flurry of five trades since July 29. The deals and injuries have left the Reds with only eight players from their opening day roster.
Danny Graves made his first relief appearance since he was moved out of the rotation, pitching the last two innings for his second save. His other save also was against St. Louis on June 24.
“I feel like I’m good again,” said Graves, who gave up two hits and struck out two. “I’m back where I belong and I think they realize that. That’s why they made the change back. This is me.”
Jim Edmonds drew a standing ovation from the crowd of 27,121 after he made the play of the game in the second inning, robbing Stinnett at the top of the center-field wall with one runner aboard.
Edmonds slowed as he approached the 8-foot wall, timed his jump and planted his right cleats in the green padding to boost himself. He stretched and caught the ball with his glove atop the yellow padding as fans reached for what theythought was going to be a two-run homer.
2B Fernando Vina accompanied the Cardinals and most likely will be activated Saturday. Vina tore a tendon connected to his right hamstring while trying to beat out a grounder on May 25 and had surgery five days later. … The Cardinals also expect to activate RHP Russ Springer from the DL this weekend. Springer has been sidelined since May 1 because of a sprained elbow. … Reds OF Reggie Taylor had surgery Friday to repair a torn labrum and rotator cuff in his left shoulder. He injured the shoulder diving for a fly ball Aug. 24. … The Reds went over 2 million in attendance on their 69th home date. They’ve averaged 29,315 per game, a disappointment for their first seasonin a new ballpark.