Reds 7, Cardinals 5
CINCINNATI (AP)—Steve Kline made a mistake and it cost him.
Adam Dunn hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the eighth inning, the first home run by a left-handed hitter off Kline this season, and the Cincinnati Reds cooled off the St. Louis Cardinals with a 7-5 win Saturday.
“I just made a real bad pitch to the guy and he beat me,” Kline said. “I was lucky he didn’t hit it 17,000 rows deep.”
“I was just trying to put the ball in play,” Dunn said. “I definitely was not trying to hit a home run—but I’ll take it.”
St. Louis, which had overcome a 4-0 deficit to tie the game, had won 10 of its previous 11 games, including a three-game sweep of the Reds last week in St. Louis and the first two of this four-game series.
“We had to find a way to win one,” said the Reds’ Sean Casey. “But none of us has too much success against Kline.”
Before the homer, left-handers were hitting .172 (10-for-58) against Kline.
“He throws in the 90s and he has the best left-handed slider in the game,” Dunn said. “If he makes a mistake, you better hit it.”
After Albert Pujols tied the score 4-all in the top of the eighth against Jones with his 24th homer, Julian Tavarez (2-3) couldn’t hold the lead in the bottom half. Ryan Freel was hit by a pitch, Kline walked Larkin and Dunn followed with his 26th homer.
Pujols had an RBI single off Graves in the ninth.
Casey’s RBI single put Cincinnati ahead in the third, a liner that went off Pujols’ glove at first. Larkin homered in the fifth, and Pena added a two-run drive later in the inning for a 4-0 lead. He is 11-for-23 in his last six games with five homers and 10 RBIs.
Cardinals center fielder Jim Edmonds, who reached over the wall to take away a potential home run from Jason LaRue on Friday night, threw out D’Angelo Jimenez at the plate in the second inning trying to score from second on Javier Valentin’s single. Edmonds has eight assists, tying Dunn and Philadelphia’s Bobby Abreu for the lead among NL outfielders.
3B Scott Rolen was out of the St. Louis lineup for only the third time this season. The major league RBIs leader has flu-like symptoms. … Reds 3B Brandon Larson left in the fourth after straining his left hamstring running out a groundout. … With 950 RBIs, Larkin tied Dave Conception for fifth on the Reds’ career list. … Cardinals RHP Mike Lincoln had elbow ligament replacement surgery that will end his season. Lincoln was 3-2 with a 5.19 ERA in 13 relief appearances.