Cardinals 7, Reds 5
ST. LOUIS (AP)—Chris Duncan was stuck in traffic about 15 minutes before gametime after getting about a dozen stitches for a cut on his head. That’s when Skip Schumaker found out he was getting a rare start.
“When you don’t get too many starts, you want to do something,” Schumaker said. “Maybe I had less time to think about it, and maybe it helped me out a little bit. Three hits, you can’t really beat that for me.”
Adam Kennedy’s second double of the game snapped a sixth-inning tie for the Cardinals, who won consecutive home games for the first time this season. St. Louis is 3-7 overall at Busch Stadium, where it wrapped up its first World Series title in 24 years last fall.
The Cardinals trailed 4-0 in the third before getting to Kyle Lohse (1-1) for one in the third, ending his streak of 20 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run. They added three more in the fifth and one in the sixth against Lohse, who gave up 11 hits in six innings.
Manager Jerry Narron thought Lohse’s changeup was not up to his usual standards. Lohse included the rest of his repertoire in that assessment.
“I don’t think anything really was as good as normal,” Lohse said. “It was one of those games where I was still getting ahead in the count but they weren’t chasing at all.
“They just did a good job of being patient.”
Brandon Phillips homered, doubled and drove in three runs for the Reds, who are 3-7 in their last 10. Alex Gonzalez tripled and singled, going 8-for-13 with two homers and five RBIs in the three-game series, and David Ross homered.
Schumaker was 4-for-27 (.148) in a bench role, including 2-for-14 as a pinch hitter, before manager Tony La Russa plugged him into left field and Duncan’s second spot in the lineup, just ahead of Albert Pujols. He doubled in the third to produce the Cardinals’ first run, hit an RBI single in the fifth and singled in the seventh.
The 6-foot-5 Duncan said he was in a hurry Thursday morning and bumped the head when he tried to save time and jump down the three stairs leading to his apartment door. He had a pinch-hit double in the eighth and scored.
“It was bleeding and I knew something was wrong,” Duncan said. “It kind of just split open. I felt like I could play, I just couldn’t get here in time.”
Keisler, making his third start filling in for injured Chris Carpenter, lasted only 3 1-3 innings and gave up four runs and six hits. Five of the Reds’ hits against the left-hander went for extra bases.
“I didn’t make quality pitches, and I paid for it,” Keisler said. “Other than me, we had a heck of a day.”
Brad Thompson, Russ Springer (1-0) and Ryan Franklin combined for 4 2-3 hitless innings, retiring 12 in a row at one point before the Reds cut the deficit to one in the eighth when Ryan Freel walked with one out, stole second, advanced on a groundout and scored on Franklin’s wild pitch. Jason Isringhausen finished for his sixth save in seven chances.
The game was delayed for 49 minutes with one out in the ninth because of rain and Isringhausen needed only three minutes to get the last two outs when Josh Hamilton grounded out and Juan Castro struck out.
The Reds took the lead in the first on Gonzalez’s one-out triple and Phillips’ RBI double. Ross hit his first homer in the second and Phillips’ two-run shot in the third, his fifth of the season, provided a 4-0 cushion.
Schumaker’s two-out RBI double in the bottom of the third ended Lohse’s streak, and the Cardinals tied it with three runs in the fifth, starting the inning with five straight hits.
Kennedy doubled, Gary Bennett singled, pinch-hitter So Taguchi hit an RBI single, Aaron Miles singled and Schumaker hit an RBI single before Pujols’ bases-loaded double-play ball, which scored the third run, ended the string.
“We went from sliders to changeups to fastballs to curveballs,” said Ross, the catcher. “Whatever we threw, they were right on it.”
The Cardinals have been outscored 16-3 in the first inning and 23-6 the first two innings. They’ve scored the first run in only five of their first 21 games. … Reds OF Ken Griffey Jr. was a late lineup scratch due to soreness in his chest. Narron said Griffey approached him about an hour before gametime. … Keisler is 2-4 with a 6.11 ERA in 20 career starts over five seasons. He made four starts for the Reds in 2005, going 2-1 with a 6.27 ERA.