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Hitters come to life in Cardinals' 7-6 win

The SportsXchange

CINCINNATI -- After combining for just two runs in the first two games of their season-opening series at Great American Ball Park, the bats finally woke up for both the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds on Thursday afternoon. After a lengthy rain delay, the Cardinals won a slugfest.

Shortstop Jhonny Peralta hit a two-run homer and right-hander Lance Lynn overcame a rough start to lift the Cardinals to a 7-6 victory in the finale of a three-game series.

The start of the game was delayed three hours and 42 minutes by rain. Wednesday night's game also was pushed back after a 2:40 rain delay.

"The first two days the pitchers were on, there wasn't too much offense on either side," said Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams, who went 3-for-5 with two doubles. "Today, it was an offensive game on both sides. That's the game of baseball."

Third baseman Todd Frazier hit two homers twice and right fielder Jay Bruce also homered for Cincinnati. First baseman Joey Votto had three hits.

"The whole series was kind of weird with all the rain and stuff," Frazier said. "It really put a damper on things."

Cardinals right-hander Trevor Rosenthal picked up his second save.

What appeared to be the first-ever challenge review at Great American Ball Park in the seventh inning Thursday ended up being an umpire-initiated review.

With runners on first and second, Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday hit a drive to the right-center field wall that appeared at first to carom off Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton's glove and then caught by Bruce. After a 2:08 umpire-initiated review, it was confirmed that the ball struck the top of the wall, so it was neither a homer or a catch. Holliday was awarded a single to load the bases.

"It was not a challenge," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "One umpire ruled out. The other ruled safe. The crew chief, Gary Cederstrom, decided to review the play himself. They got the call right. It was a great job by the umpiring crew to review the play before there ever was a challenge."

Lynn (1-0) overcame a rocky start to pick up the victory. He gave up three earned runs and five hits, including two home runs, walked one and struck out seven in 107 pitches.

"The first inning hurt him as far as runs were concerned," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "He worked hard every single inning. He got himself into trouble. But he made good pitches when he needed to."

Reds starter Homer Bailey (0-1) was limited to three spring training starts because of a strained right groin. He allowed four runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings in his season debut.

After going scoreless in the first 17 innings this season, the Cincinnati offense erupted in the first inning.

Bruce was behind 1-2 in the count when he launched a 449-foot, two-run homer to right field. Frazier followed with a 474-foot blast into the left-field bleachers on an 0-2 pitch.

Peralta's two-run, line-drive homer in the second sparked the St. Louis offense.

After replay confirmation of Holliday's hit in the seventh, RBI singles by outfielder Allen Craig and catcher Yadier Molina gave St. Louis a three-run lead.

Reds rookie catcher Tucker Barnhart, who landed a spot on the Opening Day roster for his defense, did not disappoint in his first career start. Barnhart completed a force play with the bases loaded in the third and threw out Cardinals center fielder John Jay attempting to steal third in the fourth.

The Cardinals led 7-3 before Frazier hit a three-run homer off St. Louis reliever Pat Neshek to make it a one-run game. But St. Louis held on.

"We had a lot of missed opportunities," Matheny said. "It's the sort of thing we need to do more consistently."

NOTES: Cardinals 1B Matt Adams reacted to a video that appeared to show him shoving a Cincinnati Reds fan after lunging into the stands for a foul ball in Thursday's game. "I was just trying to keep from going into the stands," Adams said. "I was in line to catch it. But he caught it over me." ... The Reds and Cardinals were the first teams to trade 1-0 wins to begin a season since the Braves and Cubs did it in 1993 at Wrigley Field. ... Wednesday's game was the 13th 1-0 final in the 12-year history of Great American Ball Park. ... Reds OF Jay Bruce celebrated his 27th birthday on Thursday. ... Reds manager Bryan Price praised SS Zack Cozart for his diving grab to the end the eighth inning and sacrifice bunt in the ninth to set up Wednesday's 1-0 walk-off win. "We've gotten away from what an everyday shortstop looks like," Price said. "He doesn't have to look like Jeter, A-Rod or Garciaparra, guys who hit home runs. You want guys who play defense, a professional hitter who can get the bunt down like he did last night."

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League type:
Free Yahoo League
League size:
10 players
Draft time:
Aug 30 9:00 am
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