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Reds 7, Cardinals 2

The SportsXchange

CINCINNATI -- Right-hander Mat Latos pitched his fourth career complete game to lift the Cincinnati Reds to a 7-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday.

Shin-Soo Choo and Joey Votto homered for Cincinnati in the opening game of a key four-game series against National League Central contenders.

Latos (14-5) gave up four hits and two earned runs. He walked one and struck out two.

Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright (15-9) was roughed up by the Reds for the second straight time. He allowed six earned runs on 10 hits in six innings on Monday, after giving up nine runs on eight hits in just two innings in his previous start against them on Aug. 28.

In the first inning on Monday, Ryan Ludwick's RBI single put the Reds ahead 1-0.

Todd Frazier doubled leading off the second inning and scored the second run on Zack Cozart's single to center. Choo's two-run homer on a 1-0 pitch from Wainwright put the Reds ahead 4-0.

St. Louis scored twice in the third when Wainwright doubled and scored on a single by Matt Carpenter, who later scored on Matt Holliday's sacrifice fly, making the score 4-2. Holliday went 2-for-2 with one RBI.

Votto's solo homer on a 1-2 pitch from Wainwright in the fourth put Cincinnati ahead 6-2.

Cincinnati (77-61) defeated St. Louis for the second straight time, but just the fourth in 12 meetings this season.

Latos, who entered Monday with a 2.52 ERA in four starts against St. Louis, retired 10 straight in one stretch en route to his fourth straight win over the Cardinals.

Cardinals left-hander Randy Choate walked Jay Bruce with the bases loaded in the eighth, making the score 7-2. Bruce went 2-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI.

St. Louis (79-58) lost for the fourth time in five games. The Cardinals and Reds are chasing the first-place Pittsburgh Pirates in a tight NL Central race.

NOTES: Cardinals C Yadier Molina left the game after five innings with left wrist soreness. He is listed as day-to-day. ... Cardinals RF Carlos Beltran was not in the lineup for the second straight day due to a sore back. He was available off the bench. "That's how we've done it all year," manager Mike Matheny said. "Instead of trying to push him through, we've tried to pay attention to how he feels." ... The Reds reinstated C Corky Miller from the 15-day disabled list, recalled from INF Neftali Soto from Class AAA Louisville, and selected the contract of OF Billy Hamilton from Louisville. Hamilton is the club's top-rated prospect. "They hinted around every now and then, and said 'Be ready,' " Hamilton said. "It'll take a game to feel real. My job is late in games to play defense, run the bases. I'll do whatever they need me to do." ... Reds manager Dusty Baker said he'll ease the September call-ups into action with his club in a pennant race. "I love having young players, we just want them to be prepared," Baker said. "As a kid, you're always fearful you're going to cost the pennant that one game."

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