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Reds explode against Wainwright, rout Cardinals

The SportsXchange

ST. LOUIS -- Cincinnati second baseman Brandon Phillips exploded at a reporter before Wednesday night's game, then virtually clammed up after the game.

But Phillips and the Reds did plenty of talking with their bats.

Bombing St. Louis ace Adam Wainwright for eight hits and nine runs in the first two innings, Cincinnati salvaged the final game of a three-game series with a 10-0 rout.

Homer Bailey (9-10) worked 7 1/3 scoreless innings for his first win in six career decisions at Busch Stadium, allowing just five hits, walking two and fanning seven. Bailey was 0-5 with a 6.90 ERA in St. Louis entering the game.

"About time," Bailey said with a smile.

Jay Bruce stroked a two-run single to initiate scoring in a six-run first, then bombed a 438-foot homer to right-center with two men aboard in the top of the second for a 9-0 lead that sent the crowd of 35,698 into library mode.

"He made mistakes and we just took advantage of them," Bruce said of Wainwright.

The outcome represented just the Reds' fifth win in 15 games against the Cardinals. Cincinnati (75-59) moved within 3 1/2 games of St. Louis (78-55) in the National League Central, while Pittsburgh edged within a half-game after beating Milwaukee, 7-1.

Reds manager Dusty Baker made some lineup changes before this one, most notably moving Phillips, who's third in the league with 95 RBIs, from the cleanup spot to the No. 2 hole. After Tuesday night's 6-1 loss to the Cardinals, Phillips tweeted that he would talk to Baker about changing his role.

Beat writer C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweeted that Phillips perhaps should hit somewhere else in the order. Phillips cursed at Rosecrans in the visitors' clubhouse, but said almost nothing afterward.

"I don't know what happened today," Phillips said when asked about the game.

After ignoring two other questions, Phillips was queried about batting second, the spot Baker would prefer to hit him daily.

"I'm not talking about it," said Phillips, concluding the interview.

Phillips singled and scored his first two times up, part of the Reds' all-out assault on Wainwright. Coming off a 128-pitch complete-game 3-1 win Friday night over Atlanta, Wainwright (15-8) never came close to finding that groove.

Ryan Ludwick followed Bruce's single with an RBI double off the left field wall. Todd Frazier grounded out, scoring Bruce to make the score 4-0 and Ludwick trotted home on a wild pitch. Bailey capped the inning with a run-scoring single on the 10th pitch of his at-bat.

"I knew we had a chance because 128 pitches was quite a strain on him," Baker said. "Any time you can put a guy in the stretch early and capitalize, it's good."

Wainwright will get another crack at Cincinnati when the teams open a four-game series on Labor Day in the Great American Ballpark.

"It's one of those you've just got to throw away," he said of the loss. "Next start, I'll be fine."

Chris Heisey finished the scoring with a leadoff homer in the ninth, his ninth of the year. His shot reached the third deck in left field.

NOTES: St. Louis recalled RHP Michael Blazek from Triple-A Memphis on Wednesday and optioned RHP Carlos Martinez to the Redbirds. Martinez picked up his first major league win Monday night against Cincinnati with two innings of relief, and will likely return to the Cardinals in September when rosters expand to 40 players. ... The Reds get a day off Thursday after 20 straight days with games, the maximum allowed by MLB rules. They open a weekend series Friday night in Colorado. ... St. Louis' Joe Kelly became the 11th pitcher in franchise history to go 5-0 or better in August with his fifth win of the month Tuesday. He's the first to do it since Chris Carpenter went 5-0 in 2009.
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