The St. Louis Cardinals escaped a sizable early hole by scoring 10 runs in the sixth inning and then hanging on for a 12-11 win against the host Cincinnati Reds on Friday night.
Reds starter Tyler Mahle brought a 7-0 lead into the sixth inning and appeared in good shape to end a personal five-decision losing streak, but gave up four runs before the bullpen and defense allowed six more.
Jared Hughes (3-3) took the loss after allowing four unearned runs in the sixth.
Jose Martinez hit a tie-breaking three-run homer in the sixth, and Paul DeJong drove in four runs to give him seven RBIs in the past two games for the Cardinals.
Michael Wacha (6-4) pitched 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief to earn the win.
Cincinnati catcher Ryan Lavarnway, who signed a one-year deal on Thursday after he was released by the New York Yankees, had two home runs, a double and six RBIs, the most by a Cincinnati player in his team debut since at least 1920.
Jesse Winker had two hits and two RBIs to lead the Reds.
Mahle pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing four runs and seven hits, striking out five and walking one. He also had two hits.
Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright continued to struggle against Cincinnati.
He allowed seven runs and nine hits in 3 1/3 innings, raising his ERA against the Reds to 5.31, the highest against any team he has faced more than twice.
Wainwright gave up four runs in the third on RBI doubles by Lavarnway and Joey Votto, and run-scoring singles by Jose Peraza and Yasiel Puig before Lavarnway's three-run homer in the fourth made it 7-0.
After the Cardinals plated the first six runs in the sixth, Votto had a chance to end the inning on a grounder to first, but he booted the ball, allowing another run scored to make it 7-7.
Martinez then homered to move the Cardinals ahead 10-7.
DeJong went deep for the second consecutive game in the seventh for a 12-7 lead.
Lavarnway hit a two-run homer in the eighth to make it 12-9.
The Reds scored two runs in the ninth before Votto grounded out to end the game with the tying run on third.
--Field Level Media