Sunday, April 17, 2016

9 doubles lead Reds over Wainwright, Cards

The Reds snapped a four-game losing streak Saturday afternoon by staging a 9-8 come-from-behind victory over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium.
Cincinnati trailed, 4-0, in the second inning, but it rallied with two runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth that tied the game, then took the lead with a four-run sixth. Every member of the starting nine -- except Scott Schebler -- had at least one hit in the game. It was Schebler's RBI groundout to second base in the sixth inning that pushed home the go-ahead run.
"Every run is welcomed," said Reds right fielder Jay Bruce, who hit a solo homer in the top of the ninth that would be the difference. "We were able to get off schneid today, so that was good."
Much of the damage came against Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright, who was touched up for seven earned runs on 10 hits over 5 1/3 innings for the loss. Wainwright came into the day 3-0 with a 0.39 ERA and one extra-base hit allowed over 23 innings pitched in three starts vs. the Reds since the start of the 2014 season.
"Listen, you throw the ball down the middle of the plate, these big league hitters will punish you for it," Wainwright said. "I've made more mistakes these first three games than I have entire seasons I feel like. The only way I'm not going to come out of this is if I get down on myself and start pouting around about it."
Reds starter Brandon Finnegan threw 98 pitches over five innings and gave up four unearned runs in the second inning, including Stephen Piscotty's three-run homer. The lefty starter, who allowed four hits, also helped himself at the plate with two hits, which included a leadoff double and a run scored in the fifth inning. Finnegan, who felt he lacked sharpness, had to talk his way into getting to pitch the bottom of the fifth.
"You're not going to have your best stuff every day, so you're going to have to go out there and you're going to have to battle and give it all you've got for as long you can," Finnegan said. "I didn't want to come out of the game, but the pitch limit hurt me there, but you know, we had a real good team win today."
Cincinnati's bullpen, taxed with heavy use this week, was tasked with finishing the final four innings. Blake Wood gave up his first run of the season in the sixth, and Caleb Cotham did likewise with an unearned run in the seventh, when his two-out error pickoff throw precededJedd Gyorko's RBI single that made it a two-run game. Tony Cingrani provided a perfect eighth inning of relief ahead of J.J. Hoover, who worked the ninth for his first save of the season -- but not before making the game tight. Brandon Moss hit a two-out, two-run homer to left field that made it a one-run game.
Double trouble: The Reds collected nine doubles, tying a club record from May 19, 1999, vs. the Rockies. Brandon Phillips had two of the big ones, with his two-out RBI double in the fifth inning scoring Zack Cozart and tying the game at 4. There were two outs again in the sixth, when Phillips' RBI double to left field made it an 8-4 game.The nine doubles were also tied for the most hit by any team at Busch Stadium III. More >
Waino roughed up: For the second consecutive start, Wainwright couldn't hold on to a big lead. After giving up a 4-1 lead in Atlanta on Sunday, Wainwright couldn't protect a 4-0 lead against the Reds, giving up two runs apiece in the fourth and fifth and three in the sixth. Wainwright allowed just one walk after walking eight in his first two starts, but five of the 10 hits against him were doubles. More >
"I was given another big lead, and I blew it again," Wainwright said. "But the only way I can look at it in a positive light is the first three or four innings, I was pretty crisp and I need to draw off of that."
Bruce provides insurance: In the ninth inning vs. Jonathan Broxton, Bruce hit a 2-2 pitch to right field for a solo homer that gave the Reds a three-run lead, and it proved to be the difference-maker in the game. It was Bruce's third homer of the season and No. 211 for his career, which passed Ken Griffey Jr. for sole possession of seventh on the club's all-time list. It was Bruce who also provided the Reds' first run with an RBI single to left field in the fourth inning that scored Joey Votto.
"When you do think about the people who have come through and worn a Reds uniform and do the things they've done in a Reds uniform for this franchise, to even be mentioned in the conversation is certainly something I don't take for granted," Bruce said.
Bats stay hot: Piscotty had two hits, including a homer, and drove in four of the Cardinals' runs. Aledmys Diaz, who hit a three-run homer on Friday, reached safely three times, had a pair of hits and scored twice. Moss hit his third homer in the last four games and had two hits.
"The offense was good again," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "Guys are driving the ball, putting together big at-bats, taking the free base when they get it and pushing it on the bases. I like everything we're doing offensively, and we just need to keep going."
"This is the guy that I don't think many Cardinal fans got to see last year. Just to watch how the ball does come off his bat, he's on a nice little run now. But this is the guy that we're starting to see watching in batting practice and just the way he's going about his at-bats. He's got some serious power." -- Matheny, on Moss
"He's not throwing the ball the way that he's capable of. But he's joining a club with a lot of members. I don't mean any disrespect by that, but we're not throwing the ball as well as we're capable of. It will get better. Also, it's getting used to becoming the closer. There's definitely going to be a different feeling entering the game in a save situation as opposed to coming in the eighth or seventh. To match up with one hitter, maybe get two outs instead of three. He needs to get acclimated to it. He'll get better." -- Reds manager Bryan Price, on Hoover, who has a 17.18 ERA in five appearances with three homers allowed
In the eighth inning on a 1-1 count, Cozart swung and missed on a pitch from Seung Hwan Oh. It was the first time this season that Cozart missed with a swing. It came on his 45th swing of 2016. On the 46th swing, he lined a one-out double to left-center field for his third hit of the game.
"I said, 'I guess that's a good thing,' I don't know," Cozart said when he was informed of his streak ending. "Sometimes you swing and dribble it in play and maybe want to miss it or something. I'm usually a pretty good contact hitter in general anyway. I think that's why I'm more pleased about my hitting right now. I'm not swinging at bad pitches. That's the key. If you can bring them up over the plate, you've got a chance. That's what I'm trying to do."
Reds: Jon Moscot will be activated from the disabled list to make his 2016 debut Sunday vs. the Cardinals in the series finale at 2:15 p.m. ET. Moscot strained his left intercostal muscle in Spring Training, which delayed his comeback from June surgery that repaired a separated shoulder on his non-throwing arm.
Cardinals: Michael Wacha pitched six scoreless innings during his last start against Milwaukee and toes the rubber on Sunday against the Reds. Wacha is 5-1 with a 1.87 ERA in 10 career appearances against the Reds, nine of which were starts, and he has held them to one run or fewer in six of those starts.

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