Cardinals shut down slumping Reds again
EditorsNote: restores dropped word from lede; minor edits throughout
Nolan Arenado hit a two-run homer in the first inning, and five pitchers combined for a shutout Sunday as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Cincinnati Reds 2-0.
The Cardinals (73-69) took two of three games over the weekend while handing the Reds (75-69) their sixth consecutive series loss.
Cardinals starting pitcher J.A. Happ and four relievers allowed only five hits by the Reds, who lost for the fifth time in their last seven games.
St. Louis won for the fourth time in the last five games to tighten the National League wild-card race.
Happ (9-8) allowed just two hits and one walk in 5 1/3 innings. Luis Garcia, T.J. McFarland, Genesis Cabrera and Giovanny Gallegos combined to allow just three hits the rest of the way. Gallegos got the last three outs to earn his eighth save.
Reds starting pitcher Sonny Gray (7-7) worked seven innings and allowed just two hits besides the Arenado homer. He struck out six and walked only one.
The Cardinals got the only runs they needed in the first when Tyler O’Neill hit a two-out single and Arenado followed with his home run.
In the past two games, Arenado has had a triple, two homers and five RBIs.
Happ had to work out of trouble in the third inning. Asdrubal Cabrera reached on an error leading off and Jonathan India hit a two-out single. But Tyler Stephenson grounded out to strand them.
Gray settled in and did not allow another hit until Tommy Edman hit a one-out single in the sixth inning. After Edman stole second base, Paul Goldschmidt drew a walk.
But Gray struck out O’Neill and got Arenado to fly out to end the threat.
Delino DeShields hit a leadoff double in the eighth inning off Cabrera. The Reds failed to capitalize, though, as Jose Barrero struck out, India flied out, and Stephenson struck out.
Mike Moustakas hit a two-out double in the ninth inning off Gallegos, but Max Schrock struck out to end the game.
--Field Level Media