St. Louis Cardinals beat Reds 8-4, magic number falls to 5 games

With the St. Louis Cardinals 8-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday night, their magic number fell to five games as the Pittsburgh Pirates lost.

Tony Cruz hit his first home run of the season in the second inning. It was the first home run all year for the backup catcher, who took the start behind the plate with Yadier Molina taking over at first base with Matt Adams being under the weather, and his second career home run against the Reds. The three-run blast tied Cruz’s single-game high. He previously recorded a 3-RBI game against the Milwaukee Brewers on July 12, 2014.

When Jon Jay was hit by a pitch in the third inning, he joined franchise record books as it marked the 20th time this season that the outfielder was plunked. Since 1914, Solly Hemus (20 in 1952) and Fernando Vina (28 in 2000 & 22 in 2001) are the only Cardinals that have been hit by a pitch 20 or more times in a single season.

Kolten Wong joined the Cardinals home run parade with his 12th blast of the season in the third inning. Ten of the second baseman’s home runs this season have come at Busch Stadium. Wong also recorded his fifth three-hit game this season.

Rookie outfielder Randal Grichuk hit his first career pinch-hit home run in the sixth inning. His solo home run was only the second pinch-hit home run this season with the previous coming from Wong at the start of September. It was the second consecutive game in which the outfielder hit a home run.

With Molina’s 20th double in the second inning, he has now recorded 20 doubles in the last four seasons.

Jason Motte picked up the win–his first of the 2014 season. It was Motte’s first win since July 26, 2012. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has not ruled out using the pitcher as an emergency catcher.

Michael Wacha started for the Cardinals. Entering the game, Wacha was 5-0 with a 2.31 ERA over eight home starts this season with all eight being quality starts. Wacha did not get out of the fifth inning. It raises the question of what kind of role the second-year pitcher could play for the Cardinals in October.

Carlos Martinez closed out the final inning of the game by extending his scoreless streak to 15.2 innings.