Cardinals bats finally explode in victory


Redbird Rants editor Steve Ungrey analyzes the Cardinals’ 10-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds, which lowered the team’s magic number to seven.

Try as they might, the St. Louis Cardinals just can’t shake their National League Central competition.

At least they got the bats to come awake.

Behind the solid pitching of Lance Lynn, St. Louis broke out the whipping sticks and demolished the Cincinnati Reds, 10-2, in action Wednesday at Busch Stadium.

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The win gives St. Louis a 96-56 record and brings them four wins shy of 100. More importantly, the magic number goes down to seven (any combination of St. Louis wins and losses by the Pittsburgh Pirates).

Lynn struck out four in six innings of work and improved his record to 12-10 overall.

Matt Carpenter provided spark at the top of the lineup with a two-run homer. Outfielder Tommy Pham also came through with a pair of hits, but the real encouraging news came toward the bottom of the lineup.

Randal Grichuk returned to action in the starting lineup and had his 17th home run of the season, and infielder Mark Reynolds blasted a trio of hits. All told, St. Louis managed 13 hits off Cincinnati pitcher Brandon Finnegan and his relief corps.

It marked the first time since an Aug. 23 win over the San Diego Padres that St. Louis scored 10 or more runs in a win.

This was the last game against the Reds this season. St. Louis begins a four-game set at home Thursday against the Milwaukee Brewers, who beat the Chicago Cubs 4-1 to knock the Cubs seven games back in the NL Central race. Another loss by the Cubs or another Cardinal win will knock the Cubs out of division-title contention.

Michael Wacha (16-6, 3.46) carries his 148 strikeouts into this game, but he also carries a 6.10 ERA against the Brew Crew in three career appearances.