St. Louis Cardinals: Long ball and big inning carry Cards to win over Reds

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 5: Jose Martinez
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 5: Jose Martinez /

The St. Louis Cardinals took advantage of a gassed Cincinnati Reds pitching staff with four home runs in a 13-4 blowout road win against their familiar divisional foe.

There’s no better way to open up a seven game road trip than to win big and gain some ground in the division. That’s just what the St. Louis Cardinals did on Thursday night.

While it may be hard to complain about a 13-4 win, there was plenty for Cardinal Nation to roll its collective eyes about in this one. Namely the continued problems with leaving runners on base. More on that later.

Dexter Fowler finally gave his daughter and her classmates something to be proud of when he opened the game with a sharp line drive and came around to score on a Jose Martinez single in the first inning. Yadier Molina then singled in Matt Carpenter who had walked earlier in the inning.

The Reds answered back in the home half with two runs of their own off Cardinals starter Michael Wacha. Wacha surrendered two more runs in the home half of the third after Marcell Ozuna gave the Cardinals the lead with a solo home run in the top half of the frame.

That is all Wacha would surrender as he settled in for the eventual win. Wacha went 5.0 innings while giving up three earned runs on five hits, three walks and five strikeouts. It brought Wacha’s record to 2-1 on the year.

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Ozuna was joined by teammates Paul DeJong, Jose Martinez, and Yadier Molina who all had solo shots of their own. Martinez had the best night of any Cardinal. He was 4-for-5 with a walk, a run, and 6 RBI while finishing just a triple short of the cycle.

It’s a good thing the offense woke up considering how things went in a couple of innings this game. The St. Louis Cardinals only managed to get one run in the fifth inning with the bases loaded and no outs. Austin Brice walked Jose Martinez to score the only run that inning.

The sixth inning was nearly as bad. DeJong’s fourth home run of the season led things off. However, the Cardinals found themselves with one out and the bases loaded once again. They were unable to capitalize and score any more runs that inning. It’s an unsettling and aggravating scene that fans are tired of getting used to seeing.

That’s when the seventh inning happened. The Reds sent Zack Weiss in for his Major League debut, and it was historic. After leading off the inning with back-to-back jacks from Martinez and Molina, Weiss became the first pitcher ever to surrender a home run to the first two batters he ever faced in the majors.

It was all downhill for the Reds from there. Reds pitchers combined to walk five Cardinal hitters in a row. As a result, the Redbirds batted around in the seventh and ran the score up to 12-4.

The St. Louis Cardinals would score one more run in the ninth inning. Infielder Cliff Pennington was asked to pitch for the Reds because there were no arms left to send out there. Martinez brought Tommy Pham around to score with his second double of the night. Mike Mayers got the save by pitching three full innings to end the game.

Next: Cardinals need to make changes

The Cardinals will take on the Reds again Friday in Cincinnati as Luke Weaver toes the rubber against Tyler Mahle.