CINCINNATI -- The Reds had some costly mistakes Friday that, on many nights, would have kept them from coming away with a victory. But in the opener vs. the Cardinals, they still found a way to overcome them, claw back from a four-run deficit and force extra innings.However, the outcome
CINCINNATI -- The Reds had some costly mistakes Friday that, on many nights, would have kept them from coming away with a victory. But in the opener vs. the Cardinals, they still found a way to overcome them, claw back from a four-run deficit and force extra innings.
However, the outcome still wasn't pleasant, as the Cardinals emerged with the 7-6 victory in 10 innings at Great American Ball Park on Jedd Gyorko's RBI single against Reds closer Raisel Iglesias. Cincinnati trailed, 5-1, in the third inning and was down, 6-4, after seven innings, but scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth.
"I know it [stinks] right now, but there were positives," said right fielder Scott Schebler, who had a career-high four hits. "I feel like if we just keep grinding stuff out, eventually that will carry into a winning streak. Just playing hard like that will carry us at some point."
Matt Harvey gave the Reds something their starters haven't done enough this season: length. Harvey was the team's first starter to work six innings since Luis Castillo did so on May 24. But he allowed five earned runs and four hits with three walks and five strikeouts.
Three of the four hits Harvey gave up and all five runs came via home runs. A St. Louis homer was hit in each of his first three innings before the right-hander settled in and retired 11 of his final 13 batters.
"We did a great job of fighting back, and I thought we were going to sneak it out and get a win there," Harvey said. "It's two bad pitches that I wish I could take back, but that's baseball."
The first homer by Jose Martinez came on a solid 1-0 slider that was lifted to the opposite field for a solo homer that barely cleared the right-field fence. But the other two -- a solo shot from Yairo Munoz in the second inning and a second long ball by Martinez on a hanging changeup for a three-run homer in the third that made it a 5-1 game -- were mistake pitches.
"That one had more well-thrown pitches [from Harvey] than any of the games he has pitched, and he's thrown some good ones for us," Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said. "But the select few bad pitches he made really hurt him."
Against Cardinals starter Luke Weaver, the Reds chipped away at the deficit. It was 5-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning when Jesse Winker drew a two-out, four-pitch walk with the bases loaded. Cincinnati drew three walks in the sixth against Weaver and reliever Austin Gomber and scored a run on Joey Votto's two-out RBI single to right field.
Michael Lorenzen followed Harvey with two innings of relief. A leadoff walk by Lorenzen to Kolten Wong in the seventh inning, followed by a wild pitch, led to a run on Matt Carpenter's one-out single to right field.
A 36-minute rain delay held up play before the bottom of the ninth, but the Reds came out strong after play resumed. Schebler led off with a double to left-center field against closer Bud Norris. Votto's second RBI single -- a liner to left-center field -- scored Schebler to make it a one-run game. Norris struck out Scooter Gennett, but Eugenio Suarez hit a soft single to left field.
Winker, who hit a walk-off homer in the Reds' 13-inning win over the Rockies on Thursday, tied the game with a RBI single off Gyorko's glove near third base and into left field.
The Reds looked to Iglesias to post a zero in the top of the 10th. But working for the third consecutive day for the third time in his career, it wasn't to be. With one out, Marcell Ozuna drew a four-pitch walk and went to third base on Yadier Molina's rolling single through the right side. Gyorko then slashed a hard RBI single to left field that broke the tie.
Schebler hit a two-out double to the right-field corner in the bottom of the 10th against John Brebbia. Tucker Barnhart had a 3-1 count before he was intentionally walked. But Brebbia struck out Brandon Dixon to end the game and notch his second save. Norris, who blew the save in the ninth, was awarded the victory. The Reds are 0-8 against the Cardinals this season.
"We've been down a number of games, multiple runs down, and come back. We've come back many times," Riggleman said. "It takes a lot of clutch hits to do that, and we've had a lot of that. But we just couldn't quite get over the hump."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Barnhart's mistake on the bases: Votto's RBI single in the sixth put runners on first and second with two outs and brought Gennett to the plate. In a 1-1 count, Barnhart broke from second base in what appeared to be a delayed steal but was easily thrown out at third base by Molina. Barnhart was reading the pitch from second base and thought there would be contact from Gennett, which let to him taking off.
"I crossed over [my feet] and was in no man's land. I cost my team the momentum of the game," Barnhart said.
The Reds' eventual comeback did not make Barnhart feel any better.
"I'd like to think if I didn't make a stupid play there in the sixth inning, we had some good things going," he said. "It kind of put a damper on the momentum. But we got back in the game. A tough one to swallow tonight."
HE SAID IT
"We wouldn't still be here if I didn't throw that bad pitch. That's frustrating. Like I said, it was two pitches, so you can't really beat yourself up too much on that. It's part of baseball when that stuff happens. All in all, I threw the ball pretty well. It's probably the best I've felt in a long time. It's definitely something to build on." -- Harvey
Following a nice stretch of starts, Castillo has dropped his last two games. He will work to get back in the win column during Saturday's 4:10 p.m. ET tilt vs. the Cardinals. Castillo gave up a grand slam that marred what had the makings of a good day vs. the Padres on Sunday. He was out after 4 2/3 innings. Michael Wacha will get the start for St. Louis.
Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.