CINCINNATI -- Whether the deficits are big or small this season, the Reds' lineup seems to rarely go down quietly for a whole game. Although Cardinals ace Carlos Martinez tested them by facing the minimum for the first six innings, Cincinnati erupted for four runs in the seventh and emerged with a 4-2 victory on Monday night at Great American Ball Park.
"We've found a way to stay in almost every game," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "You're facing an ace, their Opening Day starter. He's an outstanding talent. It looked like he was on. He didn't really give us too much to be excited about until the seventh."
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After Billy Hamilton lit the spark with a leadoff bunt single, the bases were loaded with one out in the bottom of the seventh against Martinez when Eugenio Suarez hit a two-run double to center field. Martinez was pulled in favor of lefty reliever Kevin Siegrist to face next batter Scooter Gennett. It was Gennett who provided the go-ahead runs when he slashed a double near the right-field corner that scored Joey Votto and Suarez.
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"I felt good, but toward the end, that last inning kind of got out of hand," said Martinez. "It started snowballing. I tried my hardest to get as many strikes as I could, but … it was just pitches located where I didn't want them to be."
Lisalverto Bonilla retired the side in order during the top of the seventh for the victory after Reds starter Asher Wojciechowski allowed two earned runs and eight hits over six innings in a well-pitched game. It was a hitless three-inning night for the Reds' bullpen as Michael Lorenzen was perfect in the eighth and Raisel Iglesias had a one-walk ninth while striking out the side for his 10th save in 10 attempts.
The game was scoreless until the fifth, when back-to-back doubles by Yadier Molina and Tommy Pham provided the first run. With one out, Martinez executed a perfect safety squeeze bunt for an RBI single that scored Pham. Martinez finished with 6 1/3 innings, four earned runs, four hits, two walks and eight strikeouts. He entered the night 4-1 with a 2.03 ERA over his previous six starts.
St. Louis has dropped 14 of its last 19 games and the last four after leading and letting the deciding runs score in the seventh or eighth innings.
"A little bit," manager Mike Matheny said when asked if this game had a familiar feel. "[There was an] opportunity maybe to put more offense to give it more of a safety net. Just a bunt single, single, walk [in the bottom of the seventh], and the next thing you know we're in some deep weeds. We've got to make some plays to get us out. Next thing you know we've got our back up against a wall."
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MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Almost was not enough: The game-tying hit by Suarez in the seventh inning was a screamer to center field that left the bat at 104 mph, according to Statcast™. It appeared that William Fowler got a late read on the ball and ran toward the wall to track it down. He almost made a diving catch near the warning track, but the ball popped out of his glove as he hit the ground for the two-run double. Statcast™ projected a 75 percent catch probability on that play since Fowler had to cover 54 feet in 3.9 seconds.
"Did that look like an easy catch? It wasn't an easy catch," Fowler said afterward. "I gave it my best. I felt like I had a real good jump on it. I feel like I did everything right, just couldn't hold onto it."
Duvall is all arm: Following a Stephen Piscotty leadoff walk, St. Louis had a chance to add to its 2-0 lead in the top of the sixth. But when Molina hit a one-out single to left field, Piscotty tried to go from first to third and was nailed by Adam Duvall for the second out. It was Duvall's second assist of the night. In the fifth inning, he threw out Paul DeJong at the plate trying to score from second base on a one-out single by Fowler.
"That was huge. Game saving, you could really say," Price said. "He may have saved the game with those two plays. It put us in a position where we could rally and not feel too far behind."
"He's a good pitcher, I've faced him a few times. He's real deceptive, tall guy. He's halfway to the plate already when he releases the ball. In that type of situation, I'll swing at good pitches, bearing down and just try to put the ball in play. Second and third with the infield in, I just put the bat on the ball, and it ended up working out today." -- Gennett, on Siegrist
Cardinals: The Cards will attempt to even up the series on Tuesday at 6:10 p.m. CT, when they send Adam Wainwright to the mound in search of his fifth straight win. Over his last four starts, Wainwright has allowed one run in 26 1/3 innings. He's scattered 16 hits, walked 10 and struck out 21 during that stretch.
Reds: When the series continues at 7:10 p.m. ET on Tuesday, the Reds will turn to Tim Adleman to make the start. Adleman has been effective in his last two starts, going 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA, while allowing three earned runs over 14 innings. He did not fare as well on April 28 at St. Louis, when the right-hander gave up six runs (five earned) and eight hits over 5 1/3 innings for a 7-5 loss.
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