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Yadi's pickoff backs Lynn as Cards beat Reds

MLB.com

ST. LOUIS -- Sustaining the momentum built from a doubleheader sweep one day earlier, the Cardinals weathered Cincinnati's late-inning push to hold on for a 7-5 victory Friday that featured another collective offensive effort to support Lance Lynn's third straight quality start. A surprise pickoff throw from catcher Yadier Molina further highlighted the Cardinals' series-opening win.

After Scott Schebler's home run put the Reds ahead early, the Cardinals ambushed Tim Adleman for six runs (five earned). Dexter Fowler and Jedd Gyorko each connected for their fourth home runs of the season, with Fowler's blast giving the Cardinals a two-run lead in the third. Randal Grichuk and Kolten Wong, both of whom have been heating up over the past week, tallied run-scoring hits as well.

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ST. LOUIS -- Sustaining the momentum built from a doubleheader sweep one day earlier, the Cardinals weathered Cincinnati's late-inning push to hold on for a 7-5 victory Friday that featured another collective offensive effort to support Lance Lynn's third straight quality start. A surprise pickoff throw from catcher Yadier Molina further highlighted the Cardinals' series-opening win.

After Scott Schebler's home run put the Reds ahead early, the Cardinals ambushed Tim Adleman for six runs (five earned). Dexter Fowler and Jedd Gyorko each connected for their fourth home runs of the season, with Fowler's blast giving the Cardinals a two-run lead in the third. Randal Grichuk and Kolten Wong, both of whom have been heating up over the past week, tallied run-scoring hits as well.

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Video: CIN@STL: Gyorko increases the lead with a solo homer

Adleman's day ended after 5 1/3 innings, but Lynn was able to complete six thanks to a key assist from Molina. Trailing by two in the sixth inning, the Reds loaded the bases when Devin Mesoraco drew a two-out walk on Lynn's 101st pitch of the night. However, Lynn wouldn't have to throw another. Molina picked Eugenio Suarez off third base to end the threat.

Video: CIN@STL: Molina throws Suarez out on a heads-up play

"It was kind of a game-changing play right there," Lynn said. "I loaded the bases, and he bailed me out. You have to watch that guy behind the plate. He's sneaky."

The Reds did make things interesting by batting around in the eighth inning to shrink a six-run deficit to two. A two-run homer by Joey Votto and two-run double from Scooter Gennett forced the Cardinals to turn to closer Seung Hwan Oh, who stranded two to end that inning before covering the ninth to collect his sixth save.

Video: CIN@STL: Gennett plates two on a line-drive double

"It was certainly good to see our guys come back and make that push there in the eighth inning," Reds manager Bryan Price said.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Caught napping: Molina pulled off perhaps the most unusual pickoff play of his career when he helped Lynn get out of a bases-loaded mess without throwing a pitch. A nine-pitch walk to Mesoraco advanced Suarez to third, but Suarez arrived there casually and took a few unnecessary steps past the base. Molina saw it and snapped a throw to third, where Gyorko was ready to apply the tag.

"My mistake," Suarez said. "I wasn't paying attention and was out at the base, and he got me with the tag. I don't know how it happened. You've got to pay attention in the game. That's what happened."

Timely miscues hurt Reds

Leadoff jolt: After a 7-for-14 series against the Blue Jays, Fowler continued to be a spark for the offense Friday. He reached base three times, none more important than when he crushed a two-run homer to put the Cardinals ahead, 3-1. The homer was Fowler's fourth in his last five games at Busch Stadium. In the last two days, Fowler has been on base 10 times.

Video: CIN@STL: Fowler launches a two-run home run

"I think more than anything, Dex has really got us going," Gyorko said. "He's really swinging the bat well, and anytime he gets on the bases, I think that's what starts the whole offense."

QUOTABLE
"I just see a really good approach to the game, all the way around. Kolten is making really nice strides in the consistency column, which is the one thing we've really been hoping for."
-- Cardinals manager Mike Matheny on Kolten Wong, who extended his hitting streak to five games and reached base three times

WHAT'S NEXT
Reds: Veteran righty Bronson Arroyo will make his fifth start of the season and his second against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, on Saturday afternoon. In his season debut, on April 8, Arroyo allowed six runs on six hits in four innings.

Cardinals: Weather permitting, the Cardinals and Reds will continue their three-game series with a 1:15 p.m. CT game on Saturday. Mike Leake will be in search of his fourth win as he starts for the Cardinals. Leake ranks second in the National League with a 1.32 ERA and four quality starts.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast.

Nate Latsch is a contributor to MLB.com, based in St. Louis.