CINCINNATI -- In a start that no one knew with certainty Lance Lynn would make until the non-waiver Trade Deadline passed on Monday, the veteran right-hander extended his run of dominance into a new month while pitching the Cardinals to a 4-1 victory over the Reds on Saturday. The win was St. Louis' first in six tries at Great American Ball Park this season.
Paul DeJong nudged the Cardinals in front with a two-run, third-inning homer, one of three hits surrendered by Reds starter Luis Castillo in his 6 1/3-inning start. Lynn made the lead stand with a six-inning start marred only by Joey Votto's first-inning home run.
"Lance has been great for us lately, and our starting pitching has been great," DeJong said. "Now we just have to get them some runs and close some games out."
Lynn limited the Reds to one hit after that opening inning and ran his ERA over his last six starts to 1.21.
"He's an interesting guy to watch," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "You watch him throw and he's easing in these 86, 87 miles an hour fastballs, then here's a 93, 94 when he needs it, or he cuts it in on lefties' hands, or makes a big pitch with a change-up or breaking pitch.
"Compared to where he was when he came up and pounded fastballs, he's a completely different pitcher. It's a challenge when you face him."
The Cardinals chased Castillo from the game while adding a pair of insurance runs in the seventh. Castillo was charged with four runs (three earned) while walking five on the night.
With the win, the Cardinals remain 4 1/2 games back of the Cubs in the National League Central. The Reds entered the game trying to reel off six consecutive home wins over the Cardinals for the first time since 2002-03.
"We have to win in bunches," Lynn said, of the team's chances of making a late-season push in the division. "That's pretty much it. We just have to start clicking together. Everyone just needs to concentrate on what their jobs are, and if they do that, good things can happen."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Long gone: The Reds' streak of four consecutive games without allowing a homer -- the longest such stretch for the club since 2015 -- ended with DeJong's 375-foot blast into the left-field seats. The home run gave the Cardinals their first lead since Wednesday and made DeJong the first player on the team to reach the 15-homer mark this season. Castillo has now surrendered eight home runs in his first nine career Major League starts.
"I made a mistake," Castillo said. "I left a two-seamer over the plate. He hit it pretty good." More >
Pinch-hit payoff: Rather than try to squeeze one more inning out of Lynn, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny opted to pinch-hit Luke Voit in his place with a runner on first and one out in the seventh. Voit improved to 4-for-11 off the bench with a single to left and then capped the two-run inning with an aggressive run home on a passed ball. Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco might have prevented the other run in the inning, as well, had he been able to corral a throw home on a forceout attempt.
"We needed a little more offense," Matheny said. "[Lynn] looked good, but to send him out there at 90 pitches for one more inning when we have a chance in a park like this to send a Luke Voit up there who can bounce a ball out of here in a hurry, turn over our lineup by trying to keep something going, yeah, that was going to be it [for Lynn]."
"Right where the ear and the protector connects, it hit me right there. If I don't have that, I'm spitting out teeth." -- Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong on taking a 97-mph fastball off the mouth guard he added to his helmet this season
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Adam Duvall's first-inning triple was confirmed during a 40-second crew-chief review. Replays showed that the ball struck the top of the wall in center before bouncing back into play.
The Reds requested a replay review in the seventh after Voit hustled home to score on a passed ball. After a three-minute, 41-second review, it was determined there was not enough evidence to overturn the initial safe call made by home-plate umpire Lance Barrett.
Cardinals: After missing two starts while nursing mid-back tightness, Adam Wainwright will return to the rotation on Sunday to start the 12:10 p.m. CT rubber game. Wainwright, who went a season-long 7 2/3 innings in his last start on July 22, is 9-11 with a 5.01 ERA in 28 career appearances against the Reds.
Reds:Homer Bailey (3-5, 7.32 ERA) gets the start Sunday at Great American Ball Park at 1:10 p.m. ET. Bailey has quality starts in four of his last six outings and is facing the Cardinals for the first time since April 18, 2015.
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