Reds clobber Cardinals to keep pressure on D-backs in postseason race
Sep 29, 2023, 8:47 PM | Updated: 8:47 pm
(Photo by Joe Puetz/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Cincinnati hit six home runs including Nick Martini’s three-run shot in the first inning in a 19-2 rout of the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night that kept the Reds alive in the National League wild-card race.
Jonathan India, Spencer Steer, Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Noelvi Marte and Tyler Stephenson also homered for the Reds who scored their most runs since putting up 20 against the Chicago Cubs on May 26, 2022.
Cincinnati remain tied with the Cubs 1 1/2 games behind Miami for the last NL wild card. The Cardinals, at 69-91, have their most losses since going 70-92 in 1990.
Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright, who announced on Tuesday that he is retiring after 18 seasons with the team, pinch hit in the sixth inning and grounded out to second base.
Brandon Williamson (5-5) allowed two runs on five hits in six innings for his first win since Aug. 7, and Carson Spiers pitched the final three innings for his first career save.
Jake Woodford (2-3) allowed seven runs on six hits in 1 2/3 innings.
Richie Palacios hit a two-run homer in the third inning for St. Louis’ only runs.
Marte and Encarnacion-Strand homered off Casey Lawrence in the fourth inning and Stephenson hit his off Andrew Suárez later in the inning to leave Cincinnati one home run short of tying the franchise’s single-game high of seven last achieved in 2021.
Will Benson drove in Elly De La Cruz with a triple down the right field line and scored on India’s home run in the second inning to increase the Reds’ lead to 6-0, before Steer chased Woodford with his team-leading 23rd home run.
Martini hit his home run into the right-center field bullpen to put Cincinnati up 3-0 in the first.
Wainwright came to the plate with the Reds ahead by 12 runs. It was his first plate appearance since Oct. 6, 2021. Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol announced Tuesday that Wainwright, who won his 200th career game on Sept. 18, would not pitch for the remainder of the season but would remain on the active roster to be eligible to hit. Wainwright is a .192 lifetime hitter in 743 career plate appearances with 10 home runs and won a Silver Slugger award in 2017.
Benson was ejected by home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi after the top of the eighth inning for arguing balls and strikes after being called out on strikes to end the inning.
MOVING ON UP
Prior to Friday’s game, the Reds promoted vice president and general manager Nick Krall to president of baseball operations and vice president and assistant general manager Brad Meador to senior vice president and general manager.
Reds: Placed RHP Daniel Duarte (right shoulder tightness) on the 15-day injured list and recalled Spiers from Triple-A Louisville.
Reds RHP Connor Phillips (1-0, 5.66 ERA) will face Cardinals LHP Drew Rom (1-4, 7.98 ERA) in a duel of rookies on Saturday night.
Cubs move a step closer to playoff elimination, losing to Brewers in 10 innings
MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Chicago Cubs were pushed to the brink of playoff elimination by the NL Central champion Milwaukee Brewers, who won 4-3 Friday night on Carlos Santana’s run-scoring double in the 10th inning.
Chicago lost its fourth straight and fell 1 1/2 games behind Miami, which beat Pittsburgh, for the NL’s third and final wild-card spot. The Marlins hold the tiebreaker over the Cubs.
Chicago seemed well on its way to earning a playoff berth less than three weeks ago when it owned a 78-67 record, but the Cubs have gone 4-11 since.
Jeimer Candelario homered in the eighth and Ian Happ went deep in the ninth as Chicago rallied after trailing 3-0 through seven innings.
But the Cubs couldn’t close the deal.
Caleb Boushley (1-0), a Wisconsin native making his major league debut, struck out Patrick Wisdom with the bases loaded in the top of the 10th. Boushley had allowed the tying homer to Happ in the ninth.
Santana led off the bottom of the 10th with a double off José Cuas (3-2) that brought home automatic runner Blake Perkins.
In the fifth, the 37-year-old Santana hit his first triple since 2019, driving in two runs against Kyle Hendricks.
The Brewers were resting their top pitchers as they prepare for the postseason. That’s why Colin Rea was starting instead of Brandon Woodruff, who is expected to pitch Game 2 of Milwaukee’s wild-card series on Wednesday.
Rea threw five scoreless innings as the Brewers built a 3-0 lead. But the Cubs had more success against the Milwaukee bullpen.
Candelario homered and Christopher Morel tripled and scored off Clayton Andrews in the eighth. Andrews, who entered the night with a 43.20 ERA in three appearances, worked a scoreless seventh but struggled in his second inning of work. His ERA is now 27.00.
Happ tied the game with a 417-foot drive over the wall in right-center.
Nico Hoerner fouled a ball off his left knee in the sixth inning and left the game an inning later. The Cubs said he had a bruise.
Cubs RHP Adbert Alzolay (forearm strain) was activated from the injured list. He hadn’t pitched since Sept. 9. The Cubs optioned RHP Keegan Thompson to their spring facility in Arizona.
LHP Jordan Wicks (4-1, 3.00 ERA) pitches for the Cubs on Saturday. The Brewers hadn’t named a starter.