Game Report: Reds 2, Cardinals 0

By Rob Rains

As he was celebrating winning his major league debut Friday night, Amir Garrett was not concerned about two pitchers he never heard of - Barry Enright and Chris Saenz.

With his victory, Garrett became connected to both of those pitchers, but he doesn’t want to duplicate what happened to either of them after their debut win over the Cardinals.

Garrett pitched six shutout innings Friday night, allowing just two hits, to become the first opposing starter to win his debut at Busch Stadium against the Cardinals since Enright did it for the Diamondbacks on June 30, 2010.

That win turned out to be one of only seven major-league wins for Enright, who started only 25 more games before his career was over.

The total was a lot more than Saenz, who until Garrett was the last opposing pitcher to throw six or more shutout innings against the Cardinals in his debut. He did it for the Brewers on April 24, 2004, also allowing only two hits in six innings.

Saenz never won another game in the majors, and in fact never even appeared in another game. He was making a spot start that day, returned to Double A after the game and spent the rest of the season there before he had to undergo elbow surgery. He never made it back to the majors.

The left-handed Garrett should be staying in the Reds rotation.

“It’s not like we had a lot of chances,” said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny. “We couldn’t get a good feel against him. He threw a good game.”

The two hits were the fewest for the Cardinals in a shutout loss to the Reds in St. Louis since a 5-0 loss on June 7, 1994.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: The Cardinals had only five baserunners in the game. Mike Leake singled in the third and Kolten Wong singled in the fifth for the only hits, with the other three runners reaching via a walk. Matt Carpenter took second on a defensive indifference play with two outs in the ninth to become the only runner to reach second base … Four of the first five hitters in the Cardinals’ lineup are now hitting less than .200 and the team’s combined average is .188 … Through the first four games of the season the team is a collective 4-of-28 with runners in scoring position.

On the mound: Despite the loss Leake turned in one of his best starts for the Cardinals. He allowed one run on six hits over eight innings, walking one and striking out six. The only run he allowed came in the sixth when Billy Hamilton singled, stole second and scored on a double by Joey Votto … The Cardinals lost all four of Leake’s starts against the Reds last year, when he allowed 18 runs in 22 1/3 innings … The other Reds run came on a home run by Scott Schebler off Kevin Siegrist with two outs in the ninth.

Key stat: The loss dropped the Cardinals to 1-3 to start the season but it has not been because of the starting pitchers. In the four games, the starters have a combined 1.78 ERA, allowing five earned runs in 25 2/3 innings.

Worth noting: Hamilton’s steal increased his career total against Yadier Molina to 24 stolen bases in 26 attempts. … Tyler Lyons made his first rehab start for Memphis on Friday night, working 3 1/3 scoreless innings. He allowed three hits, walked one and struck out two … The last Reds starter to make his debut in St. Louis was Norm Charlton on Aug. 19, 1988 … In his last 13 games against the Cardinals Votto is hitting .415 (22-of-53) with nine extra base hits and nine RBIs.

Looking ahead: The two teams will play the second game of the series at 1:15 on Saturday with Michael Wacha making his season debut. Bronson Arroyo is scheduled to start for the Reds.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains