Game Report: Reds 5, Cardinals 4

By Rob Rains

Carrying a 4-0 lead into the sixth inning, the Cardinals thought they had Sunday’s game lined up exactly the way they wanted.

It just didn’t work out that way.

The Reds got one run off starter Mike Leake in the sixth, three off relievers Matt Bowman and Brett Cecil to tie the game in the seventh and the winning run off Trevor Rosenthal in the eighth to complete the comeback.

“We make a big deal when we come back from a 4-0 deficit and I think the same thing has to be said on the opposite side when you blow a 4-0 lead,” said manager Mike Matheny. “Those hurt. That’s one of those games you’re going to look at and realize you need to put away.”

Here’s how the game broke down:

At the plate: Matt Carpenter accounted for most of the Cardinals’ offense. He drew a two-out walk and later scored on a wild pitch in the first inning, then doubled with the bases loaded in the fifth to drive in the other three runs. Carpenter is now 19-of-32 in his career with the bases loaded, plus three walks and 14 sacrifice flies. “I’ve always been a guy who is patient at the plate,” Carpenter said. “In that situation pitchers can’t afford to walk you. I feel like I get good pitches to hit more often in that spot because there is no place to put you.” … The Cardinals threated in the ninth, when Kolten Wong led off with a single, but he was left stranded at third …. Dexter Fowler had one hit, snapping his string of consecutive multi-hit games at four.

On the mound: Mike Leake was in line for his first career win against his former team before the bullpen collapse. He got a no-decision and is now 3-1 in five starts with a 1.35 ERA … The three-run seventh began when Bowman gave up a single to Billy Hamilton, the first time in 14 appearances this year he has allowed the first batter he faced to reach base. The tying run scored when Cecil relieved Bowman and was greeted by a double by Scott Schebler. Cecil has allowed six of 12 inherited runners to score this season … Rosenthal allowed a walk, single and another walk to load the bases before Joey Votto’s one out single, off a 100 mile per hour fastball, drove in the winning run.

Key stat: Votto had been 0-of-5 in his career against Rosenthal with three strikeouts before his hit on Sunday.

Worth noting: The Cardinals finished April with a 12-12 record, winning nine of their last 12 games after starting the year 3-9 … Carpenter’s three plate appearances with the bases loaded this season have resulted in a sacrifice fly, a grand slam and the three-run double … The Cardinals did not announce a makeup date for Saturday’s rainout. The two teams have a mutual off day in June or the Reds will be back in St. Louis for the last time in September … Michael Wacha’s brother Lucas signed a free agent contract with the Dallas Cowboys following the NFL draft. Lucas was a linebacker at Wyoming.

Looking ahead; The Brewers come to town to begin a four-game series on Monday night. Wacha will pitch against Zach Davies.