Game Report: Reds 6, Cardinals 0

By Rob Rains

For 1 minute, 18 seconds, the Cardinals had an inning-ending force out in the fifth inning Wednesday night. That was how long it took for the call at second base to be reviewed and overturned.

It took only slightly longer for the Reds to turn their slim 1-0 lead into a 6-0 margin en route to their win over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, doing so in the span of two batters.

Cardinal-killer Joey Votto followed the overturned call with an RBI single off Ryan Sherriff and Eugenio Suarez then blasted a grand slam.

The would-have-been force out came on a diving stop by Paul DeJong on a grounder hit by Zack Cozart. DeJong flipped the ball to Kolten Wong. Pitcher Tyler Mahle was called out by umpire Gabe Morales but the Reds challenged the call and the video review concluded Mahle beat the throw, keeping the inning alive.

The loss dropped the Cardinals three games behind the Cubs with 17 games left in the regular-season.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: The Cardinals stranded seven runners in the first three innings against the 22-year-old Mahle, who allowed four hits in five innings to earn his first career victory … After their two singles in the third the Cardinals only hit was Matt Carpenter’s single with one out in the seventh, but he was quickly erased in a double play … The Reds retired 19 of the last 21 batters, with the only other runner coming when Tommy Pham was hit by a pitch in the fifth.

On the mound: Starter Jack Flaherty gave up a leadoff homer to Jesse Winker on his second pitch, but then didn’t allow another run until after he was lifted from the game. His biggest mistake was hitting Mahle with a two-strike pitch with one out in the fifth, at which point he was pulled and replaced by Sherriff … The grand slam by Suarez was the fourth allowed by the Cardinals this year and the second against the Reds. Scooter Gennett hit one of Adam Wainwright on June 6 … John Gant pitched two scoreless innings in relief, and Sam Tuivailala and Matt Bowman each worked perfect 1-2-3 innings.

Key stat: The Cardinals were shut out for the fourth time in 73 games at home this season, three of which have come against the Reds. The other two were in the first week of the season, and the only other shutout was a 4-0 loss to the Diamondbacks on July 27 … In the last four years since the start of the 2014 season, the Cardinals have been shut out 17 times at home, six of which have come against the Reds.

Worth noting:
The Cardinals activated Jedd Gyorko from the disabled list before the game but he is still limited to just pinch-hitting duties for a while because of his sore hamstring … The matchup of 21-year-old Flaherty and Mahle was the youngest pairing of starting pitchers between the Cardinals and an opponent since Shelby Miller started against Julio Teheren of the Braves on Aug. 24, 2013 when both were 22 … The home run by Winker was the first leadoff homer by the Reds in St. Louis since Chris Heisey hit one off Jake Westbrook on July 6, 2011 …. The Memphis Redbirds won the opening game of the Pacific Coast League championships 6-4 over El Paso Wednesday night. Tyler O’Neill hit his fourth postseason homer.

Looking ahead:
Luke Weaver will get the start in the final game of the series and the homestand at 12:45 p.m. on Thursday. Amir Garrett will start for the Reds.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains