Game Report: Cardinals 5, Reds 3

Hitting in Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati obviously has been a lot of fun over the years for Yadier Molina, and that was the case again on Friday night.

Molina hit a solo homer and later added a two-run single to lead the Cardinals over the Reds.

The homer was the fifth of the season for Molina and the 14th of his career at Great American Ballpark. His 14 homers rank as the fifth highest total by an active player, trailing Ryan Braun (25), Albert Pujols (20), Andrew McCutchen (19) and Anthony Rizzo (16).

The two hits in four at-bats raised his career average at the stadium to .322, with 53 RBIs in 97 games.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: Molina’s homer came in the second, and after the Cardinals failed to score when they had the bases loaded with nobody out in the fifth, they scored four runs in the sixth, capped by Molina’s two-run single … Dexter Fowler led off the inning with his second homer of the season, followed by a single from Tommy Pham, a double by Matt Carpenter and an RBI single by Marcell Ozuna, who extended his hitting streak to 12 games … Jose Martinez had a pair of singles, raising his average to .375.

On the mound: Luke Weaver allowed just two infield hits through the first six innings. He walked leadoff hitter Billy Hamilton to open the first inning, then retired 12 hitters in a row before Devan Mesoraco led off the fifth by barely beating out a throw from Paul DeJong on a grounder up the middle … Weaver came out of the game after a two-run homer by Mesoraco in the seventh, the first home run allowed by Weaver this season … An RBI single by Joey Votto off Tyler Lyons in the eighth cut the lead to 5-3 before Bud Norris earned his second save, pitching around a one-out single and walk by striking out the last two batters.

Key stat: Molina set a career high with his five homers in March/April. He also tied his career high for home runs in any month of the season, having also hit five in September of 2012 and in August of 2017.

Worth noting:
The Cardinals have hit at least one home run in all eight of their games on the road to start the season … Luke Gregerson pitched a scoreless inning for Class A Palm Beach, his second appearance in as many days, on Friday night. He gave up two hits and struck out two but got out of the inning when outfielder Johan Mieses threw out a runner at the plate. Gregerson is expected to join the Cardinals on Monday in Chicago … At Triple A Memphis, Jack Flaherty made his second start and allowed three runs over six innings. He walked two and struck out five.

Looking ahead:
Miles Mikolas gets the start on Saturday In game three of the series against the Reds.