Game Report: Cardinals 6, Reds 1

Greg Garcia knows he is not going be in the lineup on a regular basis for the Cardinals, so when he does start – as he did at second base on Saturday – he wants to make the most of the opportunity.

He could not do that much better than he did against the Reds.

Garcia enjoyed the first two-homer game of his major-league career and also doubled, drove in three runs and scored three times to lead the Cardinals to their third consecutive victory in Cincinnati.

The two homers were the first for Garcia in the majors against a left-handed pitcher. Garcia had seven previous homers in his career, including two last season in 244 plate appearances.

Garcia hit three homers off left-handed pitchers in 570 career at-bats in the minor leagues, the two most recent for Memphis in 2014.

Garcia was making his second start in the Cardinals’ first 15 games this year after starting 52 times in 2017.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: A sacrifice fly by Marcell Ozuna put the Cardinals on top in the first inning before Garcia’s first home run in the second increased the lead to 2-0 and his two-run homer in the fourth made it a 4-0 game … Jose Martinez added an RBI double in the fifth before Garcia doubled in the sixth and scored on a double by Tommy Pham … Pham was in the leadoff spot as Dexter Fowler got the day off and went 3-of-4 plus a walk, two stolen bases and two runs scored … Ozuna drew his first walk of the season but saw his hitting streak end at 12 games.

On the mound: Miles Mikolas allowed just one hit until Tucker Barnhart homered to lead off the fifth. Over seven innings he gave up four hits, walked two – his first walks of the season - and struck out four … Greg Holland got a strikeout and allowed a two-out single as he pitched the eighth before Jordan Hicks came on to pitch the ninth in the non-save situation. The Reds loaded the bases with one out, thanks in part to an error by Yaito Munoz, but the rookie got out of the jam without allowing a run on a strikeout and a fly out.

Key stats: The Cardinals came into the game with just three homers in 107 plate appearances against left-handed pitchers this season … In his career Garcia was hitting .180 with four extra-base hits, all doubles, in 89 at-bats against lefthanders.

Worth noting: Garcia did have two two-homer games in the minors, once in 2012 for Double A Springfield and once in 2014 for Memphis … The Cardinals have hit at least one home run in all nine of their games on the road to start this season … With his five homers in April, Yadier Molina has tied the team record for most homers by a catcher in April. Ted Simmons also hit five in April 1977 … Dating back to last season the Cardinals have won their last eight games at Great American Ballpark.

Looking ahead: The Cardinals will send Carlos Martinez to the mound on Sunday to try to complete a sweep of the four-game series. The Cardinals have not swept a four-game series in Cincinnati since 1949.