Game Report: Cardinals 6, Reds 4

For the second game in a row the Cardinals carried a 6-4 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning on Saturday. This time, there was no rain delay and no game-tying rally from the Reds.

With Bud Norris unavailable, Jordan Hicks drew the ninth-inning assignment and pitched around a single by Joey Votto to save the Cardinals’ 13th consecutive win over the Reds and 10th in a row in Cincinnati.

The save was the first in the majors for Hicks, who at 21, became the youngest Cardinal to earn a save since 20-year-old Rick Ankiel did it in 1999.

Once again the Cardinals jumped out early, taking a 5-0 lead on a home run, for the third game in a row, from Jose Martinez followed by a home run for Marcell Ozuna in the first inning and a bases-clearing double by Yadier Molina in the third.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: The home runs from Martinez and Ozuna came back-to-back. Martinez is now tied with Tommy Pham for the team lead this season with nine … Molina’s double in the third drove in three more runs and gave him 57 career RBIs at Great American Ballpark, tying him for second among all-time visiting players with Albert Pujols. Lance Berkman leads with 58 … Matt Carpenter capped the scoring with a home run in the seventh, his eighth of the season … The Cardinals had only one baserunner between Molina’s double and Carpenter’s home run, when Molina walked in the sixth … In their six games in Cincinnati this season the Cardinals have hit a combined 15 home runs.

On the mound: Michael Wacha won his eighth consecutive decision and is now 8-1 for the season. He gave up a two-run homer in the fourth but extended his streak of not allowing more than two runs to 10 consecutive games. According to ESPN Stats and Info, the only two Cardinals pitchers since 1908 who have had longer streaks allowing two runs or less were a 12-game streak by Adam Wainwright in 2009 and an 11-game streak by Bob Gibson in 1968 … Wacha left after 5 2/3 innings, giving up four hits, walking three and striking out six … The Reds added a run off Mike Mayers and one off Sam Tuivailala to pull within 6-4 before Hicks, pitching for the third day in a row, closed out the win. He struck out Alex Blandino on a 3-2 pitch, gave up the single to Votto on a 3-2 pitch, then struck out Scooter Gennett and Eugenio Suarez to end the game.

Key stat
: Wacha also has his own streak going against the Reds. He is now 10-0 in 13 starts against the Reds dating back to 2014 and the Cardinals have won all 13 of those games. The last Cardinals pitcher to win 10 consecutive decisions against the Reds was Chris Carpenter between 2006 and 2010.

Worth noting: The current winning streak in Cincinnati is the longest by the Cardinals franchise history. Their longest road winning streak against any opponent is against the Pirates, 18 games, between 1964 and 1966 at Forbes Field … Preston Guilmet, designated for assignment by the Cardinals on Thursday, was claimed off waivers by Toronto … In a minor-league roster move, the Cardinals sent catching prospect Andrew Knizner back from Memphis to Springfield so he can continue to play regularly after Carson Kelly rejoined the Redbirds earlier in the week.

Looking ahead: Carlos Martinez will get the start for the Cardinals on Sunday as they attempt to improve their season record against the Reds to 10-0.


Our Audio Producer Mike Reeves is in Cincinnati  and posted these interviews:

Mike Matheny

Michael Wacha

Jordan Hicks