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Benches clear in Cincinnati Reds’ victory over St. Louis Cardinals

Apr 3, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong (11) reacts with catcher Yadier Molina (4) after hitting a solo home run against the Cincinnati Reds during the second inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 3, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong (11) reacts with catcher Yadier Molina (4) after hitting a solo home run against the Cincinnati Reds during the second inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Tucker Barnhart homered to spark a six-run third inning and Nick Castellanos was ejected after tempers flared in the Cincinnati Reds’ 9-6 win over the visiting St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday.

Adam Wainwright (0-1) retired his first six batters in order before running into trouble in the third, when the veteran walked Tyler Naquin before allowing Barnhart’s blast to right field.

The Reds followed with six singles in the inning and forced Wainwright’s early exit after Naquin’s two-out, two-run single gave them a 6-1 lead.

Jake Woodford replaced Wainwright and ignited a benches-clearing argument after hitting Castellanos with a 92-mph fastball in the fourth. Castellanos stared at the mound before taking his base and eventually scored on a wild pitch, staring at Woodford after sliding in under his tag.

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Both dugouts emptied and Castellanos was ejected for the first time in his career, but no punches were thrown, and order was restored after a few minutes.

Castellanos may have set the stage for Saturday’s activity on Opening Day, when he flipped his bat and drew some attention following his two-run homer.

Paul DeJong belted a leadoff homer in the second to give St. Louis a brief lead against Reds starter Tyler Mahle (1-0), who allowed two runs on four hits with nine strikeouts over five innings.

DeJong blasted another leadoff homer in the fourth and scored three runs for the Cardinals, whose offense went relatively quiet after Paul Goldschmidt recorded four of the team’s 10 hits in Thursday’s 11-6 win on Opening Day.

The Cardinals struck out 13 times on Saturday and were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position. Nolan Arenado crushed his first homer with his new team in the ninth, a two-run shot.

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Mike Moustakas and Jonathan India had two hits apiece and Aristides Aquino homered for the Reds, who had three different batters hit by St. Louis pitches.

One of the batters was Naquin, who started in center field after Nick Senzel exited Thursday’s game with a left shoulder injury. Senzel appeared as a pinch hitter and could return to the starting lineup for Sunday’s series finale.

–Field Level Media