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Cardinals attempt to continue historic month against Reds

Sportsnaut
St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (4) reacts after the Reds take a 3-1 lead in the third inning of the MLB National League game between the Cincinnati Reds and the St. Louis Cardinals at Great American Ball Park in downtown Cincinnati on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022.St Louis Cardinals At Cincinnati Reds
Credit: Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

The visiting St. Louis Cardinals look to finish their historic month of August on a high note when they take on the Cincinnati Reds in the final game of a three-game series Wednesday night.

With Tuesday’s 5-1 loss to the Reds, the Cardinals will not be able to match their all-time win record for the month of August, set in 1944 when they went 23-4.

Still, at 21-7, they have matched the Los Angeles Dodgers as the only club with 20 wins this month, and the 21 wins in 28 games is their best in August since they won 22 of 28 games in 2018.

The Cardinals will send lefty Jose Quintana (4-6, 3.45 ERA) to the mound in the rubber match of the series. Last Friday against Atlanta, Quintana suffered his first loss with the Cardinals since coming over from the Pirates at the trade deadline. He allowed four runs (two earned) and seven hits over five innings against the Atlanta Braves.

In his only start this season against the Reds, on May 15 in Pittsburgh, Quintana fired seven scoreless innings in a no-decision.

The Reds will counter with fellow left-hander Mike Minor (3-10, 6.10), who will make his 16th start of the season.

In his last two starts, Minor is 2-0 with a 4.97 ERA, allowing seven runs on 15 hits over 12 2/3 innings, striking out eight and walking none. In 10 starts between wins on June 13 at Arizona and Aug. 21 at Pittsburgh, Minor was 0-8 with a 6.02 ERA.

On July 23, in his only previous start this season against St. Louis, Minor was tagged for five runs and eight hits over four innings. Minor also surrendered two home runs and took the loss.

Right-hander Jack Flaherty (right shoulder strain) is slated to make one more minor league rehab start before returning on Sept. 5 for a start against the Washington Nationals.

Flaherty, the Cardinals’ Opening Day starter in 2020 and 2021, has missed the first 2 1/2 months of this season with shoulder pain. He returned for three major league starts in mid-June, but went back on the injured list.

“He’ll pitch again on Wednesday and then we’ll insert him into the rotation after that,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “He understood it. He’s a competitor and obviously wants to be up here as soon as possible. He understood how it impacted everything else. He was good about it.”

Reds manager David Bell said outfielder Albert Almora Jr. (right shoulder contusion) is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville on Wednesday. He went on the IL after a pair of spectacular diving catches Aug. 19 against the Pirates.

Injured Reds first baseman Joey Votto has started his rehab from major left shoulder and biceps surgery. Speaking for the first time since his surgery on Aug. 19, Votto said he wants to show he can still play at a high level.

“I’m not trying to prove anybody wrong. I want to perform well. I’m excited about that,” Votto said. “I’d like to have a strong finish to my career and be proud.”

Next season is the final guaranteed year of Votto’s 10-year, $225 million contract with the Reds.

–Field Level Media