Jesse Winker hit the decisive two-run homer to power the visiting Cincinnati Reds to a 4-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals Thursday in the first of a four-game series.
Winker also hit two singles and scored a second run as the Reds won for the third time in their last four games.
Reds starting pitcher Vladimir Gutierrez (1-1) allowed two runs on three hits with three walks and three streikouts in five innings to earn his first big league victory.
Tejay Antone followed with two scoreless innings, then Lucas Sims handled the final two innings to earn his fourth save.
Losing pitcher Adam Wainwright (3-5) allowed three runs on eight hits and three hit batters in seven innings. He struck out four without a walk.
The Reds took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but Wainwright barely avoided further damage.
Winker lined a one-out single and raced to third on Nick Castellanos’ single, which extended his hitting streak to 19 games. Wainwright plunked Tyler Stephenson and Tyler Naquin with pitches to force in a run. But Mike Freeman grounded into a forceout at the plate and Tucker Barnhart flied out to leave the bases loaded.
The Cardinals countered with two runs in their half of the inning. Tommy Edman led off with a single, stole second base and scored on Tyler O’Neill’s one-out single.
O’Neill eventually scored on Yadier Molina’s RBI single.
But Winker’s two-run homer down the right field line in the second inning put the Reds up 3-2.
Wainwright got some much-needed defensive help in the fifth inning. Stephenson hit a single with one out and tried to score on Naquin’s double to the center field wall. Dylan Carlson threw to Edman behind second base and Edman’s relay home nailed the Stephenson to keep the score at 3-2.
The Reds got insurance in the eighth inning with Barnhart’s RBI double off Daniel Ponce de Leon.
The Cardinals got the potential winning run to the plate twice in the ninth inning, but they lost for the fourth time in the last five games.
–Field Level Media