Tyler Naquin drove in four runs and Donovan Solano homered and added three more RBIs to power the Cincinnati Reds to a 9-5 win Friday night over the visiting St. Louis Cardinals in the opener of a three-game series.
Joey Votto and Jonathan India added solo homers for the Reds, who had the win tempered by the loss of their starting catcher Tyler Stephenson to a broken right collarbone just three batters into the game.
After striking out the first two batters to start the game, Graham Ashcraft and the Reds ran into bad luck when the third batter, Paul Goldschmidt, fouled a pitch off Stephenson’s right shoulder. Moments later, Goldschmidt hit a dribbler in front of the plate and Stephenson fielded the ball but fell to the turf in pain, unable to make a throw to first for the final out.
Stephenson was removed from the game and replaced by Michael Papierski, as Ashcraft later stranded a pair of runners in the first.
Ashcraft was not as fortunate in the second, with the Cardinals working him for 33 pitches. A two-out, two-run single to right by Tyler O’Neill gave the visitors a 2-0 lead.
The Reds responded immediately against 40-year-old Adam Wainwright (6-8) in the bottom of the second. The one-out rally began when Papierski walked and Kyle Farmer doubled. Naquin’s soft single to left tied the game.
Solano capped the rally with a line-drive homer to left, his second of the season, that put Cincinnati up, 4-2.
The Reds made it 5-2 in the third when Votto lofted a fly ball to left that found the first row of seats for his seventh homer of the season and his fifth career against Wainwright.
Wainwright allowed seven runs on five hits over 5 1/3 innings and fell to 10-17 lifetime against the Reds, the most losses against any team in his career.
On a hot and humid night, Ashcraft, a rookie making his 11th major league start, threw a career-high 112 pitches and matched a career high with eight strikeouts but fell one out shy of qualifying for the win. After giving up a two-run homer to Goldschmidt in the fifth that cut Cincinnati’s lead to 5-4, Ashcraft got the next two batters, but Dylan Carlson’s single ended his night.
Lefty Reiver Sanmartin (4-4) came on to strike out left-hitting Brendan Donovan, the only batter he faced, to end the fifth and record the win.
Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol was ejected for arguing balls and strikes in the eighth.
–Field Level Media