Jesse Winker homered and drove in four runs while Luis Castillo allowed just one unearned run over seven innings as the Cincinnati Reds held off the visiting St. Louis Cardinals 5-3 Saturday night.
The Reds committed three errors but got a pair of sensational plays from center fielder Shogo Akiyama and third baseman Eugenio Suarez to capture their sixth straight game against the Cardinals, their longest such streak since 2003.
Castillo (4-10) got the win after four consecutive no-decisions. He allowed four hits while striking out nine and walking three. Heath Hembree pitched the ninth for his eighth save and second in as many games.
Cardinals starter Jake Woodford (2-2) made his first appearance in Cincinnati since hitting Nick Castellanos with a pitch and having Castellanos stand over him flexing his biceps in the Reds’ 9-6 win on April 3.
The Cardinals took advantage of a pair of Cincinnati errors to grab a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Tyler O’Neill reached on a fielding miscue by Suarez. O’Neill was forced out at second on Paul DeJong’s grounder to Suarez, but Jonathan India’s throw was wild to first and DeJong reached second.
DeJong scored the unearned run when the red-hot Harrison Bader singled to left.
In the bottom of the second, Winker lined a two-out, opposite-field double to left-center, scoring Akiyama and India for a 2-1 Cincinnati lead.
Votto’s 13th homer gave the Reds a 3-1 lead and extended his on-base streak to 18 games. Winker drilled his 20th homer of the season with India aboard in the seventh to increase the lead to 5-1.
Castillo’s final pitch was driven deep to the right-center-field wall in the top of the seventh by Dylan Carlson with a runner on first. Akiyama sprinted back and made a leaping grab at the top of the wall for the final out.
The Cardinals came back with two runs in the eighth off Brad Brach on an RBI ground-rule double from Nolan Arenado and an RBI single by DeJong. The Reds thought they were out of the inning when Bader lined out to Suarez, who threw back to second to double off DeJong, but a replay ruled the runner safe.
Sean Doolittle worked out of a two-out, bases-loaded jam when pinch hitter Jose Rondon popped out to short to end the inning.
–Field Level Media