The Cards continued their four-game set with the Reds on Saturday afternoon as Johan Oviedo faced off against Tyler Mahle. Oviedo managed to hit the strike zone more consistently than he has so far this season and threw a solid four innings before being lifted for a pinch hitter in a bases-loaded situation in the fourth. He was tagged for two runs, with his only bad mistake coming on a changeup left belt high to Jonathan India who put it into the Reds bullpen. The Cards bullpen gave up three additional runs in their relief effort, and though the Cards had Mahle on the ropes in the fourth, he got out with minimal damage and settled in to pitch a strong seven innings while giving up two runs. The Reds’ bullpen then held the lead to pin another loss on the Redbirds.
Jonathan India led off for the Reds and drew a five-pitch walk. Jesse Winker followed with a strikeout, failing to check his swing on a fastball in the zone. Nick Castellanos flew an 0-1 slider to the warning track for the second out. Tyler Naquin grounded out back up the middle to Edmundo Sosa to retire the Reds.
Tommy Edman tore a 1-0 fastball to left-center that one-hopped off the wall for a leadoff double. Dylan Carlson struck out on a 3-2 fastball on the inside corner. Paul Goldschmidt went down swinging on three pitches in an ugly at-bat. Nolan Arenado threw his bat at an 0-2 slider way off the plate but got enough of it to drop a bloop single into right, scoring Edman for a 1-0 Cardinals lead. Yadier Molina went down looking at a fastball that looked off the plate for the last out of the inning.
Tucker Barnhart struck out waving at a 2-2 slider to begin the second. Eugenio Suarez followed suit, swinging through a fastball in on the hands for out number two. Kyle Farmer skied the first pitch he saw to center, resulting in an efficient second inning from Oviedo.
Tyler O’Neill froze on a 3-2 slider in the zone for the first out in the bottom of the frame. Matt Carpenter was called out on strikes as well, rung up on another slider. Sosa grounded out to India to end the second.
Mike Freeman started the third and was thrown out on a tremendous play by Sosa (though the Cards had to challenge the initial “safe” ruling to get the out).
Upon further review, the runner is OUT. pic.twitter.com/jZJBXLHvNK— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) June 5, 2021
Mahle went down swinging on three pitches. India crushed a middle-middle changeup for a solo home run to tie the game 1-1. Winker chopped a first-pitch curveball to short for the third out.
Oviedo led off with a swinging strikeout on another 1-2 slider from Mahle. Edman and Carlson followed with groundouts to first and short, respectively, to put the Cards down in order.
Castellanos chopped an 0-2 slider to Arenado for the first out of the fourth. Naquin stretched a soft base hit to center into a one-out double. Barnhart hit an RBI single back up the middle to give the Reds a 2-1 lead and Barnhart advanced to second as Carlson’s throw home missed the cutoff man.
Suarez grounded back to Oviedo, who tried to throw Barnhart out as he retreated back to second. The throw was late, and everyone was safe with two on and one out. Farmer tapped another ball back to Oviedo, who threw to first for the second out as the other runners advanced. The Cards elected to intentionally walk Freeman, loading the bases for Mahle who grounded out to second to strand the bases loaded.
Goldschmidt led off the bottom of the inning with a triple on a bloop hit that got under the glove of a sliding Castellanos in right field. Arenado took a 1-2 slider the other way again for another RBI single, tying the game up again at 2-2.
Knizner pinch hit for Yadi, who took a foul ball off the knee in the top of the inning and was pulled with a knee contusion. Knizner flew a first-pitch breaking ball to right for the first out. O’Neill then ripped a one-out double down the left-field line, bringing up Carpenter who drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases with one out. Sosa struck out swinging on three pitches. John Nogowski pinch-hit in the pitcher’s spot and flew out to right, stranding all the runners.
Ryan Helsley relieved Oviedo in the fifth and gave up a leadoff double to India. Winker dribbled an 0-2 fastball to Helsley, who looked India back to second before throwing to first for out number one. Castellanos followed with a popout to Knizner in front of home. Naquin then grounded out shortstop, leaving India at second.
Edman flew out to the warning track in right field on a 2-1 slider. Carlson followed with a groundout to first and Goldschmidt ended the inning with a swinging strikeout.
Barnhart began the sixth by drawing a four-pitch walk. Suarez then blasted a fastball left in the middle of the zone into the Reds bullpen, putting the Reds up 4-2.
Farmer grounded out to short, after which Genesis Cabrera was brought in, in relief. Freeman drove an 0-1 changeup to right for a one-out base hit. Mahle grounded out softly to first, moving Freeman to second. India grounded out to short to close the top of the inning.
Arenado led off the bottom of the frame with a popout to third. Knizner and O’Neill both flew out to center as the Cardinals went down quietly in the sixth.
Winker drew a leadoff walk to start the seventh and Castellanos singled to left on an 0-1 sinker. Tyler Stephenson pinch-hit for Naquin and struck out swinging. Barnhart also went down waving at a 2-2 curveball. Winker tried to take third on a wild pitch to Suarez and the ball hit straight back to Knizner off the backstop. The throw to third from Knizner was airmailed into left field, however, allowing Winker to score and extend Cincinnati’s lead to 5-2. Suarez then lifted a ball down the right field line where Edman laid out to take a hit and another run away with a fantastic diving catch for the last out.
The Cardinals went down in order again in the seventh with a groundout from Carp, a flyout by Sosa, and a popout by Thomas.
Daniel Ponce de Leon took the mound for the Cards in the eighth and got Farmer to pop out to first. Freeman followed, striking out on a foul tip, and pinch hitter Mark Payton grounded out to second for an efficient inning by Ponce.
Tejay Antone got the call in the eighth for Cincinnatti and retired Edman on a groundout to India. Carlson followed with a popout to short and Goldschmidt flew out to center.
India grounded out to third to begin the ninth inning. Winker singled on a ground ball into left field. Castellanos grounded another single into left, putting two on with one out. Shogo Akiyama lined a 1-2 fastball to left for the second out. Barnhart was called out on strikes, frozen by a curveball that dropped in the zone.
Lucas Sims pitched the ninth for Cincy and gave up another bloop single to Arenado as he threw his bat at another slider way outside of the zone. Knizner struck out chasing a low slider. O’Neill tore a ball down the right field line that one-hopped into the seats for a ground-rule double. Carpenter, representing the tying run, chased a curveball that broke low and inside for strike three. Sosa lined a 1-0 curveball to center, where Akiyama made a sliding catch to rob the hit and end the game with a final score of 5-2 in favor of the Reds.
With the loss, the Cardinals have now lost four in a row and are 4-6 in their last ten games as they fall to third in the division at 31-28. The Reds gain ground with the win and are now two and a half games behind St. Louis. The Cards look to avoid the four-game sweep tomorrow, with John Gant facing off against Wade Miley at 1:15 CT on Sunday.
We have recalled rookie RHP Angel Rondón and 1B/OF John Nogowski from Memphis (AAA).— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) June 5, 2021
LHP Kwang Hyun Kim (right back stiffness) and OF Justin Williams (neck stiffness, retroactive to June 3) have been placed on the 10-day IL.
Rondón’s first appearance will be his MLB debut. pic.twitter.com/m3sYCc8xOM
Final Pitching Lines
Oviedo: 4 IP / 3 H / 2 R / 2 ER / 2 BB (1 IBB) / 4 K / 1 HR
Helsley (L, 3-4): 1.1 IP / 2 H / 2 R / 2 ER / 1 BB / 0 K / 1 HR
Cabrera: 1.2 IP / 2 H / 1 R / 0 ER / 1 BB / 2 K / 0 HR
Ponce de Leon: 2 IP / 2 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 0 BB / 2 K / 0 HR
Mahle (W, 5-2): 7 IP / 5 H / 2 R / 2 ER / 1 BB / 8 K / 0 HR
Antone (H, 7): 1 IP / 0 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 0 BB / 0 K / 0 HR
Sims (S, 5): 1 IP / 2 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 0 BB / 2 K / 0 HR