Sunday’s Game Report: Cardinals 9, Reds 5
His misplay in the outfield earlier this week earned Marcell Ozuna a permanent spot on future blooper reels, but it was the kind of performance he delivered on Sunday that the Cardinals really enjoy watching.
Ozuna blasted a pair of home runs, a three-run shot in the first and a solo shot in a five-run seventh, as the Cardinals earned a split of the two-game Mexico series against the Reds in Monterrey, Mexico.
The home runs capped a big week for Ozuna, who has five homers in his last seven games while driving in 11 runs.
Ozuna’s homers were part of a four-homer day for the Cardinals, who also got home runs from Tyler O’Neill and Matt Carpenter.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning thanks to the home runs from Ozuna and O’Neill, who hit his first of the season … After the Reds came back to tie the game, another big inning in the seventh carried the Cardinals to the win. Carpenter led off the inning with his home run and later Ozuna followed with a blast over the stands in left field. A bases-loaded walk to Kolten Wong produced another run before Jose Martinez delivered a two-run pinch-hit single to cap the inning … O’Neill and Dexter Fowler joined Ozuna with two-hit games.
On the mound: After four scoreless innings, Miles Mikolas ran into trouble in the fifth when the Reds tied the game with a four-run inning … John Gant and Dominic Leone each pitched a scoreress inning in relief, with Gant earning his third victory of the season … Giovanny Gallegos, the only Mexican-born player on either team, came in to start the eighth and saw his first pitch to Yasiel Puig end up in the left-center field seats. He then struck out Eugenio Suarez before coming out of the game ,… Andrew Miller allowed a single and walk while facing three batters and then Jordan Hicks came on to finish the game and earn the four-out save, his third save of the season.
Key stat: Ozuna’s 11 RBIs have come in the span of his last 26 at-bats. He began this year with no RBIs in his first 23 at-bats.
Worth noting: O’Neill got the start in center field in place of Harrison Bader, who was held out of the game after experiencing tightness in his hamstring late in Saturday night’s game. His status was said to be day-to-day … Yairo Munoz, added as the 26th man for the series, came in during a double switch in the eighth inning and finished the game in center field. He was returned to Memphis after the game … Alex Reyes pitched the final two innings for Memphis in a game in Round Rock, Texas. He walked three and struck out two but did not allow a hit in the scoreless outing.
Looking ahead: The Cardinals will be in Milwaukee on Monday night to begin a three-game series against the Brewers. Dakota Hudson will get the start in the opener.