Saturday’s Game Report: Cardinals 6, Reds 3

 

Saturday’s Game Report: Cardinals 6, Reds 3

When Marcell Ozuna began this season by failing to drive in a run in the Cardinals’ first five games, there was concern about what kind of year he might have.

Less than three weeks later, those concerns have faded.

Ozuna has been on a tear since that first week and continued it on Saturday with a three-run homer, part of his five-RBI day that carried the Cardinals past the Reds at Busch Stadium.

The homer was Ozuna’s 10th of the season, coming in his last 75 at-bats, and made him only the third player in franchise history to hit 10 or more homers before May 1.

Albert Pujols holds the team record of 14 in 2006, which broke the previous record of 11 set by Mark McGwire in his record-breaking season in 1998.

The five RBIs increased Ozuna’s season total to 26 in the Cardinals’ first 26 games.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: Ozuna’s three-run homer pulled the Cardinals out of a 2-0 deficit in the third inning and followed a walk to Chris Carpenter and a double by Paul Goldschmidt, who extended his hitting streak to 13 consecutive games … In his next at-bat, Ozuna doubled in two runs to increase the lead to 5-3 .. They added their final run in the sixth on a pinch-hit single by Harrison Bader, snapping an 0-of-14 streak … Yadier Molina extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a single in the fourth. It’s the seventh time in Molina’s career he has had a streak of 14 games or longer. His career-best is 16 games, which he has done three times … Paul DeJong had two hits, raising his average to .346.

On the mound: Dakota Hudson picked up his second win, pitching into the sixth inning, scattering seven hits and allowing all three of the Reds’ runs … The relief combination of John Gant, Andrew Miller and Jordan Hicks allowed just one baserunner over the final 3 1/3 innings, a walk issued by Miller in the eighth. Six of their combined 10 outs came on strike outs and Hicks earned his eighth save … It was only the second time in their last 15 games that the Cardinals did not allow at least one home run.

Key stat: Ozuna’s home run total includes three three-run homers and four two-run homers. Of his 26 RBIs, 20 have come on his 10 home runs. He did not hit his 10th home run last year until June 16.

Worth noting: Of the 51 home runs allowed by the Cardinals this season, 35 have come with no runners on base … The next steps in Carlos Martinez’s rehab will be a trip to Florida this week, where he will throw a couple of live batting practice sessions against players in the extended spring training program.

Looking ahead: The Cardinals conclude the series at the nine-game homesand on Sunday, with Jack Flaherty getting the start.

Post-game Audio: By Mike Reeves

Mike Shildt, Dakota Hudson, Marcell Ozuna

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For the latest news and features in St. Louis Sports check out STLSportsPage.com. Rob Rains, Editor.