Sunday’s Game Report: Cardinals 10, Reds 6
By Rob Rains
A seven-run fourth inning which included home runs from Harrison Bader and Dylan Carlson put the Cardinals’ Johan Oviedo in a great position to finally win his first major-league game on Sunday in Cincinnati.
Staked to a six-run lead, all Oviedo had to do was get six more outs, getting through the fifth inning, to qualify for the win. It didn’t happen.
A pair of walks that loaded the bases with one out in the fifth brought a premature end to Oviedo’s day, extending his streak to 18 consecutive starts without a victory. It came one start after he was in line for a win before the bullpen blew a 6-1 ninth-inning lead against the Cubs.
Oviedo’s early exit forced the Cardinals to use six relievers to get the win, salvaging the final game of the weekend series.
Manager Mike Shildt also made an early exit, ejected by acting crew chief Ron Kulpa in the third inning. Shildt was upset with a ruling that the Cardinals had waited too long to decide to challenge an out call at first base against Carlson. Teams have 30 seconds to decide if they want to challenge, and Shildt said the Cardinals did so at 27 seconds.
“I want to try to get the game right,” Shildt said.
Shildt also was frustrated by what he considered other calls that went against the Cardinals over the weekend, including other challenges and several pitches called strikes that the Cardinals thought were balls. It was his fourth ejection this season, the second in the last week.
“I took exception with it, said my piece, said my piece about some other things and at some point you have to stand up for your guys,” Shildt said. “I don’t want this to be a recurring theme. The whole series it was like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’
“We are not going to sit here after a whole series of it and accept it and ignore it … I didn’t want any part of being ejected today. That’s why I was so patient. But at some point if our players are starting to get completely frustrated and I tell them to keep playing the game, I’ve got to be the mouthpiece.”
Here is how Sunday’s game broke down:
At the plate: Bader’s three-run homer was part of a three-hit day that included a pair of singles. He also reached on a walk … Carlson’s 10th homer, a two-run shot, capped the big inning … The Cardinals also got a two-run homer from Tyler O’Neill in the first and a solo shot from Nolan Arenado in the ninth, his 20th of the season … O’Neill also reached base four times, drawing two walks and adding a single … Andrew Knizner, who started all three games in the series, had a double and walked three times for the second game in a row … Paul Goldschmidt was hitless in five at-bats, striking out three times … The 10 runs were the most by the Cardinals since a 12-run game on May 1.
On the mound: Oviedo gave up a three-run homer to Joey Votto in the first before pitching with traffic each of the next three innings. He ended up issuing six walks as he threw 98 pitches to get 13 outs … Ryan Helsley relieved Oviedo and got out of the bases-loaded jam with a strikeout and popup. He has stranded 24 of 28 inherited runners this season … The Reds scored a run off Andrew Miller in the sixth and two off Justin Miller in the seventh to close the deficit to 9-6. They loaded the bases against Giovanny Gallegos with no outs in the eighth but he came back to retire the next three hitters on a strikeout and two foul popups … The Cardinals held the Reds to just three hits in 17 at-bats with runners in scoring position, stranding 13 runners.
Key stat: Bader took over the team lead in RBIs in July with 15, two more than Goldschmidt. It’s also the most RBIs Bader has had in any month in his career. He raised his average in 19 games in July to .362 (25-of-69).
Worth noting: The Cardinals added to their pitching depth on Sunday by acquiring righthander T.J. Zeuch from the Blue Jays for cash considerations. Zeuch, a former first-round draft pick, had split this season between the major-leagues and Triple A. He had recently been designated for assignment. Zeuch was assigned to Memphis … The Redbirds extended their winning streak to 15 games on Sunday. Daniel Ponce de Leon made his second rehab appearance to start the game at Louisville and worked two scoreless innings … Genesis Cabrera also was ejected from the game, by home plate umpire Chad Fairchild, after he already had been removed from the game … The game took 4 hours, 4 minutes and included a combined 15 walks, four wild pitches and two hit batters.
Looking ahead: The Cardinals will spend Monday’s day off in Cleveland before a two-game series that begins on Tuesday night against the Indians. Adam Wainwright will make his first career start at Progressive Field.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains