Friday’s Game Report: Cardinals 4, Reds 2

Friday’s Game Report: Cardinals 4, Reds 2

By Rob Rains

The good news for Paul Goldschmidt was that the game time temperature Friday night in Cincinnati was 79 degrees, the warmest for any of the Cardinals’ first 12 games of the year.

Traditionally a slow starter in cooler weather – Goldschmidt’s career April average of .269 is his lowest for any month – responded with his first three-hit game and a pair of RBIs in the win over the Reds, who lost their 10th consecutive game.

Goldschmidt came into the game with just six hits and one RBI for the season and was just 3-of-32 in his previous eight games. He was one of four starters in the Cardinals lineup with less than a .200 average, and that didn’t include Paul DeJong or Yadier Molina, both of whom had the night off.

Both of Goldschmidt’s RBIs came on a bases loaded single in the fourth inning.

More good news for Goldschmidt is that the forecast for the weekend in Cincinnati calls for highs in the 80s.

Here is how Friday night’s game broke down:

At the plate: Goldschmidt’s single in the first inning also produced a run because of an error on Tommy Pham. His third hit was an infield single in the sixth … The Cardinals had 10 hits, all of them singles. Their only extra-base hit in the last three games was Nolan Arenado’s homer on Wednesday night … Arenado and Dylan Carlson each had two hits and also reached on a walk … The Cardinals last run scored in the fifth on the first hit of the year by Lars Nootbaar, starting in place of Harrison Bader.

On the mound: Steven Matz worked five innings, allowing one run on seven hits. He was able to pitch around two singles in both the first and second innings with the run coming in the fifth when a leadoff walk came around to score … Four relievers covered the final four innings, the most impressive of which was Ryan Helsley, who retired all four batters he faced, three on strikeouts …Giovanny Gallegos got the save despite allowing two hits and a run in the ninth.

Key stat: Tyler O’Neill was hitless in five at-bats, extending his current slump to 0-of-13. Since driving in five runs on opening day, he has two RBIs in 47 plate appearances over the last 11 games.

Worth noting: Cardinals’ starters have thrown 55 innings in the season’s first 12 games with relievers combining to pitch 50 innings … As expected the Cardinals placed righthander Drew VerHagen on the 10-day injured list because of a hip impingement. Packy Naughton was recalled from Memphis, giving the Cardinals three lefthanders in the bullpen. Naughton was claimed on waivers from the Angels late in spring training.

Looking ahead: Dakota Hudson will get the start in the second game of the series on Saturday.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

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