Friday’s Game Report: Cardinals 2, Reds 0

Friday’s Game Report: Cardinals 2, Reds 0

By Rob Rains

Before he threw his first pitch on Friday night, Andre Pallante received the endorsement of Cardinals manager Oli Marmol that he was now on a starter’s schedule.

Making his second career start, Pallante showed why he was deserving of that support.

After getting out of a bases loaded jam in the first, Pallante pitched into the sixth inning, throwing 5 1/3 scoreless innings in the Cardinals shutout of the Reds at Busch Stadium.

The win, combined with the Brewers seventh consecutive loss, at Washington, moved the Cardinals into first place in the NL Central, a half-game ahead of Milwaukee. It’s the first day they have been in first place since April 25.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: The only runs of the gamr scored in the first inning, thanks to two throwing errors by the Reds. Paul Goldschmidt drew a two-out walk, reaching base for the 46th consecutive game, and on a single by Nolan Arenado, a wild throw from the outfield allowed Goldschmidt to score. Tyler O’Neill reached on an infield single, and another bad throw, brought in Arenado … The Cardinals had only four more hits, all singles, the rest of the game and did not advance a runner past  second base … After walking in the seventh, Tommy Edman stole his league-leading 15th base.

On the mound: Pallante, who got himself in trouble in the first allowing a hit and issuing two walks, allowing two more hits, both in the third, but got out of the inning with a double play. He retired the last eight hitters he faced … Genesis Cabrera retired all five hitters he faced … Giovanny Gallegos walked the bases loaded in the eighth, thanks to a couple of questionable ball-strike calls, but was able to get out of the inning with a popup … Ryan Helsley earned the save, retiring the Reds in order in the ninth on 12 pitches … It was the Cardinals’ seventh shutout of the season.

Key stat: The two runs in the first were the first runs the Cardinals have scored in the opening inning in 13 games, dating back to May 28.

Worth noting: Jack Flaherty allowed one hit, a home run, in four innings in his second rehab start. Pitching at Memphis, he did not walk a batter and struck out six, throwing 59 pitches … Dylan Carlson was activated from the injured list, with Lars Nootbaar optioned to Memphis … Steven Matz threw off flat ground as he continues his recovery from a shoulder injury … Rookie Zack Thompson is a candidate to make his first career start on Monday or in one of the games in Tuesday’s doubleheader, with Pallante set to start again on Wednesday.

Looking ahead: Adam Wainwright will get the start in Saturday’s 1:15 p.m. game.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

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