Friday’s Game Report: Cardinals 9, Reds 4

Friday’s Game Report: Cardinals 9, Reds 4

By Rob Rains

It finally was a good Friday for the Cardinals.

Willson Contreras hit a three-run homer in the first inning and Luken Baker also drove in three runs with a double that sent the Cardinals to the win over the Reds in Cincinnati.

The win broke a 10-game losing streak for the Cardinals on Friday’s that dated back to June 9. It was only their fourth win in 21 Friday games this season.

The Cardinals have won three of the first four games on this nine-game trip, scoring a combined 35 runs.

Here is how Friday night’s game broke down:

At the plate: The Cardinals built a 6-0 lead with the three runs in the first and three runs in the third, all coming with rallies that began with a two-out walk to Paul Goldschmidt … The home run was the 18th of the season for Contreras … Nolan Arenado had a three-hit night, including an RBI single in the seventh that gave him his first RBI in 12 games … The Cardinals final run in the eighth also scored after Jordan Walker singled with two outs in advance of a double by Lars Nootbaar.

On the mound: Starter Drew Rom only lasted 3 2/3 innings, giving up a pair of home runs in the third that produced the first three runs for the Reds after he had pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the second … Six Cardinals relievers combined to strand nine baserunners from the fourth through the ninth innings … Matthew Liberatore, making his second relief appearance in as many days, was able to get out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth and retired four of the five hitters he faced, striking out three of them, and was credited with the victory … Ryan Helsley worked a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out two.

Key stat: Contreras became only the third primary catcher for the Cardinals to hit 18 or more home runs in a season. He joined Ted Simmons, who did it six times, and Yadier Molina, who did it three times.

Worth noting: Goldschmidt was named the Cardinals’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, considered the highest honor in baseball. It’s the eighth time his team has nominated Goldschmidt for the award, which has been won in the past by Adam Wainwright, Molina and other former Cardinals. The winner of this year’s award will be announced during the World Series … Infielder Thomas Saggese, who has been on an offensive tear since the Cardinals acquired him from Texas in the Jordan Montgomery trade, was promoted Friday from Double A Springfield to Triple A Memphis … In Friday night’s game at Springfield, Chandler Redmond hit his 30th home run of the season.

Looking ahead: Zack Thompson will get the start on Saturday night in the second game of the series.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

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