The Cincinnati Reds (44-52) squeaked by the St. Louis Cardinals (50-47) by a score of 3-2 on a hot Saturday evening at Great American Ballpark. The rookie, Josh VanMeter, clubbed his first Major League home run, a two-run homer, to give the Reds all the runs they needed on a night when their ace pitched.
The first five innings saw a pitcher’s duel in which Luis Castillo (ND, 2.36 ERA) and Miles Mikolas (6-10, 4.17) kept the innings moving, quickly. The the third time through the order came.
Matt Wieters smashed a homer to right center on a hanging pitch from Castillo, in the sixth, to put the first run of the game on the board. Right after him, Mikolas doubled off Castillo and the same feeling of dread from Friday started to form. Cardinals lead-off man, Tommy Edman (who put together a three-hit night, anyway) then hit a bloop into left that appeared as though it would drop into no-man’s land. Jose Iglesias, however, has a glove:
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) July 21, 2019
That erased that feeling of dread and Castillo buckled down and got out of the sixth.
The Reds came to bat after Amir Garrett (4-1, 1.66) returned to action and pitched a perfect 7th. Suarez led-off with a walk (got on base in all four plate appearances) and was quickly scored on a Yasiel Puig double to deep left center. That brought up VanMeter:
— FOX Sports Ohio (@FOXSportsOH) July 21, 2019
The Cardinals then cut the lead to one, in the eighth, thanks to a walk, double, fielder’s choice combination, because why should the result be anything but a one-run affair?
Despite allowing the Cardinals second run, David Bell left Michael Lorenzen (6 saves) in to pitch the ninth. He did not disappoint, delivering a perfect final frame and sending Reds fans home happy.
Something worth noting: along with his first homer, VanMeter recorded his second multi-hit game of this, his first year in the Majors.
The Reds will finish off the four-game set, tomorrow, at 1:10 p.m. as Anthony DeSclafani (5-4, 4.29) will try to help earn a series split. Opposing him will be Jack Flaherty (4-6, 4.41) for the Cardinals.
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