John Lackey could win a game Saturday without taking the mound.
The St. Louis starter was still the pitcher of record when heavy rain forced the Cardinals’ game against the Cincinnati Reds to be suspended in the top of the eighth inning tied 2-2 on Friday night. It'll resume on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. before the regularly scheduled game.
Lackey won’t pitch on Saturday, but he would get the win if the Cardinals score in the eighth and hold on.
“I’m all for it,” said Lackey, who has never pitched in a suspended game. “We'll see what happens. Maybe that’s what we need to get us going.”
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The NL Central leaders have lost six of eight, with their rotation hitting a downturn lately. Lackey held up his end, allowing seven hits and three walks while fanning 10. He repeatedly pitched out of threats to keep it tied.
“He was terrific, absolutely terrific,” manager Mike Matheny said. “He got better as the heat got turned up.”
Rain fell intermittently during the game and intensified as the eighth inning began. Jhonny Peralta led off and hit a pop-up that shortstop Eugenio Suarez dropped for an error. Suarez had trouble looking up into the heavy rain, and the umpires called for the tarp.
The Cardinals will have a runner on first when the game resumes.
“We’ve got the leadoff runner on, and we'll see where it goes from there,” Matheny said.
The teams waited out the 17th rain delay at Great American Ball Park for an hour and seven minutes before it was suspended. It was Cincinnati’s first suspended home game this season – three have been rained out.
Reds first baseman Joey Votto struck out and walked three times. He received a two-game suspension on Friday for an altercation with umpire Bill Welke on Wednesday, but will keep playing while his appeal is heard.
Cincinnati’s Michael Lorenzen gave up two runs in five innings. His start was the 42nd in a row by a rookie for the Reds, passing the 1902 Cardinals for the major league record. The Reds have gone with an all-rookie rotation since trading Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake in July.
Billy Hamilton opened the Reds’ first with a bunt single, stole second, advanced on catcher Yadier Molina’s wild throw for an error and came home on Brandon Phillips’ infield single. Ramon Cabrera hit his first major league homer in the second.
The Cardinals repeatedly wasted scoring opportunities, stranding runners in scoring position during the first three innings. Also, Jon Jay was thrown out at third base while trying to stretch a double with no outs in the fourth.
Lackey had an RBI groundout in the second, and Greg Garcia homered in the fourth to tie it 2-2.
Can’t stop him
Hamilton stole two bases, leaving him 10 for 10 in attempts against catcher Yadier Molina over his career. He leads the majors with 56 steals in 63 attempts, matching his stolen base total from last season.
Cardinals first baseman Brandon Moss stretched into the dugout to catch Phillips’ foul with two runners in scoring position in the fifth, undercutting a rally. He went 0 for 2, extending his slump to 0 for 19.
Rain go away
The 17 rain delays at GABP have lasted 24:26, the highest home total since the Reds began tracking weather delays in 1978. They’ve had a rain delay every homestand except one this season.
Cardinals: Matt Adams felt good a day after his pinch-hit appearance, his first since May 26. He missed 91 games with an injured right calf that needed surgery.
Reds: Brayan Pena won’t catch for a couple of days because of a slightly strained right hamstring, suffered while running the bases on Wednesday.
Cardinals: Lance Lynn (11-9) is coming off one of his worst starts. He lasted only 2 1-3 innings and gave up six runs – matching his season high – during a 9-0 loss to the Cubs. He’s 7-3 career against the Reds with a 3.51 ERA.
Reds: Anthony DeSclafani (8-10) is 2-0 in three career appearances against the Cardinals with a 1.29 ERA, allowing two runs in 14 innings.