Matt Carpenter hit a pair of two-run homers, Lance Lynn pitched six scoreless innings and the St. Louis Cardinals routed the Cincinnati Reds 10-2 Wednesday night.
The win was the fourth straight for the National League Central leaders and it improved their major league-best record to 96-56. Randal Grichuk and Peter Bourjos also homered as the Cardinals hit four for the first time this season.
Matt Holliday returned to the St. Louis lineup for the first time since July 29 and contributed an RBI double.
Both of Carpenter's homers came off Brandon Finnegan (4-1), who allowed six runs in five innings.
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Lynn (12-10) gave up three singles, walked none and allowed only one runner to reach second before leaving with the Cardinals ahead 9-0.
St. Louis catcher Travis Tartamella singled in his first major league at-bat in the eighth.
Cincinnati slugger Joey Votto hit his 29th homer in the seventh and singled while extending his streak of reaching base safely to 40 games, one shy of his career best.
Wainwright gets closer
Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright moved a step closer to returning when he faced hitters for the first time since having left Achilles surgery April 30. The operation was expected to end his season, but Wainwright now hopes to pitch out of the bullpen next week. After throwing 25 pitches in simulated-game conditions to Cardinals hitters, Wainwright said he felt strong but lacked sharpness. "I like being out there again," he said. "I wanted to be better than that. The second time, it's got to improve."
Reds: RHP Rafael Iglesias, removed from the rotation last week because of shoulder fatigue, has not been shut down for the season. Manager Bryan Price said Iglesias' shoulder is stronger and he could pitch before the season ends.
Cardinals: Holliday (quad), Grichuk (elbow) and 1B Matt Adams (quad) have all returned to the lineup after stints on the disabled list, but none of them have been cleared to start on consecutive days. That could change soon, manager Mike Matheny said.
Reds: Josh Smith (0-2, 7.71 ERA) will oppose fellow rookie Steven Matz in the opener of a four-game home series against the NL East-leading New York Mets. Matz won his major league debut against Smith and the Reds 7-2 in June.
Cardinals: Michael Wacha (16-6, 3.08) will make his first start this season against Milwaukee in the opener of St. Louis' final home series. Wacha has given up 12 earned runs in 15 innings over his past three starts.