Starter Adam Wainwright threw seven stellar innings Wednesday against the Reds to lead the Cardinals to a 6-3 victory in Cincinnati.
The St. Louis co-ace allowed three hits and two walks while striking out six. His only real mistake was a homer to left allowed to Orlando Cabrera that tied the game at two runs apiece in the sixth inning. But the Birds rallied in the top of the seventh when Skip Schumaker led off the inning with a single, Brendan Ryan Walked and Albert Pujols singled into left center to drive in the go ahead run. Matt Holliday then doubled to plate two and Colby Rasmus bunted Holliday to third. Ryan Ludwick struck out swinging. But David Freese, who stranded a runner at third with one out earlier in the game, fought off a pitch for a two-out single to make the score 6-2.
Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday hits a two-run double in the top of the seventh inning April 7 against the Reds. AP photo.
The Reds got a run in the bottom of the eighth off Kyle McClellan to make the score 6-3 and had the tying run on deck when Dennys Reyes came in to strike out slugger Joey Votto.
Ryan Franklin pitched the ninth and looked like he was going to make it easy. He got Brandon Phillips to ground out harmlessly to shortstop and then Scott Rolen hit a comebacker to the mound. But Franklin was unable to get a glove on the ball and Rolen arrived at first base safely. Then it got interesting.
Jay Bruce hit a screaming liner to right that Ryan Ludwick chased down in the gap to steal one hit from the Reds. Then Johnny Gomes hit a sinking liner to right and Ludwick made a diving catch to save the game.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Adam Wainwright
Play of the game: Ryan Ludwick's diving grab to end the game in the bottom of the ninth.
Lowlight: Home plate umpire Eric Cooper had a strike zone about half the size of a postage stamp. This game looked like a pretty good pitching matchup, but the starters weren't really given much of a chance to shine.