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April 5, Cardinals vs. Reds... LIVE

Bottom of the Ninth:

Okay, I am officially concerned about Ryan Franklin. He came into the game and promptly gave up a pair runs. But the Cardinals big cushion paid off and they are officially in first place.

STL 11, CIN 6.

Top of the Ninth;

Brendan Ryan gets on to leadoff the inning and Albert Pujols singles. Matt Holliday was unable to drive Ryan home, but Colby Rasmus singled to left center to score Pujols from second and restore the Birds' three-run lead. Felipe Lopez makes his season debut and is walked to bring up Yadier Molina.... Yadi then promptly hits his first career grand slam to right. Suddenly a tight games is a laugher.

STL 11, CIN 4

Bottom of the Eighth:

Kyle McClellan assumes the role of eighth inning pitcher and strikes out the first batter he faces. He walks the second guy but gets a tailor made double play ball hit to David Freese who let the ball go between his legs. McClellan then fell asleep and allowed the runner on second to steal third. McClellan whiffed Jay Bruce -- who represented the tying run at the plate -- with a full count. Another full count pitch and Stubbs hits a grounder that Freese snags... But he can't throw out the runner at first and it's 6-4. A long fly to left ends the inning...

STL 6, CIN 4.

Top of the Eighth:

One... two... three for the Cardinals and on to the bottom of the eighth. Six more outs to salt this one away.

STL 6, CIN 3.

Bottom of the Seventh:

Chris Carpenter has departed in a double switch that brings Joe Mather into the game to play right field and Dennys Reyes to the mound. Reyes struck out Jay Bruce, the only man he faced, and Jason Motte (now wearing number 30 instead of 60 like he wore last season and in spring training) has been summoned from the bullpen. Motte threw his first pitch about 52 feet right into the dirt and threw the next 95 MPH fastball high before surrendering a single. He walked the next guy in an eventful at bat. The next guy gets a hit and it's 6-3 with the tying run at the plate. Note to Tony: No more Motte on opening days ... Even if he did manage to wiggle off the hook.

STL 6, CIN 3.

Top of the Seventh:

Albert Pujols hit his second homer of the day following a Brendan Ryan single to restore the Cardinals biggest lead of the day. Matt Holliday, who was robbed of hits on a pair of line drives, collected his first safety of the year on a seeing eye grounder past short.

STL 6, CIN 2.

Bottom of the Sixth:

Colby Rasmus channeled Jim Edmods and stole a home run over the centerfield wall in Cincinnati. With two outs Scott Rolen hit a towering fly toward the hitters backdrop and Rasmus jumped to steal the solo homer just before it could leave the park.

STL 4, CIN 2.

Top of the Sixth:

Yadier Molina singled to third and David Freese was unable to move the runner up. With one out Chris Carpenter tried to hit one through the second base hole on the hit and run but the Reds were able to make the play when their second baseman barehanded the ball and nipped Carp at first base. It would have been a big play if it worked. But I hate to see the Cardinals take such chances with their ace who spent a month of last season on the DL after injuring himself on a swing. Bunt the runner to second and let it be. Schumaker lined out to first to end the inning with a ball that had RBI hit written all over it.

STL 4, CIN 2.

Bottom of the Fifth:

Carpenter is rolling again. He pitched around a Skip Schumaker error on a groundball by getting an easy double play grounder.

STL 4, CIN 2.

Top of the Fifth:

Albert Pujols got on with a single past short and Matt Holliday reached when he was hit by a pitch. Colby hit into a fielder's choice to make it first and third with one out and Ryan Ludwick, in a 2-2 count with two outs watched from the plate as a pickoff throw to first went wild and the Cardinals got one of their runs back.

STL 4, CIN 2.

Bottom of the Fourth:

The wheels have fallen off Chris Carpenter. He gave up four hits -- including solo homers to Joey Votto and Scott Rolen to allow the Reds to cut the deficit to one run. He was fortunate to get out of the inning without it getting worst. He threw one right down the middle with two on and two out only to see the hitter get under it and fly out to left.

STL 3, CIN 2.

Top of the Fourth:

Holliday line out to the pitcher on a 3-0 pitch to start the fourth. He hit in on the screws, but you sure hate to see him make an out on the infield with that sort of count ... Especially since Colby Rasmus followed Holliday with a homer into the right field seats. A full count base hit for Ludwick sets the Cardinals up to do more damage. Molina was hit by a pitch to make it first and second and then David Freese drove home Ludwick to make it 3-0 St. Louis. Carpenter sacrificed the runner on first to second but Schumaker grounded out to second to end the inning.

STL 3, CIN 0.

Bottom of the Third:

A strikeout for Carpenter to start the third. He hung a curve to Harang for a fly out to left and a ground out to first add up to another easy inning for the Cardinals ace.

STL 1, CIN 0.

Top of the Third:

Ryan fouled off several pitches with a full count before popping up to the pitcher. Pujols then flied deep to left center. I guess he isn't going to hit 1.000 with 600 homers this year after all...

ST 1, CIN 0.

Bottom of the Second:

After a fly out by former Cardinals third baseman Scott Rolen, Carpenter got a couple of  ground balls and managed a quick second frame. I looked away from the TV for a moment and saw him talking to the umpire who gestured toward the dugout and my heart stopped for a second. I thought they were calling for the training, but apparently the Cardinals ace just didn't care for the baseballs and the umpire signaled for more...  I think I'm going to be ok... I just need to take a few deep breaths.


Top of the Second:

Colby Rasmus, not known for his work drawing walsk, started his season n a good note by leading off the second with one... He moved to second base when Ryan Ludwick grounded out and to third when Yadier Molina did the same. David Freese walked to make it first and third with two outs. Chris Carpenter flied out to left center to end the inning.

STL 1, CIN 0.

Bottom of the First:

Chris Carpenter easily retired the first two Reds before running the count full on Joey Votto, who singled. He then went full on Brandon Phillips and what seemed like and easy inning took a lot of pitches to end. Carpenter got Phillips on an easy grounder to end the trouble.

STL1, CIN 0.

Top of the First:

Reds starter Aaron Harang started off throwing strikes to Skip Schumaker and Brendan Ryan. But he got behind Albert Pujols and grooved one... Pujols hit it over the fence in left center field to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead.

STL 1, CIN 0.

Game notes: Yadier Molina is in the starting lineup as the Cardinals get ready to start the season against the Reds.

The batting order: 2B Schumaker, SS Ryan, 1B Pujols, LF Holliday, CF Rasmus, RF Ludwick, C Molina, 3B Freese...