September 23, 2015

Lackey makes Cards comeback a bit easier

ST. LOUIS--BUSCH STADIUM--Three runs scored in three different innings helped the St. Louis Cardinals to yet another come-form-behind victory Tuesday night, 3-1, over the Cincinnati Red in front of 43,981 at Busch Stadium.

The win gives the Cardinals a chance to sweep the Reds in their three-game set before another N.L. Central Division team, the Milwaukee Brewers, head into St. Louis for a four-game series.

John Lackey (13-9) led the way, pitching seven innings in his starting role. Lackey gave up nine hits, but struck out seven Reds, giving up the only run of the game in the top of the first inning. This time the St. Louis comeback didn't have to come from so far behind due to Lackey's reluctance to give up more than a run.

Kevin Siegrist continued to struggle, but not as much as he had, walking two and striking out two in his work to hold the Reds in the eighth inning, giving up one hit. Siegrist's successful with his three outs gives him his 26th hold of the season.

Steve Cishek notched his fourth save of the season, closing the door in the ninth, giving up a hit and striking out two.

After striking out the leadoff hitter to start the game, Lackey gave up a solo home run to Jay Bruce (25) to right center field to give the Reds an early 1-0 lead.

The Cardinals answered in the the third inning off of Reds' starter, Keyvius Sampson, who earned no decision. A one-out ground rule double down the right field line by Matt Carpenter (40) set the stage for
Tommy Pham to trade places at second base, lining a double (7) to center field and plating Carpenter to tie the game at 1-each. The doubles were the only extra-basehits for St. Louis.

After Cincinnati's reliever, Tony Cingrani, helps Sampson get out of the sixth inning, tossing a couple outs, the Reds bring in Sam LeCure (0-2) to pitch the seventh.

St. Louis scores the go-head run off LeCure, Tony Cruz starting things off with a ground ball that finds its way into center field. After a pinch-hitting strike out by Greg Garcia, Carpenter grounds through the right side of the infield, pushing Cruz to third base. With base runners on the corners and one out, Pham lofts a sacrifice fly to center field, Cruz scoring to give the Cardinals a 2-1 lead.

The Cardinals tack on an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth, all but copying their seventh inning offensive progression with different personnel. Jhonny Peralta walks to lead off the inning, followed by a Brandon Moss strikeout. Stephen Piscotty lines a single to left field and Peralta scampers from first to third base, once more giving the Cardinals base runners on the corners. This time, it was Kolten Wong's turn to lift a sacrifice fly, this one to right field, scoring Peralta from third base to give the game its final score, 3-1.

The win is the Cards' 95th of the season against 56 losses, still the best record in the MLB.

St. Louis continues to hold a four-game lead over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the N. L. Central and six-game lead over the Chicago Cubs, both keeping pace with Tuesday wins, the Pirates, 6-3 over the Colorado Rockies, and the Cubs, 4-0 over the Brewers.

The Cardinals go for a three-game sweep of the Reds Wednesday night at Busch Stadium as the final home stand of their season dwindles to five games remaining.