Cincinnati 5, St. Louis 1
When: 1:30 PM ET, Saturday, September 12, 2015
Where: Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio
Jim Joyce, 1B -
Greg Gibson, 2B -
Chad Fairchild, 3B -
CINCINNATI - St. Louis manager Mike Matheny remains steadfast in his message that the Cardinals' recent struggles are indicative of the ebb and flow of baseball, nothing more.
"This happens to every club," Matheny said. "We have to be proactive in our efforts to fix things. But we have to be honest evaluators. Teams go through this."
In this case, it's a team which has led the National League Central since April 17. And it's September.
Skip Schumaker hit a three-run homer and Anthony DeSclafani had a career-high 10 strikeouts in six innings, lifting the Cincinnati Reds to a 5-1 victory over the slumping Cards on a fall-like Saturday afternoon at Great American Ball Park.
Earlier on Saturday, left fielder Adam Duvall's two-run homer in the eighth inning lifted the Reds to a 4-2 victory in the resumption of Friday night's suspended game.
The losses reduced St. Louis' lead in the National League Central to three games pending second-place Pittsburgh's game later Saturday.
"We've got guys here who know how to get it done when it matters," said right-hander Lance Lynn, who's appeared in two World Series and four NL championship series for St. Louis.
The Cardinals (88-53) committed five errors in the first three games of the series - including two in Saturday's game - and has been outscored 47-13 in losing six of the past seven contests.
Matheny refused to make excuses, even with key components in right-hander Adam Wainwright and outfielder Matt Holliday on the disabled list.
"We haven't leaned on those guys all year," Matheny said. "We're not going to start now."
DeSclafani (9-10) allowed four hits and one run in six innings while walking one after St. Louis began the game with three straight hits off him.
Third baseman Matt Carpenter led off with a double and later scored on center fielder Jason Heyward's single. DeSclafani responded by striking out three straight batters to end the inning.
"It was a good start," Matheny said. "It was a shame that three strikeouts followed."
While he used a total of 33 pitches to get through the first, DeSclafani was more efficient with his pitches from there, needing 49 over the next four frames.
He retired 15 straight in one stretch, eight via strikeout.
"DeSclafani found his curveball and fastball command after the first three batters," Cincinnati manager Bryan Price said. "He's a tough kid. I'm really happy with his makeup."
Lynn didn't allow a hit until shortstop Eugenio Suarez singled leading off the fifth.
Four batters later, Schumaker provided some rare power when he belted a 2-1 pitch from Lynn into the right field seats for a three-run homer, putting the Reds ahead 3-1.
"I was happy for Schumaker," DeSclafani said. "He came into the dugout like a ball of fire. He picked me up."
It was Schumaker's first homer since August 13, 2014 against the Red Sox, one of only two he hit last season.
"Overall I thought I had really good stuff," Lynn said. "I made one mistake. We're in a stretch right now where you make one mistake and it snowballs."
Lynn (11-10) was charged with three earned runs and four hits in six innings.
St. Louis had the go-ahead run at the plate in the seventh, but left-hander Tony Cingrani got pinch-hitter Jhonny Peralta to ground into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Cincinnati first baseman Joey Votto narrowly missed a grand slam in the seventh when he flew out to the wall in center for a sacrifice fly which made it 4-1.
The Reds' bullpen closed the door on St. Louis, which is 3-8 in September.
"We have to disrupt a little bit of what's going on in this (playoff) race," said Schumaker, who spent eight seasons in St. Louis. "To have fun around here we have to beat teams going to the playoffs. It's nice to hit one against the organization that I respect the most."
NOTES: Cardinals RHP Matt Belisle was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list Saturday. He last pitched on June 25 before being placed on the DL with elbow soreness which wasn't deemed serious at the time. ... 2B Kolten Wong returned to the Cardinals' lineup Saturday after missing four games with a strained left calf. ... Major League Baseball suspended Cardinals C Cody Stanley for 80 games after testing positive for a banned substance. Stanley was recalled from Triple-A Memphis on Sept. 1. He was batting .400 with a double and three RBIs in nine games. ... Cincinnati won only its four series in the last 18 against St. Louis.
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