Rookie Luke Weaver shines again, Cardinals top Reds


St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Luke Weaver throws during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)


St. Louis Cardinals' Tommy Pham is congratulated by third base coach Mike Shildt while rounding the bases on a two-run home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)


Cincinnati Reds' Joey Votto heads back to the dugout after grounding out during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)


ST. LOUIS (AP) — Luke Weaver threw six innings of two-hit ball, Tommy Pham drove in two runs and stole two bases, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-2 on Thursday.

The Cardinals, who are chasing the first-place Cubs in the National League Central and the Rockies in the wild-card standings, have won five of their last six and nine of 12.

Weaver (6-1), a rookie right-hander who has boosted the St. Louis rotation, allowed one unearned run, struck out six and didn’t walk a batter.

Weaver was 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA in four appearances, including three starts, in June. He’s now 3-0 with a 0.99 ERA through his first three starts in September.

Rookie left-hander Amir Garrett (3-8) was charged with four runs in four innings. He struck out seven and walked five.

The Reds took a 1-0 lead in the second when Scott Schebler hit a double and scored with two outs when shortstop Paul DeJong mishandled Phillip Ervin’s grounder.

Garrett struck out four consecutive batters before running into trouble with back-to-back, full-count walks with two outs in the third.

After a stolen base by Tommy Pham and a double steal by Pham and Paul DeJong, Jose Martinez came through with a full-count, two-run single to left to put St. Louis ahead.

Pham hit a two-run homer in the fifth, his 20th of the season. With 21 stolen bases, he became the first Cardinal to record a 20/20 season since Reggie Sanders in 2004.

The Cardinals cut down Joey Votto at home plate to end the Reds’ seventh, following Adam Duvall’s double off the left field fence. DeJong took a relay toss from Harrison Bader and threw home to Yadier Molina, preserving the Cardinals’ three-run lead.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals: RHP Adam Wainwright (right elbow) threw a bullpen session before Thursday’s game.

Reds: 2B Scooter Gennett, who left Tuesday’s game with left hand inflammation, was not in the lineup for the second straight day and is considered day to day.

UP NEXT

Reds: RHP Homer Bailey (4-8, 7.26) starts off a three-game home series against the Pirates and RHP Chad Kuhl (7-10, 4.21). Bailey is 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA in two September starts.

Cardinals: RHP Carlos Martinez (11-10, 3.33) opens a three-game series against the Cubs in Chicago opposite RHP John Lackey (11-11, 4.65). Martinez is 1-1 with a 3.19 ERA in four career starts at Wrigley Field.

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St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Luke Weaver throws during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/09/web1_118492716-1b16ba1c0aaa4ac48b2b7ddbc96958fa-1.jpgSt. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Luke Weaver throws during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

St. Louis Cardinals’ Tommy Pham is congratulated by third base coach Mike Shildt while rounding the bases on a two-run home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/09/web1_118492716-eeae93f2d63b481d90012752d0b13832-1.jpgSt. Louis Cardinals’ Tommy Pham is congratulated by third base coach Mike Shildt while rounding the bases on a two-run home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Cincinnati Reds’ Joey Votto heads back to the dugout after grounding out during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/09/web1_118492716-a9070ce3e18141f497df5e5adf4378df-1.jpgCincinnati Reds’ Joey Votto heads back to the dugout after grounding out during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)