CINCINNATI (AP) — Left-hander Cody Reed can’t seem to make any progress.
Brandon Moss drove in a pair of runs during St. Louis’ four-run first inning off the rookie pitcher, and the St. Louis Cardinals held on for a 5-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night to even their series.
St. Louis sent nine batters to the plate against Reed (0-6) in the first inning, with Moss and Greg Garcia each driving in a pair of runs. Stephen Piscotty added a solo homer, the Cardinals’ fifth in two games.
The Reds got Reed from Kansas City as part of the deal for starter Johnny Cueto. He’s got six losses and a pair of no-decisions, struggling to stay in games very long.
“It seems like I’m giving the same interview,” said Reed, who allowed eight hits and a walk in five innings. “I’m not really performing. It’s a battle for me right now.”
The Cardinals were aggressive against Reed in the first inning, putting together a pair of hits after only four pitches.
“It’s the speed of the game,” manager Bryan Price said. “He’s not as acute with his command in the first inning. He’s taking time to settle in. By that time, they’ve scored four runs. It’s a big inning, and we’re digging ourselves out of a hole.”
Moss and Jhonny Peralta returned from the disabled list at the start of the series and have contributed as the teams split the first two games. Moss is 5 for 9 with three doubles and a homer.
For the season, he’s 12 of 28 (.429) against the Reds with three doubles and five homers.
Michael Wacha (7-7) gave up a pair of runs in five innings as he won his fifth straight decision. Seung Hwan Ho gave up a hit in the ninth while earning his eighth save in 10 tries.
The NL Central rivals conclude the series on Thursday. The Cardinals have won 18 of their past 22 series, including eight of 11 at Great American Ball Park.
St. Louis had chances to pull out to an even bigger lead, but had a pair of runners thrown out at the plate as they tried to score from third base on grounders. Another was caught in a rundown between third and home.
Joey Votto extended his career-high hitting streak to 17 games with an RBI single in the first inning. It’s the longest streak by a Reds player since Brandon Phillips hit in 22 in a row in 2007. Votto is 29 for 58 (.500) during the streak.
The Cardinals’ Yadier Molina went 0 for 2, walked and was hit by a pitch, ending his 16-game hitting streak.
Piscotty’s 15th homer made it 5-2 in the fifth. He was involved in helping the Reds cut the deficit in the sixth.
Adam Duvall hit a fly ball down the right field line, and the ball deflected off Piscotty’s glove as he tried to make a sliding catch, resulting in a triple. Phillips singled for a run, and then was called out at second base as the Cardinals tried to turn a double play. Phillips was ruled safe at second after a review, and he scored on Ivan De Jesus Jr.’s single.
Molina’s streak was the longest by a Cardinal since David Freese hit in 20 straight in 2013. … Reds reliever Josh Smith pinch-hit for Reed in the fifth and doubled. He stayed in the game to pitch. The Reds had only three healthy reserves on the bench. Smith is the first Reds pitcher with a pinch hit since Micah Owings singled in 2010.
Reed needed 36 pitches and 16 minutes to get three outs in the first inning. Wacha also struggled in the first inning, throwing 34 pitches while giving up a pair of runs.
Cardinals: Reliever Tyler Lyons went on the 15-day DL with a sore right knee. Den Kiekhefer was recalled from Triple-A.
Reds: Shortstop Zack Cozart was out of the lineup for a second straight day with a sore finger on his throwing hand.
Cardinals: Mike Leake (8-8) hasn’t walked a batter in his past 30 innings spanning five starts, a career best. It’s the longest active streak in the majors and the second-longest this season behind Matt Schoemaker’s 30 1/3 innings without a walk for the Angels.
Reds: Brandon Finnegan (6-8) is 1-1 against the Cardinals in five starts with a 3.66 ERA. In two starts this season, he’s gone 1-0 and allowed two earned runs in 12 innings.