CINCINNATI (AP) — Paul Goldschmidt helped slow down rookie fireballer Hunter Greene, Steven Matz pitched one-run ball over five innings and the St. Louis Cardinals stretched the Cincinnati Reds’ losing streak to 10 games with a 4-2 victory Friday night.
Greene delivered 39 fastballs at least 100 mph in his previous start, the most in a game since pitch tracking began in 2008, but the 22-year-old topped out at 97.2 mph Friday.
Goldschmidt and the Cardinals took advantage. The veteran slugger had three hits and two RBIs. Both runs were charged to Greene (1-2), who walked four and was charged with three runs over 3 1/3 innings.
Matz (2-1) and the bullpen made the lead stick, with the right-hander striking out six and allowing seven hits before leaving with no outs and a man on in the sixth.
Decimated by free agent departures, trades and injuries, the Reds have their worst skid since losing 11 straight in 2016. Brandon Drury’s RBI single in the fifth snapped a scoring drought of 16 innings.
Cincinnati scored another in the ninth on a fielder’s choice groundout by Kyle Farmer, but Drury flied out to center as Giovanny Gallegos closed out his fourth save.
The Reds have been outscored 63-20 during the current slide.
Greene had been one of the few bright spots during Cincinnati’s 2-12 start, but the zip was missing from his fastball in his home debut. He worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the first after the Cardinals pushed a run across on back-to-back hits by Dylan Carlson and Goldschmidt and an error by left fielder Tommy Pham.
St. Louis loaded the bases again with one out in the fourth. Greene was pulled in favor of Jeff Hoffman, who gave up a two-run single to Goldschmidt.
The Cardinals took the opener of the weekend series after winning 2 of 3 against the Miami Marlins this week.
Cardinals: Made their first roster move since opening day, placing RHP Drew VerHagen (right hip impingement) on the 10-day injured list and recalling LHP Packy Naughton from Triple-A Memphis.
Reds: Activated RHP Lucas Sims from the injured list. RHP Ryan Hendrix was sent to Triple-A.
The Cards send RHP Dakota Hudson (0-1, 7.71) against Reds RHP Tyler Mahle (1-1, 7.82) on Saturday.
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