ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jesse Winker hit a two-run homer, Vladimir Gutiérrez earned his first career win and the Cincinnati Reds beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 on Thursday night.
Gutiérrez (1-1) pitched five innings of two-run ball, settling down nicely after a shaky start. He allowed three hits, struck out three and walked three in his second big league game.
“Right when we got into the second inning, I felt like a turn more towards myself and I felt better about myself as well,” Gutiérrez said through a translator. “So, I got into a routine, right, in the second through the fifth and I made my own adjustments as the game went on.”
Reds manager David Bell was impressed by Gutiérrez’s poise.
“It’s one thing when it’s easy but when it starts off like that, and then you’re able to do what he did, I think to me that’s more impressive,” Bell said. “That’s just a great night for him.”
Tejay Antone followed Gutiérrez with two scoreless innings, and Lucas Sims got six outs for his fourth save.
St. Louis got two in the first on RBI singles by Tyler O’Neill and Yadier Molina. O’Neill extended his hitting streak to a career-best 11 games.
But Cincinnati went ahead to stay on Winker’s 14th homer in the second, a drive to right against Adam Wainwright that traveled an estimated 425 feet.
“I got into (a) hitter’s count and I just wanted to put a good swing on it,” Winker said.
Winker finished with three hits, and Nick Castellanos extended his hitting streak to 19 games with a first-inning single. Tucker Barnhart added an RBI double in the eighth.
Barnhart helped thwart a Cardinals rally in the ninth by pouncing on a José Rondón bunt and starting a 2-5-3 double play. After Paul Goldschmidt walked, putting runners on first and second, Tommy Edman struck out to end the game.
“They got the bunt down and Tucker’s great, it’s just that, Tucker’s great,” Winker said. “Just cat-like reflexes, he picks the ball up and throws an absolute laser to (Eugenio Suárez).”
Wainwright (3-5) permitted three runs and eight hits in seven innings. He hit a career-high three batters, including Tyler Naquin with the bases loaded in the first.
“I just got to simplify and just execute my pitches and make the pitch I’m trying to make and trust my defense and when I do that I stay in good counts, I put the ball on the ground and get strikeouts, and then we’re in good shape,” Wainwright said. “That’s what I got to get rolling with.”
The Cardinals lost for the fourth time in five games.
Wainwright got some help from his defense in the fifth when Dylan Carlson, Tommy Edman and Molina executed a perfect 8-4-2 putout on Tyler Stephenson as he tried to score on a Naquin double.
Wainwright and Molina made their 284th career start as batterymates, passing Don Drysdale and John Roseboro (1957-67) of the Dodgers for fourth all-time in major league history since records were kept in 1908.
“It’s a lot of games,” Wainwright said. “What a tremendous blessing that is for me to have had him as my catcher for so long.”
MISSING FIRST BASEMEN
Both teams were without their All-Star first basemen in the starting lineup. Paul Goldschmidt got most of the night off for the Cardinals, while the Reds’ Joey Votto (broken left thumb) started a rehab assignment in Triple-A Louisville on Wednesday.
Goldschmidt drew a pinch-hit walk in the bottom of the ninth.
Reds: OF Aristides Aquino (left hamate fracture) was sent to Louisville for a rehab assignment.
Cardinals: LHP Andrew Miller (toe) was activated from the 10-day injured list, and LHP Tyler Webb was designated for assignment.
Reds right-hander Luis Castillo (1-8, 7.22 ERA) starts Friday night against Cardinals left-hander Kwang Hyun Kim (1-3, 3.65 ERA). Castillo is seeking his first win since April 7. Kim is making his fourth career start against Cincinnati after winning his first three outings.
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