St. Louis at Cincinnati

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St. Louis (22-17)0003011000590
Cincinnati (21-17) «00000220116131

Reds rally, Votto's single in 10th finish off Cardinals

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- Joey Votto fouled off a tough pitch with two strikes, giving himself a chance for one more swing. That's all the National League MVP needed.

Votto's two-out, run-scoring single in the 10th inning completed the Cincinnati Reds' comeback to a 6-5 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night, tightening the NL Central race with a flourish.

"There's going to be a lot more games like that between us and the Reds," Cardinals acting manager Joe Pettini said.

The first game of their weekend series certainly met the hype.

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The defending NL Central champions moved within a half-game of the first-place Cardinals by overcoming a 5-2 deficit in the late innings. Their best hitter provided the finishing stroke. With 32,972 fans waving white rally towels and chanting "MVP," Votto fouled off a tough two-strike pitch from Jason Motte (1-1) to extend the at-bat, then singled to score Chris Heisey from second base.

"He's a guy that a lot of guys will strike out against," Votto said. "I had two strikes against me, so I was really fighting. I had to fight. I got a pretty good pitch to hit late in the at-bat."

Brandon Phillips' single off Eduardo Sanchez tied it in the ninth, and Votto kept the Reds perfect in four extra-inning games this season. Francisco Cordero (3-1) pitched out of a two-on threat in the ninth, striking out Jon Jay to keep it tied.

This one had a little extra meaning for the Reds, who won the division last season despite going 6-12 against St. Louis, the only team in the division that could handle them. They evened this season's series at two games each with Votto's hit.

"It's like gaining two games," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "Instead of being 2½ out, we're only a half-game out. If that's any indication of what's coming up, it's going to be exciting."

Cincinnati has won seven of its last nine games overall, now that its rotation is complete with Homer Bailey and Johnny Cueto back off the disabled list.

St. Louis has won two of its four games while Pettini fills in for manager Tony La Russa, who is recovering from shingles. After Kyle Lohse turned a 5-2 lead over to the bullpen in the seventh, the bench coach got a workout making pitching changes to try to hold on.

Nothing worked for long.

Edgar Renteria doubled home a pair of runs in the seventh off Miguel Batista, who failed to retire any of the three batters he faced.

The fans waved those white rally towels handed out at the gates when Sanchez came on to try to preserve the one-run lead in the ninth. The rookie walked Renteria on four pitches and threw a wild pitch. Phillips' single tied it.

It was the first time in five tries that Sanchez failed to hold a lead in the ninth.

Ramon Hernandez started the winning rally in the 10th with a double. He was caught in a lengthy rundown on Chris Heisey's grounder, although Heisey managed to reach second on the play. He scored easily on Votto's single.

Matt Holliday had three hits for the Cardinals, helping them pull ahead 5-2 and raising his batting average to .398, best in the majors.

The Reds scored both their runs off Lohse in the sixth, when Jay Bruce had an RBI single and scored on Scott Rolen's double. Rolen was activated from the disabled list before the game, having recovered from a sore left shoulder and neck, and had three hits.

Notes

  • Tyler Greene made his sixth start at SS. Ryan Theriot missed his second game with a sore right side, but Pettini expects him back in the lineup on Saturday.
  • The Reds optioned infielder Chris Valaika to Triple-A Louisville to open a roster spot for Rolen.
  • Cueto starts for the Reds on Saturday, the first time he's faced the Cardinals since the teams got into a brawl last Aug. 10. Cueto got a seven-game suspension for kicking two Cardinals during the fight.
 
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Reds players jump all over Joey Votto, who drives in the winning run off reliever Jason Motte. (AP)
Reds players jump all over Joey Votto, who drives in the winning run off reliever Jason Motte. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cincinnati

J. Votto
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
St. Louis

M. Holliday
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
 

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St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Nick Punto, 2B3000210 .259
Colby Rasmus, CF4210112 .311
Albert Pujols, 1B4120112 .273
Matt Holliday, LF5132002 .398
Lance Berkman, RF2001111 .351
    Miguel Batista, P0000000 .000
    Trever Miller, P0000000 .000
    Fernando Salas, P0000000 .000
    Eduardo Sanchez, P0000000 .000
   a- Mark Hamilton, PH1000000 .214
    Allen Craig, RF0000000 .289
Yadier Molina, C5110002 .289
Daniel Descalso, 3B5022000 .233
Tyler Greene, SS3000211 .234
Kyle Lohse, P3000012 .136
    Jon Jay, RF2000022 .273
    Jason Motte, P0000000 .000
Totals3759578  
a-flied out for Sanchez in the 10th
Batting
2B - Matt Holliday (12, Arroyo), Daniel Descalso (6, Arroyo)
SF - Lance Berkman (3)
RBI - Matt Holliday 2 (28), Lance Berkman (33), Daniel Descalso 2 (14)
2-OUT RBI - Daniel Descalso 2 (10)
SB - Albert Pujols (3, 2nd base off Masset/Hernandez)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Punto-Pujols-Descalso, Salas-Pujols
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Kyle Lohse 6722240 2.31
Miguel Batista0222100 1.69
Trever Miller0000100 3.00
Fernando Salas (H,3) 2000100 1.15
Eduardo Sanchez (BS,1) 1211110 3.00
Jason Motte (L,1-1) 0.2211100 2.16
IBB - Bruce by Fernando Salas
HBP - Hanigan (by Fernando Salas)
WP - Eduardo Sanchez (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Lohse 99-59, Miguel Batista 11-6, Trever Miller 10-6, Fernando Salas 21-11, Eduardo Sanchez 21-11, Jason Motte 26-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Lohse 7-6, Fernando Salas 1-4, Eduardo Sanchez 1-1, Jason Motte 1-1
Batters Faced - Kyle Lohse 26, Miguel Batista 3, Trever Miller 1, Fernando Salas 7, Eduardo Sanchez 6, Jason Motte 5
Cincinnati Reds
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Drew Stubbs, CF4100201 .264
Edgar Renteria, SS4112215 .261
Joey Votto, 1B5121121 .351
Brandon Phillips, 2B4021011 .319
Jay Bruce, RF4111102 .243
Scott Rolen, 3B5031004 .246
Fred Lewis, LF3020001 .364
    Mike Leake, P0000000 .231
   a- Miguel Cairo, PH1000003 .286
    Nick Masset, P0000000 .000
   b- Jonny Gomes, PH1000012 .193
    Francisco Cordero, P0000000 .000
Ryan Hanigan, C2000103 .280
    Travis Wood, PR0000000 .071
    Ramon Hernandez, C1010000 .316
Bronson Arroyo, P1000002 .267
    Bill Bray, P0000000 .000
    Chris Heisey, LF3210001 .250
Totals38613675  
a-lined out for Leake in the 7th
b-struck out for Masset in the 9th
Batting
2B - Edgar Renteria (2, Batista), Joey Votto (11, Lohse), Scott Rolen (7, Lohse), Ramon Hernandez (5, Motte)
SH - Brandon Phillips (2), Bronson Arroyo (3)
RBI - Edgar Renteria 2 (10), Joey Votto (22), Brandon Phillips (20), Jay Bruce (21), Scott Rolen (13)
2-OUT RBI - Joey Votto (5)
Team LOB - 13
Fielding
DP - Leake-Hanigan-Votto
E - Brandon Phillips (1, Throwing)
Cincinnati Reds
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Bronson Arroyo 6643330 3.78
Bill Bray 0.1011100 1.35
Mike Leake 0.2200100 5.70
Nick Masset 2000140 4.18
Francisco Cordero (W,3-1) 1100110 2.16
IBB - T. Greene by Bronson Arroyo, Berkman by Mike Leake
WP - Mike Leake (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Bronson Arroyo 104-66, Bill Bray 11-5, Mike Leake 14-6, Nick Masset 26-16, Francisco Cordero 24-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bronson Arroyo 5-10, Bill Bray 1-0, Mike Leake 1-0, Francisco Cordero 1-1
Batters Faced - Bronson Arroyo 27, Bill Bray 2, Mike Leake 4, Nick Masset 7, Francisco Cordero 5
Game Information
Attendance - 32972
Game Time - 3:54
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Mike DiMuro, First Base - Andy Fletcher, Second Base - Tim Welke, Third Base - Jim Reynolds