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St. Louis at Cincinnati

St. Louis
W: J. Cueto (2-0) L: K. McClellan (5-1)
HR: STL - J. Jay (3)   CIN - B. Phillips (5),R. Hernandez (4),R. Hernandez (5)

Reds 7, Cardinals 3

SportsLine.com wire reports

CINCINNATI -- Johnny Cueto got the better of the team he kicked around the last time they met.

The right-hander took a shutout into the eighth inning on Saturday, and the Cincinnati Reds beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-3, taking over first place with strong showings by the two players who were at the epicenter of their bloody and bruising brawl last season.

The defending NL Central champions moved into first place alone for the first time since April 18 behind Cueto and second baseman Brandon Phillips, who ignited the fight last Aug. 10 with his derogatory comments about the Cardinals.

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Phillips drove in three runs with a solo homer, RBI single and sacrifice fly. Ramon Hernandez added a pair of home runs.

Then, the capacity crowd of 41,307 stayed and cheered as Cincinnati's wishbone "C" moved ahead of the Cardinals on the standings board above the outfield, reflecting their half-game edge.

Not everyone celebrated or even claimed to notice.

"I didn't see that," Phillips said. "What are we, tied? We're up a half-game? See, I don't worry about it. If you keep winning, everything will take care of itself."

The Reds made sure not to kick the Cardinals when they were down -- no gloating or savoring this one more than any other.

"I just wanted to win the game," Cueto said, through a trainer serving as translator. "I was throwing my normal game like I pitch to any other team."

When the Cardinals and Reds get together, it isn't just any other game. There's too much history for that.

And now, a little more.

Cueto (2-0) slashed two Cardinals with his cleats during that brawl last season and got a seven-game suspension. He hadn't faced them since.

The spicy rematch was all Cueto, who didn't allow a Cardinal to reach second base until Matt Holliday doubled in the seventh. A pair of errors set up Jon Jay's three-run homer in the eighth. Cueto gave up three hits and fanned five in 7 2-3 innings.

"Mainly, that was the story of the day," acting Cardinals manager Joe Pettini said. "We just had a tough day against Cueto."

Cueto also made the best play of the game, whirling his glove behind his back for a no-look stab at Albert Pujols' grounder up the middle in the seventh. That out brought a big smile to his face, and he patted his glove in response to a standing ovation from the fans when he left the game in the eighth.

"When he made that catch behind his back, I figured it was probably his day," Cardinals outfielder Lance Berkman said.

The last time Cueto faced the Cardinals, he got pinned against the backstop during the brawl and furiously kicked catcher Jason LaRue and pitcher Chris Carpenter, later saying he was protecting himself. Cueto stayed in the game and lasted only 5 1/3 innings, giving up five runs in St. Louis' 8-4 win.

Hernandez homered on each of the first two pitches he saw from Kyle McClellan (5-1), who went six innings and then headed back to Missouri to be with his wife when she delivers the couple's first child.

The win represented a breakthrough for the Reds, who won the division last season despite going 6-12 against the Cardinals and dropping four of their five series. The Reds have won the first two games of the weekend series, leaving them 3-2 against St. Louis this season.

The Reds have won eight of 10 overall, buoyed by the return of starters Homer Bailey and Cueto. Both had been sidelined by shoulder problems since spring training.

Phillips got the Reds going by leading off the second with his fifth homer. He showing no extra emotion while rounding the bases quickly after ending the Cardinals' streak of eight games without allowing a homer.

"It felt real good," Phillips said. "I was looking for a ball to drive. I was sitting on something real slow and wanted to see what I could do with it."

Hernandez led off the third with a homer on the first pitch from McClellan. He did the same thing leading off the fifth, connecting on the first pitch for his ninth multihomer game.


The Reds honored former manager Sparky Anderson before the game, playing a tribute to their late skipper on the video board and giving away statues. ... Cardinals SS Ryan Theriot was back after missing two games with sore muscles in his right side. ... The Reds activated RH reliever Jose Arredondo and optioned RH Mike Leake to Triple-A Louisville. Arredondo hadn't pitched in the majors since having reconstructive elbow surgery on Feb. 2, 2010.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game

R. Hernandez
AB 3
R 2
H 3
HR 2
St. Louis

J. Jay
AB 1
R 1
H 1
HR 1

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St. Louis Cardinals
Ryan Theriot, SS3000101 .280
Colby Rasmus, CF3000111 .305
Albert Pujols, 1B4010011 .273
Matt Holliday, LF4010003 .394
Lance Berkman, RF3000001 .342
    Ryan Franklin, P0000000 .000
    Jason Motte, P0000000 .000
   a- Nick Punto, PH1000000 .255
Yadier Molina, C4000010 .280
Daniel Descalso, 3B4100000 .222
Tyler Greene, 2B3110010 .240
Kyle McClellan, P2000011 .222
    Jon Jay, RF1113000 .289
a-flied out for Motte in the 9th
2B - Matt Holliday (13, Cueto)
HR - Jon Jay (3, Cueto)
RBI - Jon Jay 3 (8)
Team LOB - 4
Outfield Assists - Colby Rasmus 1
DP - McClellan-Theriot-Pujols
E - Ryan Theriot (9, Misplayed grounder)
St. Louis Cardinals
Kyle McClellan (L,5-1) 6744313 3.62
Ryan Franklin 1.1322100 9.88
Jason Motte 0.2211000 2.60
IBB - Votto by Kyle McClellan, Votto by Ryan Franklin
WP - Jason Motte (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Kyle McClellan 94-59, Ryan Franklin 30-16, Jason Motte 15-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle McClellan 8-8, Ryan Franklin 2-2, Jason Motte 1-0
Batters Faced - Kyle McClellan 27, Ryan Franklin 8, Jason Motte 3
Cincinnati Reds
Drew Stubbs, CF4230101 .276
Paul Janish, SS4000005 .259
Joey Votto, 1B2000202 .346
Brandon Phillips, 2B3123000 .326
Jay Bruce, RF4000003 .236
Scott Rolen, 3B4120000 .261
Jonny Gomes, LF4000012 .186
    Chris Heisey, LF0000000 .250
Ramon Hernandez, C3232100 .342
Johnny Cueto, P3010001 .200
    Logan Ondrusek, P0000000 .000
   a- Fred Lewis, PH1111000 .417
    Francisco Cordero, P0000000 .000
a-singled for Ondrusek in the 8th
2B - Drew Stubbs (6, Franklin)
HR - Brandon Phillips (5, McClellan), Ramon Hernandez 2 (5, McClellan, McClellan)
SF - Brandon Phillips (3)
SH - Paul Janish (1)
RBI - Brandon Phillips 3 (23), Ramon Hernandez 2 (14), Fred Lewis (3)
2-OUT RBI - Brandon Phillips (6)
SB - Drew Stubbs (13, 2nd base off McClellan/Molina)
PK - Drew Stubbs (2, McClellan)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Janish-B. Phillips-Votto
E - Paul Janish (3, Misplayed grounder), Scott Rolen (1, Misplayed grounder)
Cincinnati Reds
Johnny Cueto (W,2-0) 7.2330251 0.00
Logan Ondrusek (H,4) 0.1100000 2.45
Francisco Cordero 1000000 2.04
Pitches-Strikes - Johnny Cueto 101-63, Logan Ondrusek 7-4, Francisco Cordero 9-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Johnny Cueto 9-10, Francisco Cordero 1-2
Batters Faced - Johnny Cueto 29, Logan Ondrusek 2, Francisco Cordero 3
Game Information
Attendance - 41307
Game Time - 2:32
Temperature - 64
Umpires - Home - Andy Fletcher, First Base - Tim Welke, Second Base - Jim Reynolds, Third Base - Mike DiMuro