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St. Louis at Cincinnati

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St. Louis (5-1) «100002000390
Cincinnati (2-3)000001000140

Beltran, Freese homer in Cards' victory

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- Two games into their series against the defending World Series champion Cardinals, the Cincinnati Reds have gotten little return for their two big paydays.

Carlos Beltran and David Freese homered again on Tuesday night, and Kyle Lohse provided another stingy performance, leading St. Louis a 3-1 victory over the Reds a few hours after Cincinnati gave out another big contract.

Second baseman Brandon Phillips agreed to a deal through 2017 worth $72.5 million. It came only five days after slugger Joey Votto got an additional 10 years and $225 million, looking to turn the 2010 NL Central champions into a consistent contender.

Phillips got a cramp in his left hamstring while scoring an unearned run during a 7-1 loss to the Cardinals on Monday night and is expected to miss several days. Votto drove in the Reds' only run on Tuesday with a sacrifice fly.

In the first two games of the series, Cincinnati has managed only seven hits, while the Cardinals piled up five homers.

"We've got a few guys struggling at the plate," manager Dusty Baker said. "They just need to relax and do what they're capable of doing. This team can hit, and we're going to hit."

Not like the Cardinals so far.

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Beltran, counted on to help make up for the loss of Albert Pujols, hit his third homer off Mike Leake (0-1). Freese, the World Series MVP, added a two-run shot off Leake -- also his third.

St. Louis came into the game leading the majors with nine homers. It has five in its first two games at Great American Ball Park, one of the majors' most homer-friendly places.

Lohse (2-0) has made impressive starts in Florida's summery warmth and Cincinnati's April chill. He took a no-hitter into the eighth inning of a 4-1 win in Miami last Wednesday, allowing only one run and two hits.

With temperatures in the 40s on Tuesday night, he was in control again, allowing Votto's sacrifice fly and four hits in six innings. Lohse took a little while to adjust to the vastly different conditions in his second start.

"He was locating his sinker and kept us off-balance," said Chris Heisey, who was 0 for 4. "Once he got on a roll, it was tough to get him out."

Relievers Mitchell Boggs and Jason Motte retired the last nine batters in order, with Motte getting his second save in two chances.

The Cardinals' rotation has been sensational so far, going 5-1 with a 1.86 ERA.

For the second game in a row, the Cardinals got to a Reds starter before he could break a sweat. They hit three homers in the first inning off Homer Bailey on Monday night.

Beltran hit Leake's fifth pitch into the stands in right field. Leake escaped another big Cardinals first inning by getting Yadier Molina to ground into a double play with the bases loaded. Molina also grounded into a double play with two runners aboard in the eighth.

Lance Berkman, who has the most homers by a visiting player at Great American, tripled into the right-field corner in the sixth. Freese followed with his third homer, a drive that bounced off the top of the wall in right field and caromed up into the stands.

Leake thinks the Cardinals are just as formidable without Pujols, who left as a free agent for the Angels after the World Series championship.

"It's still a difficult lineup," Leake said. "They lost a big name, but they're still a threat."

Berkman left the game in the eighth with tightness in his left calf, which started bothering him after he ran out his triple.

Zack Cozart hit his second triple of the season in the bottom of the inning and scored on Votto's sacrifice fly, making it 3-1.

Notes

  • LHP Jaime Garcia starts the final game of the series for St. Louis. He's 6-1 in his career against the Reds with a 3.13 ERA. He has given up more than three runs only once in his seven starts against Cincinnati.
  • RHP Johnny Cueto makes his second start for Cincinnati. He pitched seven innings in a 4-0 opening win over Miami last Thursday.
  • SS Rafael Furcal was out of the Cardinals' starting lineup for the first time, getting some rest.
  • Reds RHP reliever Nick Masset, who started the season on the 15-day DL with a sore shoulder, hasn't started throwing yet.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Carlos Beltran hits his third homerun of the season as the Cards improve to 5-1 with their win against the Reds.  (Getty Images)
Carlos Beltran hits his third homerun of the season as the Cards improve to 5-1 with their win against the Reds. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

D. Freese
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
St. Louis

K. Lohse
IP 6.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 1
K 2
 
St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jon Jay, CF5000012 .300
Carlos Beltran, RF3111111 .320
Matt Holliday, LF4010012 .222
Lance Berkman, 1B3120010 .375
    Rafael Furcal, PR-SS0000000 .435
David Freese, 3B3122100 .444
Yadier Molina, C4010012 .350
Daniel Descalso, 2B-1B4010022 .176
Tyler Greene, SS-2B4010021 .250
Kyle Lohse, P2000002 .000
   a- Erik Komatsu, PH00001001.000
    Mitchell Boggs, P0000000 .000
   b- Shane Robinson, PH1000000 .571
    Jason Motte, P0000000 .000
Totals3339339  
a-walked for Lohse in the 7th
b-grounded out for Boggs in the 9th
Batting
2B - Yadier Molina (4, Leake), Tyler Greene (1, Leake)
3B - Lance Berkman (1, Leake)
HR - Carlos Beltran (3, Leake), David Freese (3, Leake)
RBI - Carlos Beltran (4), David Freese 2 (10)
Team LOB - 7
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Kyle Lohse (W,2-0) 6411120 1.35
Mitchell Boggs (H,1) 2000020 1.69
Jason Motte (S,2) 1000010 3.00
IBB - Mesoraco by Kyle Lohse
HBP - Cozart (by Kyle Lohse)
Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Lohse 94-57, Mitchell Boggs 22-16, Jason Motte 11-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Lohse 7-9, Mitchell Boggs 2-2
Batters Faced - Kyle Lohse 24, Mitchell Boggs 6, Jason Motte 3
Cincinnati Reds
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Willie Harris, 2B4000000 .000
Zack Cozart, SS3110010 .471
Joey Votto, 1B3011001 .188
Scott Rolen, 3B4000002 .125
Jay Bruce, RF4020010 .316
Chris Heisey, LF4000012 .167
Drew Stubbs, CF3000011 .133
Devin Mesoraco, C2000100 .200
Mike Leake, P2000002 .000
    Sam LeCure, P0000000 .000
   a- Ryan Ludwick, PH1000010 .125
    Logan Ondrusek, P0000000 .000
    Sean Marshall, P0000000 .000
Totals3014115  
a-struck out for LeCure in the 7th
Batting
2B - Jay Bruce (1, Lohse)
3B - Zack Cozart (2, Lohse)
SF - Joey Votto (1)
RBI - Joey Votto (3)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Rolen-Votto, Leake-Cozart-Harris, Cozart-Harris-Votto
Cincinnati Reds
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Mike Leake (L,0-1) 6733142 4.50
Sam LeCure 1000230 6.00
Logan Ondrusek 1200010 0.00
Sean Marshall 1000010 0.00
HBP - Berkman (by Mike Leake)
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Leake 99-64, Sam LeCure 26-17, Logan Ondrusek 10-7, Sean Marshall 8-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Leake 7-5, Logan Ondrusek 1-0, Sean Marshall 2-0
Batters Faced - Mike Leake 25, Sam LeCure 5, Logan Ondrusek 4, Sean Marshall 3
Game Information
Attendance - 17110
Game Time - 2:33
Temperature - 51
Umpires - Home - Dale Scott, First Base - Bill Miller, Second Base - Angel Campos, Third Base - C.B. Bucknor