Cardinals rough up Reds Simon, roll to 12-7 win
CINCINNATI (AP) Alfredo Simon's past heroics for the Cincinnati Reds are quickly losing their luster.
The big right-hander allowed six runs, seven hits and a season-high five walks in five innings as the Reds were roughed up by the St. Louis Cardinals in a 12-7 loss on Wednesday night.
When the Reds signed Simon as a free agent late in spring training, manager Bryan Price was hoping to see more of the pitcher who was 15-10 in an All-Star 2014 season and a combined 24-16 in three seasons with Cincinnati. Instead, Price watched Simon's ERA climb from 8.94 to 9.12.
''It seemed like Freddie never settled in,'' Price said. ''Even in the innings he was able to be more competitive. From a command standpoint he was extremely erratic. He's working hard in the bullpen but between the lines he's spraying a lot of pitches.
''We have to have someone press at Triple-A. The reason we've given him so much rope is he was with us for three years and was terrific. He took the ball whenever we needed.''
Brandon Moss homered in consecutive at-bats, Matt Adams and Jhonny Peralta added three-run drives for the Cardinals, who have scored 18 runs in the first two games of the three-game series.
Moss broke a 4-4, fifth-inning tie with a two-run drive into the seats in right field, then lined a solo homer that barely cleared the wall in right in the seventh for his eighth career multihomer game.
Every St. Louis starting position player had at least one hit, and Cardinals relievers retired their first 10 batters as St. Louis won for the third time in four games.
Matt Bowman (1-1) got his first major league win by striking out his only batter, Zack Cozart, for the final out of the fifth with the potential tying run on second base.
Cozart and Tucker Barnhart hit solo home runs for the Reds, who have lost two of three after a season-high four-game winning streak.
St. Louis starter Jaime Garcia gave up five runs and a career-high 13 hits in 4 2/3 innings.
Cozart tied the score 4-4 in the fourth when he led off with his fourth homer in his last nine games. Barnhart cut the Cardinals' lead to 6-5 with a two-out solo homer in the fifth after Billy Hamilton was thrown out by Garcia trying to steal third.
Peralta broke open the game in a four-run eighth with his first homer this season. Peralta was playing his second game after missing the Cardinals' first 57 games following left thumb surgery.
Adams extended to a career-high 19 his streak of consecutive games reaching base at least once. He extended his hitting streak to eight games, one short of matching the career he set in July 2014.
SAVE THAT BALL
OF Steve Selsky, Cincinnati's 33rd-round pick in the 2011 draft, collected his first career hit with a line drive to the left-center field warning track that bounced off CF Randal Grichuk's glove.
TIED WITH VADA
Cincinnati's Brandon Phillips extended his hitting streak to a Reds' season-high 11 games with a run-scoring double in his last at-bat that gave him 814 RBIs with the Reds, tying Vada Pinson for ninth place on the team's career list.
Cardinals: C Brayan Pena, who hasn't played this season while recovering from left knee surgery on April 5, caught four innings and went 0 for 2 with a groundout and a strikeout on Tuesday in the first game of an injury rehabilitation assignment with Double-A Springfield.
Reds: RHP Caleb Cotham, on the DL since May 31 with right shoulder inflammation, is working to eliminate the soreness, Price said. He has not been cleared to throw.
Cardinals: RHP Adam Wainwright (5-4) is to make his 300th career appearance in his start on Thursday at Cincinnati. Wainwright allowed a season-high seven earned runs and 10 hits, including five doubles, over 5 1/3 innings in a 9-8 loss on April 16.
Reds: LHP Brandon Finnegan (2-4) is Cincinnati's scheduled starter in Thursday's series wrapup. Finnegan's win over Washington last Friday was his first in nine starts since April 16.