Boom! Two home runs from Moss help Cards sail past Reds 12-7
CINCINNATI -- Brandon Moss doesn't know if he can hit balls harder than the two he hammered at Great American Ball Park on Wednesday night.
He doesn't care, as long as they go out.
The St. Louis left fielder homered in consecutive at-bats, Matt Adams and Jhonny Peralta added three-run drives and the Cardinals rolled over the Cincinnati Reds 12-7.
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Moss broke a 4-4, fifth-inning tie with a two-run drive deep 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.
"I guess," he said when asked if he could hit balls harder. "I don't care how far they go. I'm just happy I hit them. I wasn't sure that second one was going to go out. I was happy when it did."
St. Louis manager Mike Matheny isn't surprised to see Moss, who hit 55 homers over two seasons with Oakland and last year led the Cardinals with 13 home runs.
"He's dangerous," Matheny said. "He'll get the ball up in the air. The only question is whether it will stay fair and how far he hit it."
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.
"It's always fun to see different guys get us going," Matheny said. "This was just a good offensive day."
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. Alfredo Simon (2-6) walked a season-high five, allowing six runs and seven hits in five innings. He walked the first two batters of the game, setting up Adams' three-run homer.
"It seemed like Freddie never settled in," manager Bryan 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."
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 best 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 April 5, caught four innings and went 0 for 2 with a groundout and a strikeout 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 make his 300th career appearance in his start 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 to the Reds 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.