Phillips helps Reds beat Cardinals

CINCINNATI (AP) — Jaime Garcia thought the runner was out, and was admittedly frustrated with the call.

That one stretch played a key role in the St. Louis Cardinals’ 8-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday.

Brandon Phillips hit his first home run
in August and Jay Bruce added a two-run shot as NL Central-leading
Cincinnati regained a seven-game lead over second-place St. Louis, which
rallied to win the series opener 8-5 on Friday night.

Cincinnati built a 4-1 lead with three
runs in the sixth inning. Phillips led off with a double down the
right-field line and advanced on Ryan Ludwick’s single to right.
Phillips scored when Todd Frazier beat out a potential double-play
grounder, and Bruce followed with a 432-foot drive to right for his
team-best 27th homer.

Garcia was disappointed with the call on Frazier’s bouncer.

“It seemed to me that he was out,”
Garcia said. “I was a little frustrated but it wasn’t the reason I gave
up the home run. The pitch was up. I felt good coming into the sixth.”

Garcia (3-5) allowed four runs and
seven hits in six innings. He entered with a 7-1 record and a 3.12 ERA
in nine career starts and two relief appearances against the Reds.

“Garcia was pretty good,” manager Mike
Matheny said. “He showed some swing-and-miss stuff until he got to
Bruce. He’s pretty good about keeping his emotions in check. When you
show frustration, you give them an advantage in my opinion.”

Phillips and Ryan Ludwick had three hits apiece for Cincinnati, which finished with 12 overall.

Mike Leake (6-8) allowed at least one
hit in every inning except one, but kept the Cardinals mostly at bay.
Leake, who also had two hits, lasted 6 2-3 innings, allowing 10 hits and
two runs.

The Reds added four more runs in the seventh after Brandon Dickson retired the first two batters of the inning.

Phillips drove a full-count pitch just
over the wall in right-center for his 14th homer and first since July 31
against San Diego. Scott Rolen’s two-run single made it 7-2, and Dioner
Navarro chipped in with an RBI single that dropped into left when Matt
Holliday lost the ball in the sun.

“Any win is important,” Phillips said. “Just getting hits is important and everybody fed off that.”

The Reds grabbed the lead in the third
against Garcia, making his second start since June 5 after missing 64
games with a left shoulder strain. Leake hit a leadoff double and scored
on Phillips’ two-out single into right field.

The Cardinals got one hit in each of
the first four innings against Leake before finally pushing across a run
in the fifth. Tony Cruz, Rafael Furcal and Jon Jay singled to load the
bases with one out, setting up Matt Carpenter’s tying sacrifice fly.

Garcia failed to get a bunt down in front of Jay’s single.

“That was a big play,” Matheny said. “Jay’s hit could have scored two runs. That’s how you have to look at it.”

St. Louis added another run in the seventh when Cruz scampered home on Jay’s double-play ball.

The Cardinals, trying to stay in the NL
Central race and win a wild-card spot, have one more game in Cincinnati
before taking on Pittsburgh on the road.

“We have a tough road trip,” Matheny said. “We are very clear on our mission. We have to play good baseball every night.”

NOTES:
Matheny said RHP Joe Kelly will start on Wednesday in Pittsburgh in
place of RHP Lance Lynn, who hasn’t lasted more than five innings in any
of his last four starts. Lynn pitched two-plus innings in St. Louis’
win on Friday. … Cardinals C Yadier Molina and 3B David Freese were
out of the lineup due to injuries. Molina rolled an ankle a few days
ago, Matheny said. Freese injured his left wrist fielding in a play at
third base on Friday. … The Great American Ball Park flags in
left-center field were lowered to half-staff to honor the memory of
astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. Armstrong
passed away earlier Saturday.