The Reds swept the Cardinals and maintained their hold on first place with a 2-3 win yesterday afternoon.
Dave Williams took the mound for the Reds and allowed just two runs (earned) over six and two-thirds innings. It was a solid performance from the fifth starter, but the eight hits and two walks made it feel less solid. The hit-by-pitch of David Eckstein gave away a base, but otherwise was a positive for Williams in my book.
Rick White took over for the last out of the seventh inning, giving up no hits. Todd Coffey allowed no runs on two hits in the eighth and ninth to get the win. One of these days, maybe Coffey will get rocked, but for the moment, his ERA is 0.53 with 17 innings pitched.
The Reds spent most of the game catching up. In the top of the first, Eckstein and John Gall singled to start things off. Hector Luna and Juan Encarnación each flied out to left field just before Scott Spiezio knocked in Eckstein with a single to right. So Taguchi flied out to end the threat, but it was looking like it could be a long game. Score: 1-0.
The Cardinals struck again in the third inning when a timely caught-stealing of Hector Luna made Juan Encarnación's home run a solo shot. Score: 2-0.
The Reds didn't make an appearance until the bottom of the sixth when Adam Dunn and Edwin Encarnación tacked back-to-back whackity-whacks to right and left-center fields, respectively. Score: 2-2.
Tied in the bottom of the ninth, Kearns struck out. Wait, that's what he would have done last year! This year he singled to short. Brandon Phillips was hit by a pitch, moving Kearns to second. Jason LaRue sacrifice-bunted the runners over to set up Javier Valentín to drive one to right field and bring Kearnsy home. Final Score: 2-3.
The win brings the Reds' record to 19-8, best in the majors. The Reds travel to Colorado today where Brandon Claussen faces Jeff Francis for the Rockies.