Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Cincinnati turns away Redbirds, remains in hunt for top seed

The Reds (97-64) remained in contention to earn the National League's No. 1 seed by defeating the host Cardinals (87-74), 3-1, on Tuesday night.

Mat Latos improved to 14-4 with considerable help from his bullpen.

Meanwhile, Cincinnati's offense was fueled by Scott Rolen and Dioner Navarro, who both tallied a pair of hits in the contest. One of Rolen's was of the four-base variety -- his 8th of the 2012 campaign.

Read on for the full recap of the good, bad and notables:

The Good:
+ Rolen had a good night by going 2-4 at the dish. His solo homer helped raise his RBI total to 39.
+ Navarro was also 2-4 with an RBI. He's proved to be a valuable backup to Ryan Hanigan since coming up from Louisville.
+ Jay Bruce notched his 99th RBI with a run-scoring single in the sixth. He could very well get to the 100-RBI mark in tomorrow's season finale.
+ The bullpen. The combination of Sam LeCure, Sean Marshall, Jonathan Broxton and Aroldis Chapman pitched four scoreless innings in relief. Chapman recorded his 38th save by pitching a perfect ninth.
+ The Reds remain alive to earn the No. 1 seed and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.

The Bad:
- Three runs isn't overly impressive. The offense seems to be just getting by lately.
- Zack Cozart was hitless in four at-bats. That dropped his average to .247.
- Drew Stubbs was 0-4 too. His average slips to...wait for it....214. Ouch.

The Notables:
+ Washington doubled up Philly, 4-2, to remain tied with Cincinnati for the best record in baseball.
+ The season series is tied, 7-7. The winner of Wednesday's rubber match wins the series outright.
+ Latos picked up his first career win at Busch Stadium. He was previously 0-3 in three career starts there.
+ Up next: The Reds and Cards conclude the regular season on Wednesday with a series finale that is set to begin at 8:15pm ET. Homer Bailey (13-10, 3.75) makes his first start since throwing a no-hitter on Friday and will presumably oppose St. Louis' Adam Wainwright (14-13, 3.94).

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