Friday, August 24, 2012

Cardinals use 6-run inning to upend first place Reds

St. Louis (69-56) scored six times in the top of the sixth to race past the Redlegs (76-51), 8-5, at Great American Ball Park on Friday. It marked the second straight game in which the Reds have blown a 3-run lead and subsequently lost.

Cincinnati's lead in the NL Central now stands at six.

Here's a recap of the good, bad and notables from the series opener:

The Good:
+ Brandon Phillips and Scott Rolen each tallied a couple of hits and an RBI.
+ Todd Frazier pounded out three singles and also managed to reach base once via walk. Can you say "NL Rookie of the Year?".
+ Ryan Ludwick pitched in two hits (both singles) to boost his 2012 average to .272.
+ Alfredo Simon helped spell a tired and weary bullpen by going three solid innings in relief.
+ Sam LeCure pitched a scoreless ninth to help keep his team within striking distance.

The Bad:
- It's a loss to the Cardinals.
- Mat Latos was roughed up pretty good in this one. He allowed nine hits and seven runs before exiting after only five frames.
- Drew Stubbs was 0-4 with three strikeouts (hat trick). His average dwindles to .227 after Friday.
- Joey Votto still isn't in the lineup. He's absence is beginning to be felt more than ever lately.

The Notables:
+ Allen Craig and Yadier Molina hit back-to-back homers in the sixth. Both had three base knocks to lead the way for St. Louis.
+ 36,162 fans attended the contest.
+ Cincinnati has used just 33 players this season, the fewest of any team in MLB.
+ Up next: Game two of the series takes place on Saturday in front of a nationally-televised audience on FOX. Jaime Garcia (3-4, 4.00) takes the mound for the Redbirds and will oppose Mike Leake (5-8, 4.59). First pitch will be uncorked at 4:05et.
+ Prior to Saturday's game, the Reds will retire the no. 11 in honor of Barry Larkin during pre-game ceremonies.

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