For the first time all season, the St. Louis Cardinals are four games above .500. Not only are they now 32-28 after Thursday night’s victory over the Cincinnati Reds, they also are in a second place tie with the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League Central.
St. Louis took two of three in this series at the Great American Ballpark, and has won 18 of its last 22 series with Cincinnati.
The starters for the evening were Adam Wainwright for the Cardinals and Brandon Finnegan for the Reds.
It was a rough start for Wainwright, starting off by allowing an RBI-groundout by Jay Bruce and an RBI single by Adam Duvall. However, after that, he had not allowed a hit until the seventh inning. He also struck out a season-high nine batters. Entering the game, Wainwright was 8-10 in 24 games against Cincinnati with a 4.51 ERA, which is his highest against any team aside from the New York Mets.
His final line for the evening: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 78 pitches (51 strikes).
Pitching in relief for Wainwright was Seung-Hwan Oh, who has essentially been the best pitcher in the Cardinals bullpen this season. Oh’s ERA dropped to 1.65 after striking out one batter, and allowing no runs nor hits in one inning of relief. Trevor Rosenthal notched his 11th save of the season.
Oh got the win for the Cardinals, improving his record for 2-0 in 2016, and increasing the conversation towards him being NL Rookie of the Year.
As for Molina, who has been one of the most disliked players in Cincinnati since his famous brawl with Brandon Phillips in 2010, hit the game-winning RBI single in the top of the eighth inning off of Reds’ relief pitcher Ross Ohlendorf (4-5) put St. Louis up 3-2 and drew many loud boos from the crowd.
Michael Wacha (2-6) gets the start tomorrow against the Pirates, in a critical series.