ST. LOUIS – The Cincinnati Reds dropped the collection finale and the collection to the St. Louis Cardinals, falling 5-2 on Thursday at Busch Stadium. Listed here are the primary storylines.
Field rating: Cardinals 5, Reds 2
Amir Garrett started hot and then faded. Garrett wasn’t throwing 94 mph like he did his first start back from the minor leagues, but he was plenty sharp in the early innings Thursday. He struck out six of his first 10 batters, working around a walk and a hit in the first.
But then his command evaporated. He issued consecutive two-out walks in the third to Tommy Pham and Paul DeJong, who then executed a double steal behind him. A Jose Martinez single scored both, putting the Reds down 2-1. He rebounded for a scoreless fourth marred only by a throwing error from shortstop Zack Cozart.
The command issues returned in the fifth. Matt Carpenter drew a leadoff walk – his second of the game and seventh of the series – and Pham homered on a fly hit to right that didn’t stop carrying. Another walk to DeJong ended Garrett’s outing.
He was charged for four runs in four innings, although he allowed only three hits. He walked five – three of which wound up scoring – and struck out seven.
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Luke Weaver shut down the Reds. If the Cardinals make the playoffs, the former first-round draft pick will deserve a lot of credit. The 24-year-old right-hander entered the game with a 2.16 ERA in nine outings (six starts), and then held the Reds to two hits and no runs over six innings. His ERA now stands at 1.89.
The Reds tallied just one run off him, and it wasn’t even earned. Scott Schebler ambushed a hanging 2-0 change-up for a one-out double in the second, took third on a ground out and then scored when DeJong made an error on a ground ball. Eugenio Suarez recorded the only other hit off Weaver in the fourth.
The right-hander walked none and struck out six.
A bad send cost the Reds a chance to get back in the game. The Reds trailed 4-1 when Joey Votto drew a leadoff walk in the seventh inning, although their chances dimmed when both Suarez and Schebler followed it with strikeouts. But then Adam Duvall shot a ball over the head of Pham in left. The ball caromed off the wall…