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CARDS BEAT THE REDS 13-3

Saturday, 03 August 2013 07:59 Published in Sports

CINCINNATI (AP) — Before the opening game of their series against the rival St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker had an inkling how it would go.

"We were struggling on the road trip and they were struggling too, so something has to break here," Baker said.

It was the Cardinals who broke out on Friday night.

David Freese set the tone with a bases-loaded double in the first inning, and Daniel Descalso hit two of the Cardinals' three homers as St. Louis pulled away to a 13-3 victory that left the Reds stalled in the NL Central race.

The Cardinals have emerged from a deep hitting slump by scoring 13 runs in each of their last two games. It's the first time this season they've had double-digit run totals in consecutive games.

"These guys were cold coming in here and all of a sudden — Boom! — everybody looks hot," Baker said afterward.

The Reds? Still in their scoring rut.

Shelby Miller (11-7) limited Cincinnati's slumping offense to two singles over the first five innings before Joey Votto hit a three-run homer in the sixth. The Reds managed only six hits, five of them singles. They've been held to three or fewer runs in six of their last seven games.

In every respect, it was a night the Reds wanted to forget.

"This is a game that depends upon how short a memory you have," outfielder Jay Bruce said.

Bronson Arroyo (9-9) matched his season high by giving up seven runs in only 3 2-3 innings, his shortest outing of the season.

Freese also had a bases-loaded walk, giving him four RBIs. Allen Craig and Carlos Beltran each had three hits as St. Louis piled up 14 in all. The 13 runs were the most allowed by Cincinnati this season.

"It's usually feast or famine with these guys," Arroyo said. "With a lineup like that to give up four runs in the first inning, it's very difficult. They get momentum going and start to turn it up."

The Cardinals improved to 7-3 against the Reds this season, keeping the defending NL Central champions at arm's length. They moved to a half-game behind first-place Pittsburgh. Cincinnati stayed 5½ games back.

Both teams were coming off tough weeks set up by a lack of offense.

The Cardinals lost four of five in Pittsburgh and seven straight overall, allowing the Pirates to take over the top spot. St. Louis managed a total of only 10 runs during the seven-game losing streak, which ended with a 13-0 victory in Pittsburgh on Thursday.

The Reds had trouble scoring runs on the West Coast while dropping five of their last six games there.

Which one would break out first in the weekend series?

The Cardinals. Emphatically.

They quickly got to Arroyo, who had trouble getting his pitches to go where he wanted. The Cardinals loaded the bases on a pair of hits and a walk with one out in the first, and Freese doubled off the wall in center for a 3-0 lead. Jon Jay followed with an RBI single on Arroyo's 24th pitch.

It never got much better for Arroyo, who has faced the Cardinals more than any other opponent in his career and had far more bad times than good. He fell to 8-16 in 37 career starts against St. Louis.

Curtis Partch relieved Arroyo in the fourth and walked the first three batters he faced, including Matt Holliday and Freese with the bases loaded. Jay's double made it 9-0.

Descalso hit a pair of solo shots for the first multihomer game of his career, and Craig had a two-run shot as St. Louis pulled away. The Cardinals hit only nine homers in July, including one after the All-Star break.

NOTES: Cardinals leadoff hitter Matt Carpenter went 0 for 6, extending his slump to 0 for 18. ... Reds 3B Todd Frazier went hitless for the seventh straight game. He's in an 0-for-24 slump, the worst of his career. ... RH reliever Jonathan Broxton is scheduled to make his second appearance of a rehab stint on Saturday. He's been on the DL since June 15 with a sore elbow. ... LH Tony Cingrani makes his first career start against the Cardinals on Saturday. Jake Westbrook goes for St. Louis. ... Sixteen couples were married on the field pregame by the man who wears the Gapper mascot costume.

BOUWMEESTER SIGNS EXTENSION

Friday, 02 August 2013 13:00 Published in Sports

(ST. LOUIS) – St. Louis Blues Vice President and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today the club has signed defenseman Jay Bouwmeester to a five-year contract extension.

 Bouwmeester, 29, dressed in 14 games for the Blues last season tying for third on the club  in points (7) and plus/minus (+5) while he tied for first in assists (6) and ranked second in time on ice per game (23:24) during the month of April.  In addition, during the 2013 regular season Bouwmeester extended his iron man streak to 635 games.

During the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the 6’4, 212-pound defenseman appeared in all six games for the Blues including his postseason debut. Overall, Bouwmeester ranked second on the team in ice time per game (25:08) while he tallied his first career playoff point (assist) in Game Four on May 6.

A former first round draft pick (3rd overall) of Florida in 2002, Bouwmeester has appeared in 11 seasons during his NHL career including stints with Florida, Calgary and St. Louis.  In 764 career games, he has recorded 307 points (72 goals, 235 assists) to go along with 469 penalty minutes.  In addition, Bouwmeester has been selected to two All-Star Games (2007, 2009) and earned first team All-Rookie Team honors in 2002-03.  Internationally, the Edmonton, Alberta native has represented Canada on nine occasions including three World Junior Championships, four World Championships and the 2006 Winter Olympics.  Bouwmeester has also been invited to Team Canada’s 2014 Olympic Orientation Camp in preparation for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.


 

CARDS SALVAGE ONE IN PITTSBURGH

Friday, 02 August 2013 08:03 Published in Sports

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Joe Kelly and the St. Louis Cardinals averted a five-game sweep at Pittsburgh, ending a season-worst seven-game losing streak by routing the Pirates 13-0 Thursday night in a matchup between the NL's top two teams.

St. Louis began the series with a 2½-game lead in the NL Central but left with the Pirates ahead by 1½ games. The Cardinals avoided their first sweep in a set of at least five games since 1916, when the New York Giants took all six games.

Pittsburgh had won the previous four games at PNC Park by a combined score of 36-10.

Kelly (2-3) pitched six scoreless innings and had two hits. Tony Cruz added three hits, including a two-run double during an eight-run seventh inning.

Kelly allowed three hits while walking four and striking out four. Seth Maness, Michael Blazek and Edward Mujica pitched one inning each to complete the five-hitter.

After the Cardinals failed to acquire a replacement for injured All-Star catcher Yadier Molina prior to Wednesday's non-waiver trading deadline, Cruz figures to get the majority of starts behind the plate. He had started just 11 games this season until Molina went on the disabled list Wednesday with a sprained right knee.

Carlos Beltran, Allen Craig, Matt Holliday and David Freese also had two of St. Louis' 17 hits. Craig came into the game in a 1-for-27 slump, and he had a two-run double in the seventh.

Charlie Morton (3-3) struggled against the Cardinals again, giving up five runs and 10 hits in six innings. He is 2-8 in his career against St. Louis.

Morton threw a wild pitch that made it 1-0 in the second. St. Louis scored three times in the third as Jon Jay was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, Cruz grounded into a double play and Pete Kozma had an RBI single.

Beltran doubled in a run in the sixth before the Cardinals broke the game open an inning later.

NOTES: Starling Marte had two of Pittsburgh's five hits. He has a hit in all 12 career games against the Cardinals. ... Pittsburgh C Russell Martin sat out the game with a sore left knee. ... St. Louis opens a three-game series Friday night at Cincinnati with RHP Shelby Miller (10-7, 2.79) facing RHP Bronson Arroyo (9-8, 3.26). ... RHP Gerrit Cole (5-4, 3.56) will pitch for Pittsburgh on Friday night in the first game of the three-game series against Colorado's Jhoulys Chacin (9-5, 3.54).

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