(The Sports Xchange) - Home runs by Brandon Phillips and Todd Frazier helped rookie left-hander John Lamb earn his first career victory as the Cincinnati Reds thrashed the St Louis Cardinals 11-0 on Thursday in the opener of a four-game series.
“This was another one that we obviously didn’t like a whole lot,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny told reporters after the National League Central leaders lost for the fifth time in six games. “It certainly wasn’t pretty.”
Phillips’ blast in the seventh epitomized the evening for the Cardinals with the ball bouncing off right fielder Jason Heyward’s glove, then over the wall for the batter’s 12th home run of the season.
Later that inning, former Cardinal Skip Schumaker drove in two runs with a pinch-hit double to center that made the score 9-0.
Frazier went 3-for-5 with a double, three runs and three RBIs. He hit his 32nd homer, a two-run blast in the eighth.
Lamb (1-3) threw five scoreless innings during his sixth career start since being acquired from the Kansas City Royals in the Johnny Cueto trade.
“Lamb pitched a lot better games and hasn’t gotten a win,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “It wasn’t pretty. He battled but found a way to throw five shutout innings. It was impressive in an ugly way.”
The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for Cardinals lefty Jaime Garcia (8-5). He had not lost since July 28, also against Cincinnati.
“This was atypical for him,” Matheny said of Garcia, who allowed six runs in 4 1/3 innings.
“It was hard getting those outs. Lots of walks. Long at-bats. He had really good movement, but finding too much of the plate. I imagine he’ll get right back at it.”
First-place St Louis (88-52) grounded into three double plays and have been out-scored 38-10 in their past five games.
Lamb experienced command issues from the outset. He walked the first two batters he faced and six total. He had six strikeouts and surrendered only three hits.
“I was fortunate,” Lamb said. “The inability to repeat pitches was disappointing. It was a crazy game. I feel that I got away with something.”
Four Reds relievers threw one scoreless inning apiece to complete the shutout.
Lamb’s bases-loaded grounder in the second inning put Cincinnati ahead 1-0. It was the pitcher’s first career RBI. Phillips’ third-inning RBI groundout doubled the lead.
St Louis let Lamb off the hook in the third when third baseman Mark Reynolds fanned with the bases loaded.
Cincinnati (58-81) pushed the lead to 6-0 with a four-run fifth against Garcia. First baseman Joey Votto and Frazier hit RBI doubles, with Frazier becoming the fourth Reds player ever to have 40 doubles and 30 homers in a season.
Editing by John O'Brien