Cincinnati broke through against Genesis Cabrera for two runs in the fourth inning and two more in the fifth, including a Yasiel Puig home run, to take a 4-1 lead over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium.
The Reds collected eight hits against Carbrera — four of them coming in the fourth inning — before he left after 4 2/3 innings. Michael Wacha relieved and allowed a single that scored a run.
Cincinnati had two doubles among their hits in the fourth by Jose Peraza and Nick Senzel, both of which drove in runs.
Cabrera finished his second start without recording a strikeout.
The Cardinals have two hits, which were produced by their first two batters of the game. They have been unable to take advantage of four walks issued by Reds starter Luis Castillo.
Carp hits leadoff homer
Matt Carpenter followed a rain delay of 1 hour and 20 minutes by hitting the 24th lead off home run of his career, and the Cardinals carried a 1-0 lead over Cincinnati into the third inning at Busch Stadium on Tuesday.
The Cardinals have two hits and have drawn three walks from Reds starter Luis Castillo but have stranded four runners.
Genesis Cabrera, making his second career start, worked out of trouble in the second inning when two walks and an error by shortstop Paul DeJong loaded the bases with one out.
However, Castillo grounded into a double play to end the inning. Cabrera has allowed one hit in two innings.
Start of game delayed
The start of the game between the Cardinals and Cincinnati at Busch Stadium is in a rain delay with an anticipated first pitch at 8:35 p.m.
Cards stayed confident
For the longest time, the Cardinals couldn’t win consecutive games.
Now they’re hoping that a four-game win streak is the start of a turnaround that looks more like April than May.
The fact that the mini streak came at the expense of the Cubs was all the more rewarding. But as manager Mike Shildt and others said throughout the slump, the Cardinals always felt as if they were playing well enough to get back on track.
Paul Goldschmidt was asked if he felt the Cardinals had “righted the ship.”
“It was nice to get those wins, but I don’t think we ever thought the ship was wronged,” he said. “I don’t even know if that’s a saying. We just weren’t getting the results, but I didn’t think we were that far off from when we were winning a lot of games. This game’s crazy.”
It certainly helps when the starting pitcher works deep into the game. The streak started with Dakota Hudson itching six innings. Miles Mikolas started the Cub’s series with a seven-inning outing. Jack Flaherty was limited to five innings only because of a 3 ½-hour rain delay. And Adam Wainwright went eight on Sunday.
And there was just enough offense, especially in a pair of 2-1 wins.
“It speaks to the confidence of this team,” Shildt said. “When we were 20-10 and the best team in baseball we were hungry to play and prepared. We went through a stretch that we didn’t get wins as we’d like and people were prepared and competed. We were frustrated a little by the end result, but we weren’t going to let that take away from our self-belief.”
If the Cardinals win Tuesday night, they would match their season high of five consecutive wins, which they have accomplished three times.
Knizner ‘nice and even-keeled’
Shildt rated rookie catcher Andrew Knizner’s debut a success after the recently recalled 24-year-old worked behind the plate and teamed with Adam Wainwright for Sunday’s 2-1 win over the Cubs.
“He’s whittled down the learning curve,” Shildt said. “He’s accelerated to get to the point where he’s done a great job. He received well, slowed the game down and had a nice meeting on his own after a long at-bat. He did his homework and preparation and trusted it. Everything looked nice and even keeled.”
Cards load up on pitchers
The Cardinals took seven college pitchers among their first 10 picks in the draft, led by first-round pick lefthander Zack Thompson from the University of Kentucky. Next was Tony Locey from Georgia and Andre Pallante from UC Irvine.
“I think at the top there was some velocity in Thompson and Locey,” Cardinals director of scouting Randy Flores said. “Pallante in short stints has a lot of velocity. That would be one thing. … If it was close, we leaned toward the arms.”
Cabrera gets second start
Genesis Cabrera will make his second major league start for the Cardinals tonight in the opener of a three-game series against Cincinnati at Busch Stadium.
In his debut, the hard-throwing left-hander pitched 3 2/3 innings at Philadelphia and allowed five runs (three earned) and five hits with five strikeouts.
“He wasn’t going to back down,” Shildt said. “Philadelphia isn’t the easiest place to play, and he went in and made his big-league debut against a quality lineup and just went after it. He was aggressive and positive about how he went about it and competed.”
He consistently threw in the upper 90s in that game and hit 98 mph when he struck out the side in the second inning. In that game, he became the 2,000th player in Cardinals history.
He will be backed by a standard lineup that includes Harrison Bader in center field and Dexter Fowler in right field with Matt Wieters catching.
1. Matt Carpenter, 3B
2. Paul DeJong, SS
3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
4. Marcell Ozuna, LF
5. Matt Wieters, C
6. Dexter Fowler, RF
7. Kolten Wong, 2B
8. Harrison Bader, CF
9. Genesis Cabrera, P
1. Nick Senzel, CF
2. Joey Votto, 1B
3. Eugenio Suarez, 3B
4. Yasiel Puig, RF
5. Jose Iglesias, SS
6. Curt Casali, C
7. Kyle Farmer, 2B
8. Jose Peraza, LF
9. Luis Castillo, P