(BaseballStL) -- After failing to put a baserunner on against Bronson Arroyo and the Cincinnati Reds for five innings, the St. Louis Cardinals rediscovered their potentially lethal offense in a 5-1 win on Tuesday.
Arroyo needed only 63 pitches to get through five innings. He would need another 21 to get through a four-run sixth inning which included five hits and doomed the Reds.
His perfect game was ruined when Daniel Descalso laced a double down the right field line to lead off the sixth. Two batters later, Matt Adams hit a pinch-hit two-run home run into the Cardinals bullpen to give St. Louis a 2-1 lead. It was his first career pinch-hit home run and the first Cardinal to do so since Lance Berkman on May 18 last year.
“My hats off to him. He’s never really been in this situation before, but he’s done a nice job and I give a lot of credit to John Mabry and Bengie Molina keeping him sharp,” manager Mike Matheny said. “He has been paying real close attention. You see him on the top step. He’s not just sitting around like he’s on vacation.”
The Cardinals would put the next three batters onboard. One of those baserunners would score when Allen Craig grounded out to second baseman Brandon Phillips for the second out of the inning. Another run would score on a hit to centerfield by Carlos Beltran.
Matt Holliday was thrown out at home plate to end the sixth inning.
It would be the final inning pitched for Arroyo. After being perfect through five, he finished in line for the loss after allowing four runs on five hits and a walk through six innings pitched.
Before the offensive outburst, it was Lance Lynn who kept the Cardinals’ hopes alive.
Similar to Arroyo, he sat down the Reds’ first ten batters before allowing a hit to Zack Cozart, who would advance to third on a single from Joey Votto and score on a sacrifice fly hit by Brandon Phillips. It marked the only run allowed by Lynn.
Lynn, who exited after six innings of work, struck out ten batters while walking only one. It was a vast improvement from his first start this season when he was erratic through four innings pitched while issuing five hits and three walks in an eventual 16-inning loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
When asked what was different from his first start, Lynn replied: “Less walks, more strikes, less barrels, less hits. That makes it a little easier.”
Not to be outdone by Lynn, the bullpen managed to put behind a dismal home-opening performance the previous day.
The trio of Edward Mujica, Trevor Rosenthal and Mitchell Boggs combined to allow only one hit over the final three innings on Tuesday. It was far from the ten runs allowed on eight hits and five walks from 2.1 innings pitched on Monday.
For Boggs, Tuesday marked a day of redemption after allowing seven runs, six of which earned, and four walks in only one-third of an inning pitched.
“Yesterday was tough,” Boggs said. “Anybody who has gone through that knows it and anybody who has gone through it knows how important it is to get out there quick. Not only get back out there, but get back out there and throw the ball well.
“It was a big outing for me tonight. I’m not going to dance around it. I’m not going to act like I didn’t care. That was huge for me tonight.”
Tuesday also marked the end of two six-game hitting streaks compiled by Allen Craig, who finished 0-for-4, and Brandon Phillips, who went 0-for-3.
The two teams will play the rubber game of the series on Wednesday afternoon at 12:45 p.m.