Cincinnati Reds' Jay Bruce rounds the bases on a two-run home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, July 6, 2011, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) By Jeff Roberson
Cincinnati Reds left fielder Chris Heisey leaps but cannot reach a ball hit for a home run by St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Holliday during the seventh inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 6, 2011, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) By Jeff Roberson
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Pinch-hitter Ramon Hernandez doubled in the go-ahead run in the 13th inning as the Cincinnati Reds survived blowing an eight-run lead and beat the St. Louis Cardinals 9-8 on Wednesday night to avoid a three-game sweep.
Chris Heisey, Jay Bruce, Fred Lewis and Scott Rolen homered for the Reds, who led 8-0 in the fifth but managed only three hits over the next seven innings.
Bruce drew a leadoff walk and Drew Stubbs singled with one out ahead of the hit by Hernandez, the last regular on the Cincinnati bench, off Raul Valdes (0-1).
Matt Holliday homered for the third time in two games and Albert Pujols had an RBI single in a five-run seventh for the Cardinals. Pujols was 1 for 6 in his first game since returning a month ahead of the timetable from a broken left wrist.
Jon Jay homered in the ninth off Francisco Cordero to force extra innings, only the third blown save in 20 chances for the Reds closer.
Daniel Descalso, who matched his career high with four hits and had two RBIs, started at third base, moved to second on a double-switch in the 11th and back to third in the 13th for St. Louis.
Jose Arredondo (1-3) allowed two hits and struck out two in two innings for the Reds, who had lost four of five. Aroldis Chapman allowed a hit before finishing for his first career save and hit 100 mph on the scoreboard radar on a called third strike to Jay that ended it.
Heisey's leadoff home run sparked a reconfigured lineup that produced five runs in the first 12 pitches against Jake Westbrook, who barely made it out of the first one start after throwing seven shutout innings against Tampa Bay. Westbrook was charged with seven runs in 4 1-3 innings.
Bronson Arroyo faced the minimum through five innings, allowing only Descalso's borderline infield single in the third before fading. Descalso barely beat the pitcher to the bag after first baseman Joey Votto's high, looping throw, and official scorer Gary Mueller upheld the call not long before Tony Cruz doubled to open the sixth for St. Louis' second hit.
NOTES: Westbrook had no strikeouts for the second time this season, the other time was June 12 at Milwaukee when he gave up four runs in five innings. He had been 6-1 with a 3.93 ERA in 10 previous night starts this season. ... Cardinals reliever Brandon Dickson singled off Arroyo in the seventh on the first pitch he faced in the majors. ... Jonny Gomes is 0 for 13 as a pinch-hitter after striking out in the 11th. ... Cordero had converted eight straight save chances and allowed one earned run in his previous 13 innings. .. Arroyo has allowed five or more earned runs eight times this season. ... Chapman has five scoreless outings in six appearances since coming off the DL from a shoulder injury June 24.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)