ST. LOUIS — The Reds weren’t messing around in the ninth, as the brought Aroldis Chapman in to close the game out with a 7-2 lead.
He mowed down the side with two strikeouts and a grounder, ending a lackluster home finale for St. Louis.
Kevin Siegrist dug a hole in the eighth inning with back-to-back walks, and Devin Mesoraco buried the Cardinals in it with a three run bomb to follow.
Matheny pulled Siegrist after the second walk, bringing in Sam Tuivailala for his Busch Stadium debut. The rookie was greeted by a towering Mesoraco blast, and the Cardinals were went into a 6-2 hole.
The reliever picked up an out with a soft fly ball to center, but things got worse when Jay Bruce hammered his second homer, a soaring shot into the stands in right field. A walk to the next better spelled the end of Tuivailala’s home debut, and brought Nick Greenwood into the game.
He quickly got a double play to end the frame, but the Cardinals are down 7-2.
Busch Stadium began the bottom of the sixth quietly, but twin doubles brought the crowd to their feet.
Peralta fanned for a quiet first out, but Molina ripped a doubled down the left field line to bring the energy back. Randal Grichuk followed suit, landing in almost the same spot. It would score Molina and pull the Cardinals within one.
Two outs would follow, but the Birds are again one run away.
Reds start swinging
The tie didn’t last long, as Todd Frazier ripped his 27th home run with one out in the sixth to give Cincinnati the lead once more.
He took a 2-0 pitch 405 feet into the left field bullpen, joining Bruce as the second Reds player to get a hit off Lynn. Both were homers, and Frazier’s put the Cardinals in a 2-1 hole.
Brandon Phillips joined them in the hit column one out later, doubling to the wall in left to extend the inning for Bruce.
Bruce burt the Cardinals again, singling through the hole at short to score Phillips and give the Reds a 3-1 lead. Lynn would close the inning with his ninth strikeout, but the Cardinals will have work to do on the offense end.
The Cards cross
Daniel Descalso got a rally started in the fifth when he hit a leadoff double off the wall in right center field. Billy Hamilton nearly ran it down, but stopped short to play the ricochet.
Xavier Scruggs picked up his second RBI with a single into left, scoring Descalso on a brutal throw from Yorman Rodriquez.
Lynn tried to sacrifice bunt Scruggs to second, but bounced it right to a charging Kris Negron. The third baseman threw to second, and Lynn was thrown out on an easy double play.
Jon Jay singled sharply into center to put a runner back on, and Kolten Wong’s walk made it two, but Matt Holliday flew out softly to left field to end the inning.
A solo shot
Cincinnati got on the board in the fourth, plating a runner on a solo shot from Jay Bruce.
On on 0-1 count, the right fielder turned on a fastball and lined it into the Cardinal bullpen in right field for his 17th homer of the season.
Lynn contained the damage to just one run, striking out two in the inning and sending the Birds to the plate trailing 1-0.
90 feet short
St. Louis managed to get a runner to third base in the third inning, but came away empty.
Jon Jay hit a one-out double, and Kolten Wong’s bunt was good enough to move him to third. Originally first base umpire Tim Welke ruled Wong had beat the throw, but a challenge from the Reds reversed the call and made it two outs.
Matt Holliday grounded to short to end the inning, and the game remained scoreless.
Lynn evades trouble
Lance Lynn rolled through the first two innings, striking out three without allowing a hit. His third was a bit trickier, as he appeared to lose his command for a stretch.
With two outs, the starter walked Billy Hamilton, putting one of the fastest players in baseball on first. Hamilton is 6-for-6 against Yadier Molina in steal attempts, but wouldn’t need his speed to move to second.
Lynn tossed four straight balls to Kris Negron, putting two on and moving Hamilton into scoring position with two out. He was visited by both Molina and pitching coach Derek Lilliquist in the inning, and eventually got his command back.
He was able to get Todd Frazier to fly out to left to end the inning.
A near miss
The Cardinals may have clinched a spot in the postseason, but they weren’t making things easy on Alfredo Simon in the first inning.
With two outs, Matt Holliday singled into center, putting a runner on for Jhonny Peralta.
The Cardinal shortstop walked, leaving a man in scoring position for Yadier Molina. He would fly out to right to end the inning, leaving the game scoreless.