CINCINNATI – The Cincinnati Reds ended an 11-game losing streak, their longest in six years, jumping to a first-inning lead and beating the St. Louis Cardinals 4-1 on Sunday as former first-round draft pick Nick Lodolo got his first major league win.
Colin Moran drove in two runs for the Reds, who had been 0-4 at home this year and had not won anywhere since April 10 at World Series champion Atlanta. Cincinnati had been outscored 68-20 during the skid.
“There was a lot of celebration going on today,” Reds manager David Bell said. “It was obviously a big win. You could kind of see it weighing on guys, really for the first time. I was concerned that it might be affecting us, then they bounced back today. When we needed it the most, Nick got his first win. Throwing strikes, he had all his pitches working. It was a great day for him. It is something we can take into the off day and build on.”
The win left the Reds a major league-worst 3-13.
The Reds’ 2-0 lead after the first inning was their first after a full inning since the 6-3 win at Atlanta on April 10.
Alejo Lopez singled leading off the second and scored on Naquin’s RBI grounder for a 3-0 lead.
Lodolo (1-2), a 24-year-old left-hander selected seventh overall in the 2019 amateur draft, made his third big league start. Facing an exclusively right-handed lineup, he allowed three hits, struck out seven and walked none in 5 1/3 shutout innings before Paul Goldschmidt and Tyler O'Neill hit consecutive doubles in the sixth. Lodolo retired Nolan Arenado on a flyout, and Tony Santillan got Albert Pujols to pop out.
“Nine right-handed bats with a team of this calibre really feels good, especially after the skid we’ve been on,” Lodolo said.
Lodolo has 15 strikeouts in a combined 10 2/3 innings over his last two starts.
“The first major league win?” he said, echoing a question. “Its good. It was cool, especially the skid we’ve been on. It’s good to get a win. It was a good celebration. I won’t speak too much on it, but it was a lot of fun.”
Arenado went 0 for 4, ending his hitting streak at Great American Ball Park at 18 games, a stadium record.
The Reds avoided their longest losing streak since dropping 13 straight in 2015.
Pham scored two runs and had two hits, ending an 0-for-10 slide.
Wainwright (2-2) allowed four runs, eight hits and three walks in five-plus innings, and the Cardinals finished a 6-4 trip. Moran chased Wainwright with an RBI single in the sixth.
“They spat on every close pitch,” Wainwright said. “They didn’t swing at any of them. They didn’t swing at anything an inch off the plate. They had a good plan on me, I guess.
The leadoff batter reached in five of the six inning started by Wainwright.
“That’s not a good plan,” he said. “That’s not sustainable.”
The Reds and Cardinals combined to go all three games without hitting a home run, just the second time in Great American Ball Park’s 20-year history that a three-game series ended with nobody clearing the fence. The first was against the Nationals on July 25-27, 2014. A three-game homer drought played out over two home stands in 2021 with one game against Detroit and two against the Dodgers.
EYES HAVE IT
The game was delayed in the bottom of the eighth inning while Reds trainers worked to help plate umpire Brian O’Nora clear up an eye problem.
The Reds claimed infielder Matt Reynolds from the Mets and designated for assignment RHP Ryan Hendrix.
Cincinnati C Mark Kolozsvary, the starter for the United States team that won a silver medal in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Ouympics, made his first career start and plate appearance.
Reds: 2B Jonathan India (right hamstring) took groundballs and could be activated on Tuesday. … C Tyler Stephenson (concussion) might not make the trip that is scheduled to start on Friday in Colorado, Bell said before Sunday’s game.
Cardinals: RHP Miles Mikolas (1-0, 1.76) is the scheduled starter for Monday’s opener of a three-game home series against the Mets.
Reds: LHP Reiver Sanmartin (0-2, 7.11) is Tuesday’s scheduled starter against the Padres, who swept a three-game series against Cincinnati last week in San Diego.