CINCINNATI (AP) — Randal Grichuk and Kolten Wong homered, Carlos Martinez carried a shutout into the seventh inning and the St. Louis Cardinals snapped a three-game losing streak with a 5-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday.
Yadier Molina had two of the Cardinals’ five hits as they avoided being swept in Cincinnati for the first time since July 2012.
St. Louis began the day with a one-game lead over the Mets for the final NL playoff spot. New York was set to host Washington later.
Martinez (13-7) allowed three hits over six scoreless innings before the Reds reached him for three hits and two runs to knock him out of the game three batters into the seventh. He walked five and struck out six while improving to 8-1 in 13 road starts this season.
Cincinnati went on to load the bases with one out against reliever Zack Duke before Scott Schebler flied out. Left fielder Brandon Moss threw out Tyler Holt at the plate — the third of four Cardinals double plays in the game, tying their season high.
Seung Hwan Oh allowed a leadoff single in the ninth before getting three outs for his 15th save.
Tim Adleman (2-3) gave up both Cardinals home runs while matching his career high with six strikeouts in his first career appearance against St. Louis. He allowed four hits and three runs with a walk in five innings.
Grichuk followed Stephen Piscotty’s double with his 21st homer of the season and second of the series, giving St. Louis a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Grichuk also homered on Friday.
Wong made it 3-0 by leading off the fifth with his fourth homer this season and second on the road trip. He also connected Monday in Milwaukee.
First baseman Joey Votto’s error and pitcher Jumbo Diaz’s error and wild pitch helped St. Louis add two unearned runs in the sixth for a 5-0 lead.
Cardinals: Ex-Reds catcher Brayan Pena, limited to four games this season by left knee inflammation, was activated from the 60-day disabled list before the game.
Reds: CF Billy Hamilton, leading the majors in stolen bases, exited in the third inning after straining his left oblique while taking a strike.
Cardinals: RHP Adam Wainwright (9-8) tries to snap his four-game losing streak at Pittsburgh in the opener of a three-game series Monday.
Reds: Mets RF Jay Bruce, traded by the Reds to New York on Aug. 1, returns to Cincinnati for the first time in the opener of a three-game series Monday. RHP Robert Stephenson (2-0) attempts to become the first Reds pitcher since Wayne Simpson in 1970 to win his first three career starts.