Lance Lynn has fallen behind the Cincinnati Reds by three runs in the first inning in both his starts this season. He has permitted eight runs in 11 innings of work against the Reds overall. And he has two wins.
The Cardinals rallied against Homer Bailey, whom they almost always belabor, and then the Reds' bullpen to pull out a 7-5 win tonight and ensure still another series win over the Reds.
In their last six series at Busch Stadium, the Cardinals have won all six, leading this one two games to none with the finale to be played on Wednesday afternoon. In the Reds' last 31 series in St. Louis over 12 seasons, they have captured only three.
Peter Bourjos, who was 0 for the road last week, got three more hits tonight, givng him five for his first two home games. Bourjos scored two runs and drove in his first Cardinal run while rookie second baseman Kolten Wong knocked in the first two runs of his Cardinals career with a triple in a four-run second inning.
Wong hadn't knocked in a run in his first 81 big-league at-at-bats.
Yadier Molina had a homer and double among his three hits. But the big hit was Matt Holliday's sixth-inning, two-run double which ticked off the glove of drifting Cincinnati right fielder Jay Bruce, reminding fans here of Texas' Nelson Cruz's missed play in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series.
The Cardinals' bullpen was stout, with veteran lefthander Randy Choate working a perfect seventh and righthander Carlos Martinez a spotless eighth.
Righthander Trevor Rosenthal, after a consultation with catcher Molina, struck out two hitters after allowing a leadoff single in the ninth and then closed out his third save as left fielder Holliday made a good running catch to his left.
In 32 of Lynn's 66 career starts, the Cardinals have scored six or more runs.
Bourjos finds a home at Busch
Peter Bourjos was a .000 hitter in 13 at-bats on his first trip with the Cardinals but the new center fielder has found Busch Stadium to be a delightful pasture.
Bourjos, who had two hits in the home opener on Monday, had three more in his first four at-bats tonight. He drove in his first run as a Cardinal with a one-out single in the seventh, scoring Yadier Molina, who had doubled for his third hit.
That made the score 7-5 but the Cardinals, who stranded 10 through the first seven innings, should have been farther ahead, leaving the bases loaded in the seventh.
Carlos Martinez entered to pitch the eighth for the Cardinals and fanned two of the three hitters he faced.
Holliday 2B puts Cards ahead for first time
Cincinnati right fielder Jay Bruce, channeling his inner Nelson Cruz, leaped in front of the Busch Stadium wall for Matt Holliday's drive to deep right in the sixth inning and failed to make the catch. Two runs scored, just as in the World Series when the Texas Rangers right fielder failed to make a similar play as he backtracked on the ball.
Tonight, those two runs gave the Cardinals their first lead of the game at 6-5.
Holliday's two-out double, which ticked Bruce's glove, chased home Peter Bourjos, who had singled, and Matt Carpenter, who had been hit by a pitch.
Lefthander Randy Choate came in to pitch the seventh after starter Lance Lynn had thrown 112 pitches through six innings but stood to gain credit for a victory. Choate worked a perfect inning, fanning Joey Votto, who had reached base in his first three plate appearances.
Votto, Bruce help Reds take lead
Cincinnati sluggers Joey Votto and Jay Bruce, a combined four for five against Cardinals starter Lance Lynn tonight, both singled and Votto scored the go-ahead run in the fifth as the Reds took a 5-4 lead at Busch Stadium.
Votto, who went to third on Bruce's second hit (he is nine for 19 in his career against Lynn), came home on a groundout by Ryan Ludwick. Lynn ended the inning by striking out Todd Frazier.
Wong's first two RBIs tie score
Kolten Wong's first two big-league runs batted in capped off a four-run second inning for the Cardinals tonight.as they belabored Cincinnati starter Homer Bailey yet again and caught the Reds at 4-4.
Yadier Molina's third homer of the season started the rally against Bailey, who was 5-10 in his career against the Cardinals but who had a four-run lead in his pocket.
Matt Adams legged out an infield hit to short and, after Jhonny Peralta was called out on strikes, Peter Bourjos singled to left.
Lynn bunted into a forceout at third but hustled down the line to beat third baseman Todd Frazier's relay to first, the ball bouncing away from second baseman Brandon Phillips, with Bourjos taking third.
Matt Carpenter prolonged the inning with a single to center, scoring Bourjos and then Wong drove in his first two runs after he was without one for 81 at-bats.
Matt Holliday walked to keep the pressure on Bailey but Allen Craig, trying to get out of the way of a pitch, had the ball tip his bat for an infield roller and subsequent easy out.
The Cardinals threatened to go ahead in the third when Molina and Adams both singled. But Peralta and Bourjos lined out and Lynn grounded out and it was 4-4 entering the fourth.
In the fourth, the Cardinals again placed their first two runners on as Carpenter beat out an infield hit and Wong walked. But Holliday struck out and Frazier made a diving stop on Allen Craig's smash and started an inning-ending double play with Phillips' nifty pivot at second
Bruce jumps Lynn in first
Cincinnati right fielder Jay Bruce, who quickly put Cardinals starter Lance Lynn behind in the game with a two-run homer in the first inning last week in Cincinnati, staged a reprise of sorts tonight at Busch Stadium,
Bruce, eight for 17 in his career against Lynn, tripled home two runs in the top of the first as the Reds jumped to a 3-0 lead over Lynn, just as they had last week when the Cardinals came back to win.
Lynn retired struggling leadoff man Billy Hamilton but Brandon Phillips doubled past third, beating left fielder Matt Holliday's hurried off-line throw to second. Lynn nicked Joey Votto with a pitch before Bruce tripled to right center. Ryan Ludwick's sacrifice fly made it 3-0.
A one-out double by Devin Mesoraco and a two-out single by Hamilton hiked the Reds' lead to 4-0 in the second.
Cards get league championship rings
Now that the National League championship banner has been raised, it's time for the Cardinals to receive their 2013 league championship rings before tonight's game with Cincinnati.
Manager Mike Matheny has one of those from when he caught here in 2004 but he said today that this one would be more special.
"I'm going to be wearing this one," he said. "My fingers have been busted up pretty bad, so they don't hold rings real well. But I'm going to make sure this one stays with me for a while."
Matheny said that his ring achieved as a player was "put in a special place so people could see it. I don't know why exactly. A lot of it was I wanted to be motivated to get that next one. I think that's why I'm going to wear this one.
"When you see that banner get raised, it's a big deal. And I want these (players) to realize that it's a big deal and a big deal to me what we were able to accomplish last year. But it's also a reminder that we have one step left.
"It's something I'm real proud of."
Cards try for second straight win — again
Lance Lynn is 4-1 in his career against the Cincinnati Reds. Homer Bailey is 5-10 against the Cardinals. But they still will play the game tonight at Busch Stadium.
The Cardinals will employ the same eight-man group of position players, with Peter Bourjos dropping to eighth and Kolten Wong back to second against righthander Bailey.
This is the Cardinals' eighth game. They alternately have won and lost through the first seven.