The Cardinals couldn't finish their sweep of their weekend doubleheaders. After winning Game 1 of Sunday's two games 4-3, they couldn't pull off another comeback in Game 2 and lost 5-3 to the Reds at Busch Stadium.
The loss means the Cardinals took three out of four games from the Reds over the weekend and will take a three-game lead over the Cubs into their Labor Day matinee against the Giants.
Starting pitcher Daniel Ponce de Leon, who was supposed to pitch on Saturday night and had his appearance pushed back after Friday's rain out, gave up four runs and left in the fifth inning after giving a home run, a double, and then hitting a batter. The double, by Joey Votto, turned out to be the winning run, though the Reds added one more run, on a home run by Phillip Ervin off reliever Mike Mayers in the sixth.
The Cardinals got all their runs in the third and threatened to get more off Luis Castillo, but couldn't. Andrew Knizner hit a two-run homer and Kolten Wong tripled in Dexter Fowler. Wong was on third with one out, but Paul DeJong got one of his four strikeouts and after Tyler O'Neill walked, Matt Carpenter grounded out to first, the only one of his four at-bats in which he didn't strikeout.
The Cardinals had taken a 3-2 lead in third, but the Reds tied the game on a leadoff homer by Nick Senzel in the fifth. Joey Votto followed with a double down the right field line and after Ponce de Leon hit Eugenio Suarez with a pitch -- which took Suarez out of the game -- Ponce de Leon was done too. Dominic Leone came in and walked Josh VanMeter to load the bases. He struck out Freddy Galvis and got Jose Iglesias to ground into a force at second, with Votto scoring on the play. Curt Casali then flew out to the wall in center.
Mayers came on in relief in the sixth and the first batter he faced, Phillip Ervin hit a home run to left field, putting him at 3 for 3 on the day with a single, double and home run.
After falling behind 2-0 after 2 1/2 innings, the Cardinals got going and scored three runs in the third and took a 3-2 thanks to a two-run homer by Knizner and a run-scoring triple by Wong.
Knizner's home run probably felt good for him after his error led to the Reds' first run. Freddy Galvis hit a ball that trickled in front of the plate with one out in the second, but Knizner failed on two chances to pick it up and Galvis was safe. He went to second on a single by Jose Iglesias and then scored on an opposite-field single by Ervin down the right-field line.
The Reds got their second run in the second on a walk by Senzel, an infield out, a fielder's choice when Senzel avoided a tag at third by Carpenter on a ground ball to DeJong at short and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Josh VanMeter.
Reliever Raisel Iglesias struck out the side to end the game, which finished with Paul Goldschmidt in the on-deck circle waiting to pinch hit. It was the first game this season that Goldschmidt did not appear in.
RAVELO GETS START AT FIRST
As the Cardinals look for a second straight doubleheader sweep, they'll do it with a lineup that reflects both September callups and the stresses of four games in two days.
Rangel Ravelo, who arrived from Memphis this morning, will start at first base for Game 2 of the doubleheader. Kolten Wong and Paul DeJong, who sat out Game 1, (DeJong did pinch hit), are back in the lineup at second and short respectively. Andrew Knizner, just up from Memphis, starts behind the plate, catching Daniel Ponce de Leon, back from Memphis to make the start.
Three of the nine starters for the Cardinals were, technically, on the Memphis roster on Saturday. And Bader was recalled from Memphis on Aug. 20.
1. Fowler rf
2. Wong 2b
3. DeJong ss
4. O'Neill lf
5. Carpenter 3b
6. Ravelo 1b
7. Bader cf
8. Knizner c
9. Ponce de Leon p
1. Senzel cf
2. Votto 1b
3. Suarez 3b
4. VanMeter lf
5. Galvis 2b
6. Iglesias ss
7. Casali c
8. Ervin rf
9. Castillo p