Cardinals Fall To Reds 8-2
CINCINNATI (AP) - Brandon Phillips' day started with a thrill. Then it got better.
Phillips caught the ceremonial first pitch thrown by Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin, then collected three hits to lead the Cincinnati Reds to an 8-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday.
Mike Leake pitched effectively into the seventh inning and Jay Bruce added a two-run homer for Cincinnati, which regained a seven-game lead over second-place St. Louis. Ryan Ludwick also had three hits.
Leake (6-8) allowed at least one hit in every inning except one, but kept the Cardinals mostly at bay. Leake, who also had two hits, lasted 6 2-3 innings, allowing 10 hits and two runs.
Cincinnati grabbed control with three runs in the sixth inning. Phillips led off with a double down the right-field line and advanced on Ludwick's single to right. Phillips scored when Todd Frazier beat out a potential double-play grounder, and Bruce followed with a 432-foot drive to right for his team-best 27th homer.
The Cardinals got one hit in each of the first four innings against Leake before finally pushing across a run in the fifth. Tony Cruz, Rafael Furcal and Jon Jay singled to load the bases with one out, setting up Matt Carpenter's tying sacrifice fly.
St. Louis added another run in the seventh when Cruz scampered home on Jay's double-play ball.
Garcia (3-5) allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings. He entered with a 7-1 record and a 3.12 ERA in nine career starts and two relief appearances against the Reds.