ST. LOUIS (AP) Down 4-0 early and facing St. Louis Cardinals aceAdam Wainwright, the Cincinnati Reds didn’t seem to have much chance of ending their four-game losing streak.
“We haven’t been playing great, and that’s going to happen, but you have to be able to stop it,” said Jay Bruce, whose homer in the ninth inning ended up being the difference in a 9-8 victory on Saturday.
Brandon Phillips, Zack Cozart and Bruce had two RBIs apiece for the Reds, who erased their early deficit. They were outscored 36-9 during the slump, and got blown out 14-3 in the series opener Friday.
“A lot of wind can come out of the sails down that many that early,” manager Bryan Price said. “It was a really resilient effort by our group.”
Stephen Piscotty had four RBIs for St. Louis, and his three-run homer made it 4-0 in the second inning.
Wainwright (0-2) retired his first eight before Reds starter Brandon Finnegan (1-0) singled with two outs in the third. The two-time 20-game winner was charged with seven runs in 5 1/3 innings and has struggled mightily with an 8.27 ERA after missing most of 2015 with a torn left Achilles.
The 34-year-old right-hander also let a three-run lead get away against Atlanta, and the latest failure came on his bobblehead giveaway day.
“There’s not a whole lot of good things I can say about it,” Wainwright said. “The only way I can look at it in a positive light is, you know, the first three or four innings I was pretty crisp. I need to draw off of that.”
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny didn’t seem overly concerned, noting Wainwright was getting swings and misses on his breaking ball and nice velocity on the fastball.
“Just one of them days,” Matheny said. “Not as fine-tuned as he wants to be, and those times happen to everybody.”
The Reds tied it on Phillips’ RBI double in the fifth and got RBI doubles from Eugenio Suarez and Phillips in a four-run sixth that made it 8-4. Cozart had three hits and two RBIs, and Bruce hit his third homer off Jonathan Broxton in the ninth to put the Reds up by three.
Cincinnati tied a franchise record with nine doubles, also accomplished May 19, 1999, at Colorado. That total tied for the most at 11-year-old Busch Stadium, with the Cardinals doing it against the Cubs on July 21, 2012.
Finnegan had two of the 15 hits, and doubled and scored in the fifth. He is 4 for 7 thus far with an RBI.
“I feel comfortable in the box but it’s still very early in the season,” Finnegan said. “So we’ll see where it ends up.”
The rookie lefty gave up four runs in five innings, none of them earned due to center fielder Scott Schebler‘s error in the second. Finnegan convinced Price to give him a chance to finish strong, and worked a scoreless fifth.
“I told him I wasn’t going anywhere. I told him I wasn’t coming out,” Finnegan said. “He let me stay in.”
Suarez made a diving catch on Piscotty’s liner down the third base line to save two runs in the fourth. Jedd Gyorko made two nice plays at second base, robbing Joey Votto of a hit with the infield in in the fifth and snaring Devin Mesoraco‘s liner in the ninth.
Reds: LHP John Lamb (back surgery) was sent to Triple-A Louisville on a rehab assignment and scheduled to start against Toledo. … RHP Homer Bailey (elbow surgery) was scheduled to work three innings at the player development complex in Goodyear, Arizona.
Reds: RHP Jon Moscot is scheduled to come off the 15-day DL from a strained left intercostal muscle Sunday to make his fourth career appearance in the series finale.
Cardinals: RHP Michael Wacha won the home opener with six scoreless innings on Monday against Milwaukee. For his career, he’s 7-2 with a 2.60 ERA in April.