ST. LOUIS (AP) – The Cincinnati Reds had Lance Lynn in trouble early, loading the bases with nobody out in the third inning and their cleanup man due up.
They settled for Jay Bruce’s sacrifice fly and it came back to bite them. The Reds stranded two runners on two other occasions, and the St. Louis Cardinals got a grand slam in the fourth from Kolten Wong in a 4-1 victory Monday night.
“It was a tale of two moments and their moment was two outs, bases loaded and a grand slam,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “Our moment was bases loaded, nobody out and a sacrifice fly and a double play, so those are moments that are game changers.”
The Reds were 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position, all against Lynn.
“He knows how to pitch and get out of jams when he needs to do so,” Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton said. “Obviously, he did his job.
“When we get those chances, we’ve got to come through like Wong did.”
Giving up Wong’s slam was a painful learning experience for 25-year-old rookie Raisel Iglesias.
“The positive was he came back and gave us two scoreless innings, and that was our goal,” Price said. “He had to show the ability to rebound.”
Teammates noticed, too.
“Young guys like myself, we tend to put our heads down and not focus on what’s next for us,” Hamilton said. “He settled down and came back and did his job.”
Iglesias (1-3) said through a translator that after giving up a leadoff double to Yadier Molina in the fourth, he “tried to be perfect.”
Wong sat on a 3-2 fastball, and his second career grand slam easily cleared the right-field wall, landing in the home bullpen.
“Every time you commit one mistake things happen really fast, so I’m learning every day,” Iglesias said.
The Cardinals have won six of seven. They are a big league-best 64-35 and lead the NL Central by 6 1/2 games.
Lynn (8-5) allowed one run and five hits in seven innings, improving to 7-3 against the Reds. He has won five of his last six decisions overall.
Trevor Rosenthal earned his 31st save in 33 chances after getting two days off.
The Reds have lost seven of 10.
The starters combined to hit five batters with pitches. The dugouts were warned in the sixth after Iglesias, who hit three batters, plunked Peter Bourjos for the second time. Iglesias hit two in 34 2-3 innings prior to this start. The Reds have had 46 games started by rookies.
After Bruce’s sacrifice fly in the third, Brayan Pena grounded into a double play.
Molina doubled and Stephen Piscotty singled to start the fourth. Bourjos was hit by a pitch, loading the bases with one out ahead of the slam by Wong – also the 100th hit for the leadoff man.
Cardinals: Molina felt ill after taking a foul ball in the facemask off the bat of Todd Frazier in the fourth and was replaced by pinch-hitter Tony Cruz in the fifth. Cruz stayed in the game and caught. … Randal Grichuk was out of the lineup after tweaking his groin Sunday. An MRI showed no serious injury, and manager Mike Matheny said Grichuk might get another day off, too. Matt Holliday got a regular day off.
Mike Leake (8-5, 3.78 ERA) is 6-9 against the Cardinals but beat them in April, allowing two runs over eight innings. Jaime Garcia (3-3, 1.69) is set to come off the 15-day disabled from a groin injury and make his first start since June 24.