ST. LOUIS (AP) — Randal Grichuk looks good since his return from Triple-A. So does the St. Louis lineup.
Grichuk homered for the second straight game and the Cardinals broke out the bats again for an 8-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Monday.
“I feel good with where I’m at mentally and I feel good with where I’m at mechanically with my swing,” Grichuk said.
“It’s one of those things, I think I’m more of a guy who kind of thrives off almost playing stupid — just going up there and seeing ball, hit ball and not overthinking my swing and my stance and how I feel and just letting the body take over.”
Grichuk, who was hitting .222 when he was demoted last month, is 4 for 10 with two homers, four RBIs and three runs scored since his recall on Sunday. His two-run homer in the fourth inning was his sixth of the season.
The Cardinals avoided a three-game sweep with an 8-4 win over the Pirates on Sunday night. On Monday, a makeup from the April 29 contest that was postponed because of severe weather, they scored eight more runs on 13 hits.
Grichuk and Jedd Gyorko each had two hits, including a homer, and three RBIs. Tommy Pham had two hits, walked twice, stole a base and scored three runs. Paul DeJong added three hits.
“They hit a lot of bad pitches and that’s what good teams do,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “I just said the same thing about the Nationals. It’s not a matter of having to consistently hit good pitches, it’s taking the mistakes that you get and not missing them and not taking and not fouling them back, not hooking them down the line just foul there and putting it on the barrel.”
St. Louis gave starter Michael Wacha (4-3) more than enough support.
Wacha, who began the day with an 8.17 ERA over his last seven starts, limited the Reds to one run on five hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked one.
“I thought he was great,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “He did a nice job establishing the bottom of the zone. I think we saw the kind of swing and misses that we were hoping for with the changeup. I do believe that curveball has become a much better pitch. He’s using it to steal strikes. He’s also using it to put guys away.”
Brandon Finnegan (1-1) was activated off the disabled list after missing more than two months because of a shoulder problem. The lefty exited in the fourth with a strained left triceps, an injury he said was different than his previous issue.
Finnegan gave up three runs in the first inning. He allowed three hits and four walks overall.
Pham, starting in the leadoff spot for the first time this season, manufactured the first run. He drew a walk, tagged up and took second base on a routine flyout to left-center field, stole third and scored on a passed ball when Stephen Piscotty walked.
“That was great,” Gyorko said. “I haven’t seen something quite like that in a while and it wasn’t on normal plays that you would see. Just great hustle plays and got us a run, got us on the board early and Michael took care of the rest.”
Adam Duvall had a pair of sacrifice flies for the Reds.
Gyorko’s shot extended the Cardinals’ streak to 15 consecutive games with a home run. . The Reds have allowed a home run in 19 straight games, a franchise record. . Yadier Molina’s third-inning single extended his hitting string to 12 games.
Reds: The Reds activated Finnegan off the DL and optioned RHP Lisalverto Bonilla to Triple-A Louisville. . RHP Bronson Arroyo (right shoulder) was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.
Cardinals: 2B Kolten Wong (right triceps strain) could begin a rehab assignment this week.
Reds: RHP Tim Adleman (4-4, 4.30) will open a three-game home series against Milwaukee on Tuesday night. He is 2-2 with a 2.68 ERA in his last six starts.
Cardinals: RHP Carlos Martinez (6-6, 2.87) will open a three-game series at Arizona on Tuesday night. He is 2-5 with a 4.29 ERA in seven road starts this season.
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