CINCINNATI — After striking out the side on 15 pitches in the ninth inning, the Cardinals sent Ryan Helsley back to the mound for the 10th inning Monday night in Cincinnati.
A walk, a wild pitch and a fly ball later, the game was over and the Reds had the win in the opener of a four-game series.
A short four-inning start from Jordan Montgomery had put the Cardinals bullpen in trouble much earlier in the game and they had to go through Andre Pallante, Jordan Hicks and Giovanny Gallegos before they could get to Helsley in the ninth, on a night that Drew VerHagen wasn’t available.
The loss was only the fourth by the Cardinals in their last 15 games.
Here is how Monday night’s game broke down:
At the plate: Paul DeJong drove in four of the Cardinals’ five runs with a three-run homer in the second and a game-tying double in the eighth. That double drove in Nolan Gorman, who had doubled with one out to extend his hitting streak to 13 games … DeJong also had four RBIs on Sunday. Earlier this month Nolan Arenado had four RBIs in consecutive games, the only other Cardinal to do that since Matt Holliday in 2014 … DeJong did strike out in his other three at-bats … Arenado saw his 12-game hitting streak snapped with an 0-of-5 night … The Cardinals received nine walks in the game but only two came around to score. They loaded the bases on walks in the ninth but Gorman struck out to end the inning.
On the mound: Montgomery allowed four runs and needed 88 pitches to get through four innings, allowing two runs to just the first four Reds hitters in the first inning … Montgomery has now made eight consecutive starts without the Cardinals getting a win, since his second start of the season on April 8 … The Reds took a 5-4 lead in the fifth when Pallante walked the first hitter he faced before the second batter singled and the run later scored on a ground out … Hicks retired all three hitters he faced in the seventh and Gallegos was able to strand a runner on third in the eighth.
Key stat: One night after the top three hitters in the Cardinals’ lineup combined to go 0-of-14 on Sunday, the four hitters on Monday night were held without a hit in 17 at-bats and 21 plate appearances, drawing four walks.
Worth noting: Gorman was named the NL Player of the Week on Monday after hitting .458 (11 of 24) with four homers and 11 RBIs … Top prospect Jordan Walker celebrated his 21st birthday on Monday. Walker got to a slow start when he was optioned to Memphis in mid April but has started to heat up offensively. In his last seven games Walker has a .323 average (10 of 31) with one homer, three doubles and seven RBIs.
Looking ahead: Adam Wainwright will get the start on Tuesday night in the second game of the series.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains