CINCINNATI — Sunday’s Game Report: Reds 12, Cardinals 1
Nick Castellanos hit the Cardinals back on Sunday – twice.
After instigating a fight on Saturday when he got upset that he was hit by a pitch, Castellanos used his bat to deliver two big blows that sent the Reds to the big win over the Cardinals in Cincinnati.
He tripled off the wall in right-center in the fourth, the first hit allowed by Carlos Martinez, and later scored the game’s first run. He then hit the ball a few feet farther, over the center-field wall, for a three-run homer in the fifth to put the Reds up 4-1 before they blew the game open with six runs in the sixth.
The homer by Castellanos came with first base open, with two outs in the inning in the tie game, with Joey Votto on deck.
“We like what he (Martinez) can do against him if he executes,” said manager Mike Shildt. “We also know there’s a base, we also trust he can make pitches. Carlos had command of his pitches, but he threw a cutter that got more of the plate than he wanted to, it kind of backed up on him, and he (Castellanos) put a swing on it.
“Trust the guy to make pitches, trust him again. He earned the opportunity to make pitches to try to get him out. The guy on-deck is a pretty good hitter too. That was the decision we made and it didn’t pay off. I’ll take the responsibility.”
In the three games, Castellanos was 6-of-11 with two homers, five runs batted in and six runs scored.
Here is how Sunday’s game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals' only run scored in the fifth. Tyler O’Neill led off with a double and Yadier Molina followed with an RBI single … They had only three additional hits in the game, a first-inning two-out double by Nolan Arenado, a single by Tommy Edman in the sixth and a pinch-hit single by John Nogowski in the eighth … Edman’s single followed a leadoff walk to Matt Carpenter, putting two runners on base with no outs and the Cardinals down 4-1, but Paul Goldschmidt, Arenado and Paul DeJong were retired in order, stranding both runners … DeJong struck out in three of his four at-bats, and Justin Williams also struck out in each of his three at-bats. Williams did not have a hit in nine at-bats and struck out in each of his last five at-bats in the series.
On the mound: Martinez retired the first 10 batters he faced before the triple by Castellanos with one out in the fourth. In the fifth, he allowed a one out single and a walk before another ground out advanced the runners to second and third before Castellanos hit a 2-1 pitch for the home run … Ryan Helsley relieved to start the sixth and retired only one of the five hitters he faced. Tyler Webb, pitching for the third consecutive day, could not get out of the jam, giving up a three-run homer to Tyler Naquin … The Reds final two runs scored in the seventh off Genesis Cabrera … The Cardinals issued five walks in the game, two leading off innings, and four of the five – including both leadoff walks – came around to score.
Key stat: The last time the Cardinals allowed six or more runs in each of the first three games of the season was in 2001, when they allowed eight or more runs in each game in a season-opening four-game series at Colorado.
Worth noting: The Cardinals gave up a combined 27 runs in 25 innings in the three-game series. Their starting pitchers (Jack Flaherty, Adam Wainwright and Martinez) worked a combined 12 innings … The last time a Cardinals pitcher appeared in each of the first three games of the season was Kevin Siegrist in 2014 … Before Castellanos’s home run in the fifth, he was 2-of-8 In his career off Martinez while Votto, including his RBI single in the fourth, was 5-of-31.
Up next: Daniel Ponce de Leon will make the start on Monday night as the Cardinals’ road trip continues with the first of three games against the Marlins in Miami.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains