ST. LOUIS (AP) — Matt Carpenter and Harrison Bader hit run-scoring singles during St. Louis’ two-run ninth inning, and the Cardinals beat the Cincinnati Reds 3-2 on Saturday for a sweep of their day-night doubleheader.
Each of St. Louis’ four batters reached in the ninth. Tommy Edman singled and Yadier Molina was hit by a pitch from Raisel Iglesias (2-11) before Bader tied it at 2 with a single to left.
Kevin Gausman then came in, and Carpenter’s pinch-hit single drove in Molina for the dramatic victory.
St. Louis (75-59) improved to 8-1 in its last nine games and moved 2½ games ahead of the second-place Chicago Cubs in the NL Central.
Dakota Hudson led the Cardinals to a 10-6 victory in the opener, striking out eight in a career-high 7 2/3 innings. Dexter Fowler and Yadier Molina homered, and Kolten Wong and Paul Goldschmidt each had two hits and two RBIs.
“Just trying to attack,” Hudson said. “We’ve got two doubleheaders coming up so trying to do as much as I could and get as deep into the game as I could. That was just part of my plan.”
St. Louis and Cincinnati will play another doubleheader on Sunday after the series opener was postponed by rain. Saturday’s doubleheader was needed after rain washed out their game on June 5.
The NL Central leaders and the Reds also play afternoon games Monday against different opponents.
Hudson (14-6) allowed four runs and four hits. John Gant (10-0) got the win in the second game after he escaped a bases-loaded jam in the ninth.
Cincinnati wasted a terrific performance in the nightcap by Sonny Gray, who allowed an unearned run and five hits in 6 2/3 innings.
Josh VanMeter drove Michael Wacha’s first pitch of the game over the wall in right, and Joey Votto went deep in the third for his first homer since coming off the injured list Tuesday.
But that was it for the Reds against Wacha, who struck out seven in seven innings, matching his longest outing of the season.
Reds right-hander Trevor Bauer (10-12) pitched just four innings in the opener. He was charged with six runs and seven hits.
Eugenio Suárez hit his 39th homer for Cincinnati, and Tucker Barnhart had two hits and three RBIs.
The Cardinals recalled left-hander Génesis Cabrera as the 26th man for Saturday’s doubleheader and will activate right-hander Daniel Ponce de Leon before his start in the nightcap of Sunday’s doubleheader. Both will stay with the club.
St. Louis also announced outfielder Randy Arozarena, first baseman Rangel Ravelo, infielder Edmundo Sosa, right-hander Junior Fernandez, catcher Andrew Knizner, right-hander Mike Mayers will be called up from Triple-A Memphis. Fernandez, Knizner and Mayers will arrive Sunday, while Arozarena, Ravelo and Sosa will join the team Tuesday.
Right-hander Sal Romano was recalled from Triple-A Louisville as the Reds’ 26th man for the doubleheader.
Cardinals: OF Lane Thomas (right wrist fracture) was placed on the 10-day IL, and OF Tyler O’Neill (left wrist strain) was activated from the IL.
Right-hander Tyler Mahle (2-10, 4.93 ERA) will start Game 1 for Cincinnati on Sunday. He faces Cardinals right-hander Miles Mikolas (8-13, 4.23 ERA), who is 0-3 with two no decisions in his last five start against Cincinnati.
Luis Castillo (13-5, 3.21 ERA) starts Game 2 for Cincinnati. The Cardinals counter with Ponce de Leon (1-1, 3.76 ERA), who is 0-1 with a 2.61 ERA in two career starts against Cincinnati.