EditorsNote: Corrected standings in next-to-last graf
Luis Castillo pitched 6 2/3 shutout innings and Eugenio Suarez had a two-run double as the visiting Cincinnati Reds slowed the red-hot St. Louis Cardinals with a 4-0 victory Saturday night.
Castillo (8-11) struck out 11 with two walks and held the Cardinals to just two hits, both singles. His gem came after giving up five earned runs in two of his last three outings. Relievers David Hernandez and Raisel Iglesias combined for 2 1/3 hitless innings to finish off the shutout.
Despite the loss, the Cardinals remain one of the hottest teams in baseball with a 28-14 record since the All-Star break. St. Louis is also 29-14 under new manager Mike Shildt, who replaced Mike Matheny in July.
Suarez’s double capped a three-run fourth inning for the Reds against Cardinals rookie pitcher Daniel Poncedeleon, who was making just his third career start and eighth career appearance.
The Reds were hitless through three innings, before Jose Peraza broke through with a one-out double in the fourth. Joey Votto followed with an RBI double for a 1-0 Reds lead. After a Scooter Gennett single, Suarez made the lead 3-0 with his double.
The Reds won for just the second time in their past 10 games, but they have played well against the Cardinals since the start of July. The Reds have won back-to-back series over St. Louis and can make it three in a row with a victory Sunday.
Poncedeleon (0-1) gave up three runs on five hits over just 3 1/3 innings with a walk and four strikeouts. He was making his second start against the Reds after holding them hitless over seven innings in his major league debut on July 23. He was able to extend that hitless run to 10 innings before the Reds broke through in the fourth.
The Reds added an insurance run in the seventh inning on Tucker Barnhart’s RBI single. Barnhart has a hit in six consecutive games and 14 of his last 17 appearances.
The Cardinals dropped to 4 1/2 games behind the Chicago Cubs for best record in the National League. The NL Central rivals still have three games remaining against each other.
St. Louis remains in possession of one of the two NL wild-card spots, along with the Milwaukee Brewers. The Cardinals can win their 11th consecutive series with a victory Sunday.
—Field Level Media