EditorsNote: rewords first graf
Phillip Ervin homered and drove in two runs as the visiting Cincinnati Reds posted a 5-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday night to split a doubleheader.
The Cardinals, who recorded a 4-3 victory in the first contest with a ninth-inning rally, won three of four games in the series.
St. Louis leads the National League Central by three games over the second-place Chicago Cubs, who lost 4-0 to the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.
Ervin had three hits in Game 2, including a RBI single, to pace the Reds’ attack. Rookie Nick Senzel also hit a homer and scored twice.
Winning pitcher Luis Castillo (14-5) worked six innings, striking out eight batters while allowing three runs on five hits and three walks. Raisel Iglesias struck out all three batters in the ninth inning to earn his 28th save.
Reds slugger Eugenio Suarez exited in the fifth inning due to a left hand injury after Cardinals starting pitcher Daniel Ponce de Leon hit him with a pitch. Suarez will undergo further examination Monday in Cincinnati.
Ponce de Leon (1-2) took the loss after allowing four runs, three earned, in four-plus innings. He allowed five hits and a walk while striking out two.
The Reds struck first with after Cardinals rookie catcher Andrew Knizner muffed Freddy Galvis’ chopper in front of the plate in the second inning. Galvis eventually scored on Ervin’s single down the first base line.
In the third inning, Senzel walked, moved to third on two grounders and scored on Josh VanMeter’s sacrifice fly to put Cincinnati ahead 2-0.
The Cardinals seized a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the inning when Knizner belted a two-run homer and Kolten Wong hit a RBI triple.
The Reds answered in the fifth to take a 4-3 lead and chase Ponce de Leon. Senzel launched a 422-foot solo homer, and Jose Iglesias eventually hit a run-scoring fielder’s-choice grounder with the bases loaded.
Ervin’s solo homer in the sixth inning made it 5-3. The Reds had a chance to tack on runs in the ninth, but Harrison Bader threw out pinch runner Michael Lorenzen trying to score on a fly ball to center field.
Reds hitting coach Turner Ward was ejected during the game, Cincinnati’s 23rd ejection of the season.
—Field Level Media