Cardinals look to build momentum against Reds

MLB

Following a needed offensive breakout, the St. Louis Cardinals look to keep producing and start stringing together some victories. A series with the Cincinnati Reds might help.

The Cardinals aim to build on their latest win when they open a three-game road set against the Reds on Monday night.

St. Louis totaled six runs during a four-game losing streak that ended with Sunday’s 7-2 win over Cleveland that concluded a 6-6 home stretch.

“At the end of the day, it’s about scoring runs,” manager Mike Shildt, whose club has not had an off day since returning to action after a COVID-19 outbreak kept it out of action from July 30-Aug. 14, told the Cardinals’ official website.

“I don’t think we’re going to make any excuses.”

St. Louis opened that recent homestand by taking three of four against Cincinnati from Aug. 20-23. Since Sept. 14, 2017, the Cardinals are 31-15 against the Reds, who are toiling below .500 and coming off a four-game home split versus the Chicago Cubs.

Star Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina went 7-for-17 (.412) with five RBIs versus Cincinnati earlier this season. He’s 11-for-25 (.440) with a home run and seven RBIs in his last seven contests against the Reds.

Dakota Hudson (0-2, 3.32 ERA) takes the ball for the Cardinals as he tries a fifth time for his first 2020 victory. The right-hander lasted a season-high six innings on Wednesday against Kansas City, when he allowed a two-run homer and two other hits over six innings of a 6-5 win.

In his four starts, Hudson has received just four runs of support when he’s physically been on the mound. His Cardinal teammates managed just one while he allowed one hit over 4 2/3 innings while not factoring in the decision of a 4-2 loss to Cincinnati on Aug. 21.

The Reds’ Eugenio Suarez is 6-for-13 with a double and two home runs versus Hudson, while teammate Jesse Winker is 4-for-10 against him. Joey Votto, meanwhile, is just 3-for-14 when facing Hudson.

Votto, who was briefly benched during the week while enduring an 0-for-18 stretch, appears to be back on track. Since returning to the lineup, Votto is 4-for-9 with a double and two solo home runs in the last three games.

“I can’t become a completely different player. I have to be true to myself, but I clearly have to make adjustments,” Votto, who turns 37 on Sept. 10, told the Reds’ official website.

Following the birth of his first child, Anthony DeSclafani (1-1, 5.71) is slated to take the mound for Cincinnati on Monday. The right-hander last pitched on Aug. 21, when he allowed two runs, three hits and walked four while not factoring in the decision of that victory over Hudson and the Cardinals.

St. Louis’ Paul Goldschmidt is 11-for-23 with a home run and four doubles versus DeSclafani. Teammate Matt Carpenter is 13-for-29 with four homers, two doubles and one triple against him.

Carpenter, however, has only one hit in 16 at-bats in his last six contests.

–Field Level Media

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