The Cincinnati Reds swept the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday night in front of a national television audience by defeating the Cardinals 4-2. With the sweep the Reds moved back into first place, defeated their arch-rivals, and, maybe more importantly, the Cincinnati Reds won again by playing small ball.
Homer Bailey gutted out the night by going 8 innings, allowing 9 hits and 1 earned run to pick up the win and improve his record to 8-6 and lowering his ERA to 3.93. He was in constant stress throughout the night, but came through with the outs when the Reds needed them the most. His pivotal moment came in the 8th when he allowed two on with no one out. A strike out, ground out and pop out later and he was out of the inning.
At the plate, the Reds pounded out 10 hits of their own. They did struggle at times moving runners or bringing in runners with 2 outs; however, all of their runs did come with 2 outs. Joey Votto (2-3) drove in 1 and scored twice. Chris Heisey went 3 for 4 and scored a run. Brandon Phillips pushed across one run. Finally, Scott Rolen (2-4) drove in the final 2 decisive runs in the bottom of the eighth.
During the final frame for the Cincinnati Reds, they loaded the bases without getting a hit – 2 walks and a hit batter. That was when Rolen came to the plate with 2 outs and drove a liner into rightfield plating the winning runs.
Aroldis Chapman came on in the 9th to pick up his 13th save by striking out the side. He has clearly gotten over his earlier slump. After not allowing an earned run in the months of April and May, then having a dip in June, Chapman has come through with scoreless work so far in the month of July.
The Cincinnat Reds will host the reeling Arizona Diamondbacks starting on Monday and look to push their win streak to 7.