Cincinnati Reds Blown Out by Cardinals as Brandon Finnegan Struggles


W: Lance Lynn (12-10)

L: Brandon Finnegan (4-1)

Brandon Finnegan‘s second career start didn’t go quite as well as the first.

The southpaw gave up six runs — including three long balls — on Wednesday night as his Cincinnati Reds were blown out by the St. Louis Cardinals, who completed a three-game sweep.

Randal Grichuk had the first Cardinals home run to make it 1-0 in the second inning. Matt Carpenter added a two-run shot in the third, and Matt Holliday‘s RBI double later in the inning made it 4-0. Carpenter took Finnegan deep for a second time in the fifth, which would prove to be the rookie’s final inning. In addition to the six runs allowed, Finnegan gave up seven hits and a walk, though he did strike out seven.

More from Blog Red Machine

While it wasn’t Finnegan’s day, his counterpart, Lance Lynn, had little trouble with the Reds’ offense. Lynn allowed just three hits over his six innings, while striking out four. The only real threat the Reds posed to him came in the fourth, when Todd Frazier and Joey Votto hit back-to-back singles with one out, but a strikeout and a ground out ended the inning.

The Cardinals were able to expand their lead even further in the sixth inning. Collin Balester relieved Finnegan and couldn’t record a single out, walking the first two batters he faced before giving up a two-run double to Mark Reynolds. Next in line for the Reds was Ryan Mattheus, who allowed an inherited runner to score as the Cardinals increased their lead to nine.

Once Lynn exited the game, the Reds were finally able to get on the board when Votto hit a solo homer, his 29th of the year, in the seventh.

Peter Bourjos would answer with a solo shot in the bottom of the inning off of Jumbo Diaz.

The Reds scored again in the ninth when Skip Schumaker singled and scored on a triple by Ivan De Jesus Jr., but it ultimately proved to be a meaningless run.

With the loss and a win by the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday, the Reds have returned to last place in the National League Central with a record of 63-88, the fourth-worst mark in baseball.

Other Notes:

  • Carlos Contreras allowed a hit and a walk in the bottom of the eighth, but was able to keep the Cardinals off the board.
  • Outside of the Reds top three hitters (and De Jesus, who subbed in for Votto later in the game), the offense got almost nothing done. With a single in the third inning, Brennan Boesch was the only batter outside of the top three in the lineup to reach base.
  • Votto’s two hits and a walk extended his on-base streak to an incredible 40 games. Perhaps the craziest thing about it is that it’s not even the longest streak of his career (41 games in 2010).

Up Next: The Reds will return home on Thursday to start a four-game set with the NL East-leading New York Mets. Rookie Josh Smith will get the start in game one, opposed by fellow first-year starter Steven Matz. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. ET.

Next: Reds 2015 all-minor league team: pitchers