By HAL McCOY
CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Reds had it all Monday night in Great American Ball Park:
—They had starting pitching: Asher Wojciechowski.
—They had relief pitching: Lisalverto Bonilla, Michael Lorenzen, Raisel Iglesias.
—They had defense: two double plays and Adam Duvall’s arm which he used to throw out two baserunners, one at home and one at third base.
—They had timely hitting: Eugenio Suarez’s two-run game-tying double and Scooter Gennett’s two-run tie-breaking double.
MIX IT ALL INTO A SWIRLING pot and it comes out as a 4-2 victory over the reeling St. Louis Cardinals, losers of four straight and seven of their last nine.
Gennett’ss two-run double in the seventh inning off left hander Kevin Siegrist broke a 2-2 tie and provided the margin of victory.
As he emerged from the shower, blue towel firmly wrapped around his waist, he saw a gaggle of media folks grouped around his locker.
“Oh, I finally get a hit and you want to talk to me,” he said with a laugh. He was 0 for 19 when he pulled his double into the right field corner.
“I’ve faced Siegrist over the years quite a few times and he is a good pitcher, man — real deceptive,” said Gennett. “He is a tall guy and seems halfway to the plate when he releases the ball. In that situation, I just wanted to swing at good pitches and put the ball in play.”
Then he smiled broadly and said, “I don’t think I’ve had a hit in quite a while so it was nice to get one in a big situation. This game is crazy at times. You can hit the ball hard and not get results and hit a soft one, like the hit tonight, and get a double.”
GENNETT SAID THAT THROUGHOUT his recent hitless streak he used his experience from the minors and the majors when he has gone through it before.
“The more you play, the more you understand that these things are going to happen,” he said. “That’s why it is important to do all the other things right, be a good teammate, be positive. Those bad things don’t last forever, but you just have to understand it, embrace it and do what you can. If you don’t go 2 for 4, do what you can on the other side of the field.”
Gennett, an infielder by trade, was playing right field in place of injured Scott Schebler.
And what he does is deeply appreciated by manager Bryan Price.
“He wants to help in the worst way,” said Price after Gennett helped in the best way. We all benefit by the way he goes about his business and his desire to win. It means something to him to win in the role he is in.”
WOJCIECHOWSKI, WITH A little double play help from his friends, rolled through three innings unscathed.
He walked Dexter Fowler to start the game but Matt Carpenter hit into a 3-6-3 double play. He gave up a pair of one-out singled in the third but Jedd Gyorko hit into a 4-6-3 double play.
The Cardinals found home plate twice in the fifth inning. Yadier Molina and Tommy Pham hit back-to-back doubles to make it 1-0. Pitcher Carlos Martinez not only dropped down a successful squeeze bunt to make it 2-0, he reached first and was credited with a hit.
It came close to being 3-0 when Fowler singled to left with runners on second and first. Paul DeJong tried to score from second and left field Adam Duvall threw him out at home to leave it 2-0.
The defense, in the personage of left fielder Duvall, kept Wojciechowski solvent in the sixth. Wojo walked Stephen Piscotty. With one out, the Cardinals executed a perfect hit-and-run.
With Piscotty running on the pitch, Yadier Molina singled through the shortstop hole vacated by Zack Cozart, running to cover second.
But Piscotty got greedy and kept running, trying to take third. Duvall ran down the ball in left center, whirled and made an on-target throw to third base to eradicate Piscotty.
WOJCIECHOWSKI LEFT AFTER six innings, giving up two runs, six hits, two walks and striking out six.
“He got into trouble in the fifth inning when he gave up two runs on four hits but he came back out and managed the sixth very well,” said Price. “He was excellent.”
Wojciechowski was happy with his offerings and jubilant over the defense behind him.
“We made some great throws and turned some double plays,” said Wojo. “Those are huge plays. The throws boosted my confidence and helped me to get the next out. It helped keep the game close.”
Of Duvall’s throws, Price said, “Those were so huge. They were game-saving with those two plays. They enabled us not to fall too far behind so we could rally.”
MEANWHILE, ST. LOUIS STARTER Carlos Martinez was force-feeding the Reds a heavy diet of outs for sixth innings.
Billy Hamilton walked to lead off the bottom of the first but made the third out trying to steal third base. Duval led the second with a single but was part of a strikeout/throwout double play.
Martinez then retired 14 in a row, taking a one-hit shutout into the seventh inning.
Then things turned on him in right-now fashion.
Billy Hamilton, bunting for hits more-and-more recently, bunted for a hit to start the seventh. Zack Cozart singled, extending his streak of getting on base to 27 straight, and Joey Votto walked on a full count to fill the bases with no outs.
After Duvall struck out, Eugenio Suarez doubled off the glove of diving center fielder Dexter Fowler and two runs scored to tie it, 2-2.
That ended Martinez’s night and Kevin Siegrist arrived with one out and runners on third and second.
Scooter Gennett doubled to the right field corner for two runs and what looked like a dismal night turned delightful for the Reds.
Bonilla pitched a 1-2-3 seventh, Lorenzen pitched a 1-2-3 eighth and Raisel Iglesias pitched a one-walk ninth (three strikeouts) for his 10th save, wrapping up the game in a neat bundle.