By HAL McCOY
The Cincinnati Reds re-visited an old baseball axiom Tuesday night in Busch Stadium. It is: Put the ball in play and good things happen.
After striking out 15 times in their previous game, the Reds did not strike out once against the St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher.
And putting the wood to the baseball resulted in 10 hits and a 4-1 victory over the Cardinals.
Of course, they weren’t facing Washington’s Max Scherzer, who struck out 15 Reds Sunday. They were facing Cardinals rookie Genesis Cabrera, making his second major league start.
And an important aspect to pitching was re-enforced to Reds starter Luis Castillo. It is: Throw strikes.
Castillo was on the brink of disaster in the first two-plus innings.
His second pitch of the game was sent on a long trip by Matt Carpenter, a home run into the grass beyond the center field wall, his 24th home run to lead off a game, a Cardinals record.
Castillo then walked four batters, including the leadoff hitter in the third and he was 3-and-2 on five hitters.
After that, though, he turned out the lights on the Cardinals. After Carpenter’s home run, No. 2 hitter Paul DeJong beat out an infield roller for a hit. That was the last hit Castillo gave up.
He went six innings and gave up one run, two hits, walked four and struck out eight to grab his sixth win against one loss and end the Cardinals four-game winning streak.
Castillo retired the final 12 Cardinals he faced, six via strikeouts, but had to leave after six because he used up 111 pitches to get there.
The Reds gave Castillo the runs he needed in the fourth inning on a single by Jose Iglesias, a single by Kyle Farmer, a run-scoring double to Jose Peraza to tie it and a run-scoring double by Nick Senzel to push the Reds in front, 2-1.
They added two more in the fifth on Yasiel Puig’s 11th home run, a down-range shot that traveled 425 feet to center field and Peraza’s run-producing single to make it 4-1. Puig was 1 for 15 when he connected.
Other than Joey Votto, manager David Bell used an all right-handed lineup against Cabrera, a left hander. That put Peraza in left field, where he made a spectacular diving catch on defense and produced two hits, a walk and two RBI.
Every player in the Reds lineup, except the pitcher, had at least one hit, including two by Joey Votto to go with Peraza’s two hits.
The Reds struck out only four times, one more than their season low of three, done twice. The Cardinals struck out 14 times.
After Castillo left, Amir Garrett gave up two hits in the seventh, but no runs. David Hernandez gave a single in the eighth, but struck out the side.
That left it up to closer Raisel Iglesias to lock it up. He gave up a harmless one-out single and ended it by striking out pinch-hitter Jose Martinez.