Pinch hitter Chris Heisey lined the second pitch he saw into left-center field to score the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning Wednesday, lifting the Cincinnati Reds to a 4-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.
Heisey's hit scored Joey Votto, who had led off the ninth with a double, and salvaged a win for Cincinnati in the finale of the three-game series.
"It's early," said Heisey, "but at the same time (you don't want) to get swept in your home ballpark early in the year by a team that's been your competition since I've been here and even before that."
Votto had four hits, an RBI and two runs scored for the Reds, who went 3-3 on their season-opening homestand and will start a 10-game road trip Thursday in Washington.
Jon Jay hit a two-run homer for the Cardinals, who had won the first two games of the series by a combined score of 10-2.
Marc Rzepczynski (0-1) surrendered Votto's double in the ninth and took the loss, while Aroldis Chapman (2-0) got the win for Cincinnati after striking out five in two scoreless innings.
Johnny Cueto allowed three runs on seven hits in five innings for the Reds, while Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia gave up 11 hits and three runs in 4 2/3 innings for St. Louis. Garcia also singled and scored a run.
Votto sliced a double into left field for his fourth hit and Rzepczynski put Ryan Ludwick on with an intentional walk. After Jay Bruce went down swinging, Heisey stroked a fastball in between the outfielders for the game-winner.
"That's a good offense over there," said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny.
The Cardinals finished 5-2 on their seven-game road trip to start the year and will play the rival Cubs in their home opener on Friday to start a three-game series.
St. Louis took a 3-0 lead Wednesday with a two-out rally in the third inning. Garcia singled and scored on Rafael Furcal's triple and Jay followed with a two-run homer off the top of the center-field wall.
Drew Stubbs and Zack Cozart hit back-to-back singles to start the bottom of the third and Votto knocked in Stubbs with a double to deep left field that Matt Holliday couldn't corral.
Cozart and Votto sparked a two-run rally in the fifth inning that knocked Garcia out of the game, leading off with consecutive base hits. Ludwick walked to load the bases and runs scored on Bruce's sac fly and Wilson Valdez's single, which chased Garcia for Victor Marte.
The Reds went 3-for-11 with runners in scoring position and stranded 13 on base...The Cardinals left seven men on...Valdez had three hits.