St. Louis, MO – Mat Latos spun six scoreless innings of five- hit ball and the Cincinnati Reds held off the St. Louis Cardinals, 2-1, on Monday in the opener of a three-game set at Busch Stadium.
Latos (2-0) walked three and struck out four while extending his scoreless streak to 17 innings in earning his second victory in as many starts. Aroldis Chapman pitched a perfect ninth to nail down his sixth save of the season.
Joey Votto collected two hits and knocked in a run, while Xavier Paul's RBI ground out in the fourth proved to be the difference for the Reds, who have won two straight.
"That run ended up being the deciding run," Paul said of his fourth-inning groundout. "That's the one thing about baseball, every at-bat counts, especially when you're in an RBI situation."
St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright (4-2) was a hard-luck loser, giving up both runs on five hits while fanning six over seven solid frames.
"He had a little tough time finding the strike zone and really finding the release point on his fastball early on, but made some good adjustments and looked sharp," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said of Wainwright. "The start gave us a chance, just didn't capitalize."
Yadier Molina recorded three hits and plated the lone run for St. Louis, which has dropped three straight on the heels of a four-game winning streak.
The Reds jumped on Wainwright in the first, as Shin-Soo Choo slapped the right-hander's first offering into the left-field corner for a double before moving to third on Zack Cozart's bunt.
Votto then scorched a single to right to plate Choo before Brandon Phillips walked, but Wainwright worked out of trouble by striking out Jay Bruce and popping out Todd Frazier.
Cincinnati doubled its edge in the fourth after Bruce reached on a fielder's choice and Frazier followed with a double to right. Paul then plated Bruce with a ground out to short for a 2-0 lead.
Latos, meanwhile, made big pitches when he needed to, leaving a runner stranded in scoring position in four of the first five innings.
The right-hander battled through the sixth before Logan Ondrusek fired a scoreless seventh to maintain Cincinnati's two-run lead.
St. Louis finally broke through in the eighth against Cincinnati reliever Jonathan Broxton. Allen Craig smacked a leadoff double and quickly scored on Molina's two-bagger off the center field wall to make it 2-1.
Broxton, however, was able to work out of the jam before Chapman retired the Cards in order in the ninth to secure the victory.
St. Louis finished 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base ... Cincinnati placed outfielder Chris Heisey on the 15-day disabled list Monday and recalled outfielder Donald Lutz from Pensacola. Lutz made his major league debut as a pinch-hitter in the seventh and grounded out ... Wainwright issued two walks in the game after allowing just one free pass over his first 37 1/3 innings coming into the contest.