St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price elected to have Johnny Cueto walk Jon Jay with one out to load the bases and bring up Yadier Molina.
Molina cleared the bases with a go-ahead double in the bottom of the seventh inning and the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Cincinnati Reds 6-1 in the opener of a three-game set.
Matt Holliday singled to lead off the seventh and Jhonny Peralta doubled after Matt Adams struck out to put runners on second and third. Following Jay's free pass, Molina banged his two-bagger to left for a 4-1 advantage.
"This guy thrives on that stuff," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Molina. "He had an idea of what he was looking for."
Michael Wacha (2-0) outdueled Cueto (0-2) for a second straight start. He allowed a run on five hits and a walk with four strikeouts for St. Louis, which has won five of its last six games.
"He's given us some challenges and we just have to take advantage of what we get when we get it," Price said of Wacha.
Kevin Siegrist tossed the final two innings to pick up his first save of the season.
Matt Carpenter smacked a pair of doubles and scored two runs in the triumph.
Cueto fanned 10, but surrendered four runs on six hits and a walk over seven frames for the Reds, who have dropped five of its last six contests on the heels of a 4-0 start.
Joey Votto's solo blast, his fourth of the season, opened the scoring in the first, but the Cards got the run back in the home half on a Holliday sacrifice fly.
The Cards added a pair of insurance runs in the eighth. Carpenter scored when Brandon Phillips was unable to handle a hot-shot bouncer off the bat of Adams. A Peralta sac fly made it 6-1.
The Cardinals honored former second baseman and manager Red Schoendienst with a special ceremony to celebrate his 70th year in baseball. He had his No. 2 written out on the infield dirt behind the second base bag ... Molina's 65 RBI against the Reds are his second most against any opponent ... The Cardinals were 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position, while Cincy finished 0-for-4.