ST. LOUIS (AP) — Scott Rolen homered twice and the Cincinnati Reds overcame a rough outing by Johnny Cueto, recovering for a 9-8 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.
Jonny Gomes' RBI single and Drew Stubbs' go-ahead sacrifice fly off Blake Hawksworth put the Reds ahead to stay in the seventh inning after Brendan Ryan's two-run double put the Cardinals ahead 8-7 the inning before.
Joey Votto homered and had four hits, showing no rust from a six-game absence due to a sore neck, and helped the Reds rally after blowing a four-run lead to reclaim first place in the NL Central. The Cardinals won the opener of a three-game series Monday to tie for the lead.
Cueto, who had 37 strikeouts in 34 innings in May, failed to strike out a batter for the first time in 72 career starts. He blew leads of 7-3 and 3-0, finally leaving after giving up a walk and three singles to start the sixth.
He was charged with eight runs on 10 hits in five-plus innings.
Enerio Del Rosario (1-0), recalled from Triple-A Louisville earlier in the day, finished the sixth after allowing two inherited runners to score, but earned his first career victory.
Francisco Cordero worked the ninth for his 16th save in 19 chances.
Dennys Reyes (2-1) retired only one of four hitters in the seventh and was charged with two runs. Entering the game he had allowed one run in 16 2-3 innings on the season, an 0.54 ERA.
Rolen hit a three-run homer in the first and he and Votto connected on consecutive pitches in the third off rookie starter P.J. Walters. Rolen has three multihomer games this season after none in 2007-09.
The Cardinals left the bases loaded in the seventh against Arthur Rhodes, who has allowed one run in 21 2-3 innings this season. He allowed a hit and two walks before extending his scoreless streak to 19 2-3 scoreless innings, tied with Detroit's Jose Valverde for the majors' longest current run.
John Jay and Colby Rasmus both homered and had three hits apiece for the Cardinals, who have scored 29 runs the last three games. Orlando Cabrera hit a two-run single in the fourth inning.
NOTES: Ryan Ludwick has a minor thumb injury from sliding Monday and was not in the Cardinals' lineup. ... The Reds led the majors in hits (301), average (.299) and slugging percentage (.507) in May, and led the NL in homers (45), RBIs (160) and on-base percentage (.366) while going 18-11. ... Rolen has 20 RBIs in his last 16 games. ... Cardinals SS Felipe Lopez bruised his right thumb on a fielding error in the fifth and was replaced in the bottom half. ... Matt Holliday had an RBI single and three walks.