Published November 20, 2014
After former Cardinal Ryan Ludwick provided the late-game heroics Saturday, it was Scott Rolen's turn to haunt his former club.
Rolen, who played for St. Louis from 2002-07, slapped a tie-breaking, two-run single in the bottom of the eighth inning to help the Reds complete a three- game sweep of the Cardinals with a 4-2 victory Sunday night.
After the Cardinals put the first two runners on in the top of the eighth but failed to score, the Reds took advantage of their opportunity in the bottom half.
Joey Votto worked a one-out walk before Jake Westbrook (7-8) plunked Brandon Phillips. A fielder's choice groundout moved both runners up and Ludwick followed with a four-pitch walk to load the bases.
Rolen then served a fastball from reliever Mitchell Boggs over the head of a leaping Skip Schumaker at second to plate Votto and Phillips.
"You try not to make it a bigger at-bat than it is," said Rolen of his approach in the eighth. "You try to get a good pitch and put a good swing on it."
Aroldis Chapman fanned all three batters in the ninth to nail down his 13th save of the season.
Homer Bailey (8-6) allowed two runs -- one earned -- on nine hits and two walks over eight strong innings and has now allowed just five earned runs in 22 2/3 innings over his last three starts, all of them wins.
Votto and Phillips both knocked in a run for the Reds, who have won a season high-tying six straight games and are a season-best 12 games over .500.
Yadier Molina belted his career-high 15th homer of the season among his three hits, but the Cardinals were swept for the third time this season and trail the Reds for first place in the NL Central by 4 1/2 games.
Molina doubled home Lance Berkman in the top of the second inning to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead, but the Reds responded in the third with a pair of two- out runs.
Chris Heisey singled to start the rally and Votto followed with an RBI double to left. Phillips then sliced a sinker the opposite way to right, scoring Votto from second and giving the home team a 2-1 edge.
The Cardinals tied the game in the sixth when Molina knocked a two-out pitch just over the wall in left field.
Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran stroked consecutive singles to start the eighth, but Bailey caught Berkman looking at strike three before a pop out from Molina and a tapper back to the mound from David Freese ended the threat and opened the door for Rolen's heroics in the bottom half.
"They got the big hit," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "We had similar situations, guys in scoring position in the eighth inning. They ended up making it happen and we didn't."
Westbrook allowed four runs on nine hits and one walk with five strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings...Holliday extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a double in the first inning...Berkman made his first start since May 19 against the Los Angeles Dodgers...Chapman now has 79 strikeouts in 42 1/3 innings this season...It was the 68th straight game at Great American Ball Park in which at least one home run was hit.