Published May 02, 2016
Cincinnati, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Joey Votto hit a pair of two-run homers and Billy Hamilton's speed was the difference in the Cincinnati Reds' 5-4 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.
Votto's two opposite-field shots off Cardinals starter John Lackey provided Cincinnati's first four runs, and Hamilton tagged up and scored on Todd Frazier's shallow sacrifice fly to right field for the go-ahead run in the eighth.
"He's taking things what's given to him both offensively and on the bases," Reds manager Bryan Price said of Hamilton.
Jordan Walden (0-1) took the loss after walking Hamilton, allowing him to steal second and seeing him advance on a wild pitch. Lackey exited after allowing four runs on four hits and two walks in six innings with a strikeout.
"Overall, John was good," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.
The Cardinals outhit Cincinnati, 10-4, including a two-run home run from Randal Grichuk and Jason Heyward's game-tying single in the seventh.
Jason Marquis, who had not appeared in a major league game since 2013, allowed three runs in six innings with seven strikeouts. J.J. Hoover (2-0) struck out three in 1 1/3 innings of relief, and Aroldis Chapman fanned two to earn his second save.
Marquis had settled in after a rocky start. After Grichuk's home run, he set down 12 straight Cardinals until Matt Holliday's leadoff single in the sixth. He got out of a jam with runners on the corners when he struck out Yadier Molina and got Kolten Wong to fly out.
After Marquis' exit, St. Louis began the seventh with three straight one-out singles. Jon Jay scored on Heyward's hit, but Hamilton helped limit the damage when he threw out Matt Carpenter trying to reach third.
Walden recorded the first out of the eighth before walking Hamilton. Walden issued a free pass to Votto after Hamilton stole second, but a wild pitch and Votto steal eliminated the possibility of a double play. Frazier then hit a fly ball to right, and Heyward's strong throw was no match for Hamilton's speed tagging up from third.
The Cardinals had one more chance against Chapman in the ninth. Heyward was on first and two outs, but Holliday struck out looking to give Cincinnati its first 4-0 start since 2011.
Marquis' return to the mound got off to a poor start. He walked the first batter he faced, and Carpenter eventually came home on Jhonny Peralta's double.
Marquis did get support from his teammates. Lackey issued a leadoff walk of his own to Hamilton, and Votto capitalized with a two-run home run to left field.
The Cardinals retook the lead in the top of the second when Grichuk responded thanks to a two-run shot to deep left-center field.
Marquis, a career .196 hitter with five home runs, singled to lead off the third. Votto went deep again with his second two-run homer of the game.
Chapman's 115 career saves is tops among Cuban-born pitchers, passing Danys Baez (114) ... Marquis' last big league appearance was on July 19, 2013, a 9-6 loss to the Cardinals while pitching for the Padres ... Hamilton joins Vince Coleman as only the second player since 1900 to go 7-for-7 in steals in the first four games of a season.