The Cincinnati Reds picked up the first win of the Bryan Price era with a 1-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in a game that started late Wednesday night and ended early Thursday morning at Great American Ballpark.
Chris Heisey snapped the Reds 17.1 inning scoreless streak with a walk-off single in the ninth. Much the like Opening Day, Opening Night was filled with little offensive excitement and dominating pitching. Neither Tony Cingrani nor Michael Wacha were effected by the 2 hour and 40 minute delay as a steady rain held over the Cincinnati area. Cingrani lasted seven innings and allowed just two hits and had nine strikeouts. Wacha was equally effective, allowing three hits with seven strikeouts in 6.2 innings.
The Reds (1-1) had the first opportunity to score when Joey Votto doubled to left for his 1,000th career hit. Wacha was unfazed as he bounced back and struck out Jay Bruce to end the first inning.
Wacha and Cingrani continued to cruise until the fourth inning before the faced any difficulty. Cingrani finally had to pitch from the stretch when Matt Carpenter notched the Cardinals (1-1) first hit of the game. Carpenter eventually made it to second, but Cingrani fanned Allen Craig to end the threat.
Wacha had a much more eventful fourth as he walked Votto, hit Ryan Ludwick, then walked Todd Frazier with two outs to load the bases. Cincinnati squandered its opportunity when Zack Cozart bounced out to Carpenter at third, who then stepped on third base to end the inning.
Cingrani had a chance to help himself after he reached on a throwing error. He eventually made it to third base, but Brandon Phillips grounded out to short to keep the Reds off the board. Cingrani would face his biggest challenge in the seventh when he walked Jhonny Peralta to start the inning and then allowed a one out single to Craig. He settled down and got Yadier Molina to fly out and then struck out Matt Adams to end the seventh.
Manny Parra came on in the eight for Cingrani and found trouble early when Kolten Wong doubled over the head of Billy Hamilton. Ludwick made a nice play on a line drive by pinch hitter Shane Robinson, but it was Cozart who made a run-saving diving catch against Carpenter to keep the game scoreless.
Troubled brewed again in the ninth, this time against J.J. Hoover (1-0), after Frazier picked up the Reds first error of the season and then Hoover walked Molina with two outs. The rally was cut short when Hoover froze Adams on a breaking ball to send it to the bottom of the ninth.
Carlos Martinez (0-1) came out for his second inning of relief and it proved costly for Mike Matheny. Martinez allowed back-to-back singles by Ludwick and Frazier, and then after a sac bunt by Cozart, intentionally walked Brayan Pena to load the bases. With the infield drawn, Heisey roped a pinch-hit single past the shortstop and into left field to send the Reds home a winner early into Thursday morning.
The Reds and Cardinals will try to finish the series Thursday afternoon with first pitch set for 12:35 p.m., but heavy rains are expected throughout the day. If the two teams do play, Homer Bailey would face Lance Lynn in the series finale before the Reds head to New York for the weekend.