A day after losing in 16 innings, the Reds made sure to end the game early with four home runs in a 6-2 victory over the Cardinals on Thursday at Great American Ballpark.
Tony Cingrani (7-3) and struck around long enough to pick up the win. Cingrani allowed two runs on four hits in 5.1 innings while striking out seven. Cincinnati scored one run in six straight innings with four of those coming off of Lance Lynn (13-10).
With the win the Reds (79-62) took three of four in the series, but lost the season series 11-8. They also managed to move within 1.5 games of St. Louis (80-60) for second and are three games behind Pittsburgh (81-58) for first. Cincinnati also moved seven games ahead of Washington and 7.5 of Arizona for the final Wild Card spot.
Cingrani set the table with a two out bunt single in the second inning, then he stole second, and advanced to third on a wild pitch. He later scored on an infield single by Brandon Phillips as the Cardinals could not get Shin-Soo Choo at second base to end the inning. Phillips would leave the game in the seventh inning with a bruised left quad.
Frazier added a run with the first of his two homers in the third innings for a 2-0 lead. Frazier went 8-16 in the series with two homers, two doubles and four RBI. The two teams traded homers in the fourth and fifth as Choo homered, then David Freese got the Cardinals on the board with a solo blast, and Jay Bruce answered with his 27th of the season.
Matt Carpenter made it 4-2 when he scored on a wild pitch by Cingrani. Zach Duke came on in relief and prevented any more runs from scoring in the sixth. Bruce gave the Reds a three run lead in the bottom of the inning when he singled home Choo. Frazier's second homer capped the scoring for Cincinnati.
Manny Parra and Sam LeCure each came on a worked a scoreless inning of relief without a hit and Aroldis Chapman worked a non save inning of relief to seal the victory.
The Reds will get a shot at another playoff team as the likely NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers (83-56). L.A. currently leads its division by 12.5 games and currently hold the number two seed in the playoffs. Cincinnati lost three of the four meetings in L.A. and once again will face Clayton Kershaw (14-8) and Zach Grienke (14-3).
Chris Capuano (4-7) will face Mike Leake (11-6) in the series opener on Friday while Mat Latos (14-5) matches up with Grienke on Saturday afternoon. Homer Bailey (10-10) will need a repeat of his last two starts if he wants to defeat the 2011 Cy Young winner in Kershaw.