Cards sweep doubleheader with Reds, rally for 1-0 win in 11th of nightcap

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Andrew Knizner scored on a throwing error by Reds center fielder Nick Senzel, who was playing third base in a five-man infield in the 11th inning, and the Cardinals beat the Cincinnati Reds 1-0 Saturday night to earn a doubleheader sweep.

Senzel’s throw hit Knizner in the back as he was running home. Reds manager David Bell argued with home plate umpire Chad Fairchild that Knizner was running out of the baseline in fair territory, to no avail.

José Quintana allowed two hits, hit a batter, and struck out six in eight innings. St. Louis has gone 8-1 in his nine starts since acquiring him from Pittsburgh on Aug. 1.

St. Louis (87-60) increased its lead in the National League Central to eight games over Milwaukee, which beat the New York Yankees 4-1 on Saturday night.

Steven Matz (5-3) pitched the top of the 11th inning in his first appearance since spraining his left knee in a start at Cincinnati in late July. He was activated off the injured list between games of the doubleheader.

Hunter Greene struck out a career-best 11 batters and allowed four hits in six scoreless innings without walking a batter on 81 pitches in his first start since suffering a right shoulder strain on Aug. 5.

Cincinnati (57-89) has lost nine of its last 10.

Hector Cruz (0-1) walked Brendan Donovan, and Tommy Edman laid down a bunt single to load the bases with nobody out in the 11th.

Alexis Díaz walked Dylan Carlson and Nolan Gorman to load the bases in the bottom of the 10th before getting Knizner to pop into a double play to shallow left field.

Cardinals center fielder Ben DeLuzio made a run-saving, diving catch on José Barrero’s line drive to right-center field in the eighth inning after Stuart Fairchild doubled to center.

The Cardinals beat the Reds 5-1 in the opener as Yadier Molina hit a two-run homer while Albert Pujols went hitless in his quest for 700 homers. Pujols started at first base and hit second for the first time this season in the first game. He went 0 for 3 with two walks in his first two plate appearances and struck out as a pinch-hitter for Alec Burleson in the seventh inning of the nightcap.

St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol said playing Pujols so frequently is a no-brainer despite his age of 42.

“When you put a winning lineup out there, he’s in it,” Marmol said. “It’s not a matter of whether we’re facing a lefty or a righty. He’s in there because he’s doing a nice job against everybody. It’s just a matter now of resting him to make sure he’s fresh.”

TJ Friedl hit an RBI double in the seventh to account for Cincinnati’s only run. Mike Minor (4-12) issued five walks in three innings and was charged with five runs and five hits.

St. Louis right-hander Dakota Hudson (8-7) pitched a career-high eight innings of six-hit ball in his first big league start since Aug. 30.

“That’s what we’ve been looking for all year,” Marmol said. “Super efficient. Overall, that’s exactly what we’ve been waiting for. Legit outing.”

Hudson was optioned to Triple-A Memphis on Sept. 5.


St. Louis unsuccessfully challenged first base umpire Laz Diaz’s call in the seventh inning of the nightcap that Corey Dickerson was out at first base on a ground ball to second baseman Jonathan India. The call stood.


Pujols made his 1,654th career appearance in a team win, moving past Stan Musial (1941-63) into sole possession of fourth place in MLB history. Pujols’ two walks in the first game gave him 999 with the Cardinals and 1,369 overall.


St. Louis is an MLB-best 20-6 (.769) on Saturday this season (10-3 at home), its most successful day of the week. With the win in game one, the Cardinals established a single-season franchise record for Saturday victories, surpassing the 1962 (18-11) and 2014 (18-9) clubs.


Reds: RHP Raynel Espinal was optioned to Triple-A Louisville. … RHP Kyle Dowdy was recalled from the taxi squad to serve as the 29th player for the doubleheader. He pitched four scoreless innings in his second big league appearance of the season in game one.

Cardinals: Before Saturday’s first game, Hudson was added as the 29th player for the doubleheader.


Reds: RHP Graham Ashcraft (right biceps soreness) is set for a second rehab outing for Triple-A Louisville on Monday.

Cardinals: Carlson (left thumb sprain) came off the 10-day injured list and started in center field in the first game. … OF Tyler O’Neill (left hamstring strain) was placed on the 10-day IL. … RHP Jordan Hicks (right arm fatigue and neck spasms) was placed on the 15-day injured list between games retroactive to Sept. 15.


Reds: RHP Luis Cessa (3-3, 5.25 ERA) will be making his sixth start since moving into the starting rotation on Aug. 22.

Cardinals: LHP Jordan Montgomery (8-4, 3.20 ERA) is scheduled to make his second career start against the Reds and first since July 25, 2017, as a member of the New York Yankees.