Lester sharp, Goldschmidt HR, Cardinals move up, beat Reds

Aug 30, 2021, 6:46 AM | Updated: 8:09 pm

CINCINNATI (AP) — Jon Lester allowed one hit while pitching into the seventh inning, Paul Goldschmidt homered and the St. Louis Cardinals inched closer to the slumping Cincinnati Reds in the NL wild-card race with a 3-1 win Monday night.

The Cardinals closed within 2 1/2 games of Cincinnati for the second wild-card spot. San Diego is in between them.

The Reds have scored one run in each of their last three games — all losses — and have dropped five of their last seven games. Their top four hitters in the lineup combined to finish 0-for-14.

“We’re a good-hitting team,” said Reds shortstop Kyle Farmer, who got Cincinnati’s only two hits, including his career-high 12th home run. “Good hitting teams break out of slumps. There’s not much pressing among guys. We’ve faced some really, really good pitching the last five games.”

Lester (5-6), in his sixth start for St. Louis since being acquired from Washington on July 30, retired 16 consecutive batters after giving up his only hit, Farmer’s second-inning leadoff homer.

“Obviously, we all know what’s in front us,” Lester said. “We have a lot of games against these guys and the (Central-leading) Brewers coming up. To pitch well is a great feeling. To do it against a team that you’re trying to chase down is even better.”

The veteran left-hander walked two and struck out five in 6 1/3 innings, earning his fourth straight win after losing his first two starts with the Cardinals.

Right fielder Dylan Carlson, who contributed a sliding catch of Joey Votto’s flyball in short right-center field in the fourth, described Lester’s work as “awesome.”

“He had his game face on, and he had the stuff to match the strong intensity he brought to the game,” St. Louis manager Mike Shildt said. “He changed speeds well and had the good curveball in play. He kept then off-balance. He had them a little out front. He was tremendous to get into the seventh.”

T.J. McFarland allowed a hit in 1 1/3 innings and Luis Garcia got the last out of the eighth before Giovanny Gallegos pitched the ninth for his third save.

The Cardinals needed just two batters to grab a 2-0 lead. Luis Castillo (7-14) walked Tommy Edman, the reigning NL Player of the Week, to lead off the game. Goldschmidt followed with an opposite-field homer to right, his 22nd of the season and 11th in 41 career games at Great American Ball Park.

“Luis got a little to much of the plate to a good hitter,” Reds manager David Bell said. “Other than that, he was outstanding.”

St. Louis added a run in the sixth when Carlson doubled and later scored on Tyler O’Neill’s dribbler up the third base line.

Farmer’s homer was his 12th of the season, adding to his single-season career high. He snapped a 0-for-14 slump.

Castillo lasted six innings, giving up five hits and three runs with two walks and eight strikeouts. He has lost four of his last five starts after three straight wins.

SOUVENIR TIME

A young fan leaned over the seat in front of him with his black glove to catch Farmer’s home run on the fly and was rewarded with high-fives from the fans near him.

VOTTO ON VERGE

Votto needs one home run to reach 324 in his career and tie Hall of Famer Frank Robinson for second on Cincinnati’s career homer list. Johnny Bench leads with 389.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Reds: RHP Brad Brach (right shoulder impingement) began a rehab assignment at Triple-A Louisville on Monday. He’s been on the injured list since Aug. 8.

UP NEXT

Cardinals: RHP Miles Mikolas (0-1) is scheduled to make his fourth start of the season and second since returning from his second stint on the injured list (right forearm).

Reds: RHP Sonny Gray (6-6) has strung together a season-high 13 consecutive scoreless innings over his last two starts.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) walks off the field after the Giants lost to the Dalla...
Associated Press

Giants take 2 body blows from Cowboys, a loss and injury

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The New York Giants took it on the chin against the Dallas Cowboys. Dropping a hard-fought 23-16 decision to the rival Cowboys on Monday night to lose for the first time under new coach Brian Daboll hurt. What was worse came at the end of the game. Wide receiver Sterling […]
24 hours ago
United States' Breanna Stewart waves to the crowd following their win over Bosnia and Herzegovina i...
Associated Press

US women win record 27th straight game at World Cup

SYDNEY (AP) — There’s been a long legacy of success for the U.S. women’s basketball team at the World Cup. The names change over time, but the results don’t seem to. Kelsey Plum scored 20 points, Chelsea Gray added 16 and the United States routed Bosnia and Herzegovina 121-59 on Tuesday to break the team […]
24 hours ago
Baltimore Orioles' Anthony Santander rounds the bases on his two-run home run during the seventh in...
Associated Press

Orioles bash Red Sox 14-8, slice AL wild-card deficit

BOSTON (AP) — Cedric Mullins homered on the second pitch of the game, Anthony Santander went deep twice and the Baltimore Orioles outslugged the Boston Red Sox 14-8 on Monday night to gain a little ground in the playoff race. Gunnar Henderson hit a two-run homer and Mullins tripled in two runs for the Orioles […]
24 hours ago
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (88) makes a catch in the end zone for a touchdown against...
Associated Press

Lamb’s 1-handed TD catch gives Dallas 23-16 win over Giants

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — CeeDee Lamb was angry with himself in the second quarter after dropping a wide-open pass and costing the Dallas Cowboys a possible touchdown. It was just embarrassing. The star receiver more than made up for it with the game on the line, making a one-handed TD catch with 8:30 to […]
24 hours ago
New York Yankees designated hitter Aaron Judge reacts after flying out against Boston Red Sox start...
Associated Press

Yankees star Judge stays 1 homer shy of Maris’ AL mark of 61

A look at Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees as he approaches major home run milestones: Season HR Total: 60 Monday’s Game: Went 1 for 3 with two walks in a 3-2 loss in 10 innings at Toronto. Judge has gone six games without a home run and remains short of the AL record […]
24 hours ago
New York Yankees' Aaron Judge tosses his bat as he is walked by Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher ...
Associated Press

Judge held homerless, still at 60, Jays beat Yankees in 10th

TORONTO (AP) — Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees will have to wait at least one more day to achieve home run history and crack some bubbly. Judge stayed at 60 home runs, one shy of Roger Maris’ American League record, and the Yankees’ bid to clinch the AL East stalled when Vladimir Guerrero […]
24 hours ago
Lester sharp, Goldschmidt HR, Cardinals move up, beat Reds