The Cardinals put together the best ninth-inning rally in franchise history on Monday night to beat the Reds 10-9 in Cincinnati. St. Louis trailed 9-3 going into the final frame before exploding on the Reds bullpen, but reliever David Weathers was his own worst enemy at the beginning of the inning. He walked Yadier Molina and Abraham Nunez led off the inning with walks and David Eckstein loaded the bases with a single.
Four batters, two runs, a reliever and two outs later, Jim Edmonds hit a three run homer off Danny Graves to cut the Reds’ lead to 9-8. Mark Grudzielanek was up next and he reached on a fielding error by first baseman Sean Casey. John Mabry gave the Cardinals the lead with a two run homer.
The rally could have been even bigger than it was because Molina and Nunez reached again with back-to-back singles, but Eckstein flied out to end the inning.
Reliever Julian Tavarez gave up a lead-off single to Joe Randa and later hit Jason LaRue with a pitch, but was able to get Austin Kearns to ground into a double play with one out to end the game and earn his second save of the season. Randy Flores threw six pitches to get the final out of the eighth inning to get the win. Starter Chris Carpenter allowed two runs over six innings. Relievers Carmen Cali and Jimmy Journell were charged with three apiece.
Interestingly enough, Scott Rolen’s absence on Monday may have had an indirect affect on the outcome of the game. Rolen sat out with a strained back and Mabry got the start in his place.