Despite a hiccup in the ninth inning the Cardinals finished off a three-game sweep of the Reds on Monday night in Cincinnati with a 7-3. Leading 7-0 in the ninth inning, reliever Carmen Cali was touched for three runs on home runs from Felipe Lopez and Adam Dunn. He was replaced by Al Reyes who got the final out of the game and Mark Mulder’s fourth win of the season.
Mulder lasted seven innings and gave up no runs, three hits and no walks. He improved to 4-1 and lowered his ERA to 2.93. In three of his last four starts, Mulder has held his opponents scoreless.
The offense did all of its damage in the second, third and fourth innings. Yadier Molina got things going for St. Louis with an RBI single to score Mark Grudzielanek in the second inning. Scott Rolen, who missed the last two games with a strained back, nailed a three run homer in the third inning to make it 3-0.
St. Louis busted the game open with a four-run rally in the fourth inning, beginning with another RBI single from Molina. David Eckstein drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and So Taghuchi followed with a two-run single to score Molina and Mulder. That made it 7-0.
With the victory, the Cardinals are ten games over .500 and have a five-game lead over the Brewers for the National League Central lead.