Lance Lynn struck out 10 in six innings and rookie Matt Adams connected for his first career pinch-hit homer off a slow curveball from Reds starter Bronson Arroyo and the Cardinals bounced back with a 5-1 win over Cincinnati on Tuesday night at Busch Stadium. Arroyo retired his first 15 Cardinal batters before they broke through in the sixth, with Adams hitting a two-run homer and Allen Craig and Carlos Beltran also driving in runs.
Lynn (1-0) retired the first 10 batters with seven strikeouts before the Reds scratched out a run in the fourth on consecutive one-hit singles from Zack Cozart and Joey Votto and Phillips’ sacrifice fly. Matt Holliday made a sliding catch on the warning track robbing Brandon Phillips of extra bases and limiting the damage.
Mitchell Boggs boosted his confidence by coming back and pitching the ninth inning in a non-save situation, but it looks like the club could need Boggs long term.
Regular closer Jason Motte faces reconstructive elbow surgery if his condition does not improve soon. Motte was not cleared to throw after an MRI exam Tuesday didn’t show sufficient improvement to his strained elbow. Motte, who had 42 saves last season, has been shut down since late March.
AUDIO GM John Mozeliak and Motte on his elbow (1:36)
The news comes a day after Mitchell Boggs was charged with six earned runs in one-third of an inning during Cincinnati’s nine-run ninth. Fernando Salas and Trevor Reosenthal are also other options, with Salas having closed in 2011 with 24 saves.
Motte signed a $12 million, two-year contract in January that avoided arbitration.
The closer issue was something I brought up during a recent Google Hangout as we discussed the Cardinals bullpen. I felt that if Motte did miss a significant amount of time it could have a trickle down effect on the rest of the bullpen as the season wore on.