(Photo credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports)
Nick Martini and Christian Encarnacion-Strand hit a three-run homers as the visiting Cincinnati Reds routed the St. Louis Cardinals 19-2 on Friday to stay alive in the National League wild-card race.
Jonathan India and Tyler Stephenson socked two-run homers and Spencer Steer and Noelvi Marte added solo shots for the Reds (82-78), who remained within 1 1/2 games of the Miami Marlins (83-76) in the chase for the NL's third and final wild card.
Reds starting pitcher Brandon Williamson (5-5) allowed two runs on five hits in six innings. He walked two and struck out two. Rookie Carson Spiers followed with three scoreless innings to earn his first career save.
Richie Palacios hit a two-run homer for the Cardinals (69-91), who have lost eight of their past 10 games. Pitcher Adam Wainwright, who is retiring after the season, got an at-bat as a pinch hitter and grounded out.
The Reds blasted Cardinals starting pitcher Jake Woodford (2-3) for seven runs on six hits and a walk in 1 2/3 innings. He didn't strike out a batter.
Cincinnati bolted to a 3-0 lead in the first inning. India hit a leadoff single, Encarnacion-Strand contributed a two-out single, and Martini hit a three-run blast to right-center.
The Reds boosted their lead to 7-0 in the second inning. Elly De La Cruz walked, Will Benson hit a one-out RBI triple, and India followed with a two-run homer. One out later, Steer homered.
The Cardinals cut their deficit to 7-2 in the third inning when Jose Fermin hit a single and Palacios followed with a two-run homer.
Cincinnati doubled its lead to 14-2 in the fourth inning on Marte's homer, TJ Friedl's RBI double, Encarnacion-Strand's three-run homer and Stephenson's two-run blast.
Cincinnati upped the gap to 19-2 in the eighth inning with De La Cruz hitting a two-run triple, Marte hitting a run-scoring single and the Cardinals contributing three errors.
Umpire Phil Cuzzi ejected Benson in that inning for protesting a called third strike with the Reds leading by 17.
--Field Level Media