- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 10, 2016

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Alex Reyes lived up to the advance billing. His teammates did not.

Reyes, the St. Louis Cardinals’ highly touted prospect, made his debut pitching a perfect ninth inning as the Cardinals fell to the Cincinnati Reds 7-4 on Tuesday night.

“My heart was pumping definitely,” the 21-year-old right-hander said. “But I felt kind of relaxed out there and I was just worrying about executing pitches and keeping them off the board.”

Reyes struck out his first batter, All-Star Adam Duvall, with a 101 mph fastball after an 80 mph breaking ball. The strikeout was met by a standing ovation from what was left of the 40,113 at Busch Stadium.

“The fans, they definitely helped a lot and made me feel comfortable,” Reyes said.

Reyes hit 101 mph on the radar gun twice and 100 once.

“He threw two knee-knuckle breaking balls to go along with the 101 and there’s plenty to be excited about there,” manager Mike Matheny said. “He just had great poise, just looked like he was in the moment.”

Reyes was the highlight of a sloppy performance by St. Louis. There were two errors, a ball that dropped for an RBI hit that should have been caught and five walks issued, including two to Reds speedster Billy Hamilton who stole a base and scored after each free pass.

Cardinals right-hander Mike Leake failed to record a clean frame in six innings, surrendering a season-high four walks. Still, the three runs allowed were a much better showing than his two previous starts against his former club when he gave up six and seven runs, respectively.

“I would say even though there were a few walks in there . I was around the zone the whole time and out of the middle for the most part,” Leake said.

Yadier Molina’s solo home run in the second inning broke a career-high 13-inning scoreless streak for Reds lefty Brandon Finnegan. It also extended Molina’s streak for reaching base safely to 22 games.

Matt Holliday’s solo homer in the fifth tied the game 3-3.

Tyler Holt’s double off Matt Bowman (1-4) broke a 4-4 tie in the eighth. He then scored from second on an infield hit by Hamilton after Cardinals second baseman Matt Carpenter bobbled a barehanded attempt to get the speedy Hamilton at first.

Duvall’s two-run single in the third broke a career-high 0-for-18 skid and gave the Reds a 2-1 lead.

Joey Votto had two hits, an RBI and a walk and has hit safely in 18 of his last 19 games.

Finnegan struck out five, but walked six in six innings. Michael Lorenzen (2-0) gave up a run in two innings of relief and Raisel Iglesias picked up his first major league save.

“We’ve had a lot of beer showers at the end of a win with guys getting their first hit or their first save or their first win,” manager Bryan Price said. “And that’s the fun part of youth.”


Hamilton stole three bases and he has nine steals in his past three games. He has more stolen bases (48) than the Reds have wins (46).

“My main job is getting on base,” Hamilton said. “I got picked off today and a bunch of guys would have shut it down after that. That’s something I feel comfortable in. I’m going to come out next time and get you.”


The Cardinals closed their locker room for about 10 minutes to discuss temporary parking arrangements in preparation for the Paul McCartney concert Saturday at Busch Stadium.


Reds: RHP Alfredo Simon (right trapezius) and RHP A.J. Morris (strained right shoulder) will continue their rehab assignment Wednesday at Triple-A Louisville. Simon is scheduled to pitch two innings and Morris one.

Cardinals: RHP Michael Wacha (strained right shoulder) was placed on the DL and Reyes was promoted from Triple-A Memphis.


Reds: RHP Anthony DeSclafani (6-0, 2.94 ERA) is coming off a no-decision against Pittsburgh in which he gave up two runs in six innings. Last season, he became the first Reds rookie since Ewell Blackwell in 1946 to face St. Louis in consecutive starts and win them both.

Cardinals: LHP Jaime Garcia (8-8, 4.04) is coming off eight shutout innings in a 1-0 win over Atlanta. He drove in the lone run of that game with a single and allowed just three hits.

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