CINCINNATI (AP) — Paul Goldschmidt gave St. Louis the lead with his second homer of the game as the Cardinals tightened up the NL wild-card race with a 5-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds in the opener of a doubleheader on Wednesday.
The Reds entered the day tied with San Diego for the second NL wild card, 2 1/2 games of St. Louis and Philadelphia. Goldschmidt is trying not to focus on the playoff chase.
“I doubt if many guys try make it bigger than it is,” the first baseman said. “We’ll try to do that throughout the rest of the season.”
The Cardinals trailed 4-3 before Goldschmidt drove his third homer of the series into the last section of seats in deep right-center with Tommy Edman on first base.
The doubleheader was scheduled after Tuesday’s game was postponed because of rain.
The Reds have lost four straight for the first time since dropping four in a row from July 16-19.
The Cardinals bashed three homers among their 12 hits off Wade Miley (11-5), both season highs for the left-hander. Miley gave up five runs with one walk and two strikeouts in four innings for his first loss in 16 starts since coming off the injured list on May 30.
“They came out swinging,” Miley said. “I didn’t execute my pitches. I didn’t make adjustments. I’m not going looking for any answers. It was just a bad day. The last Goldschmidt at-bat, I’d like to have back.”
Reliever Génesis Cabrera (3-5) pitched two scoreless innings for St. Louis. Giovanny Gallegos pitched the seventh for his fourth save and second in the Cardinals’ last two games, both against Cincinnati.
The Reds scored three runs in the third inning, equaling the total from their previous three games combined. Miley drove in two with an opposite-field double to left.
Goldschmidt, the game’s second batter, launched a changeup off the ribbon message board atop the center field batter’s eye. He now has 24 homers this season. He hit a two-run shot in the first inning of Monday’s 3-1 win.
“Wade’s been having a great year,” Goldschmidt said. “He’s one of the best pitchers in the league. He’s been doing it a long time, and he’s had some games against us. Today, we found some holes. We were able to get runners on and drive them in. The margin of error is so small on both sides. Today, things went our way.”
St. Louis right-hander Miles Mikolas lasted only three innings in his third start since coming off the injured list on August 20. He allowed five hits and four runs with one walk and three strikeouts.
“I thought he was way better than his line,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. “We had to hit for him in the fourth inning. The fourth inning is like the sixth inning of a nine-inning game. Miley did his part with a ball down the line, and some balls found holes.”
After Bader’s groundball single scooted past Reds 3B Mike Moustakas in the third inning, a fan yelled “(Eugenio) Suarez would’ve had it.” Moustakas gave the fan a thumbs-up.
Before the doubleheader, the Cardinals recalled C Ali Sánchez and promoted RHP Brandon Dickson. Active rosters were expanded to 28 players on Wednesday. Dickson’s first appearance of the season also will be his first for St. Louis in more than nine seasons, the longest span between appearances for the Cardinals by any player in franchise history.
The Reds recalled from Triple-A Louisville IF Alejo Lopez and promoted OF Delino DeShields Jr., the son of first base coach Delino DeShields.
Cardinals: RHP Ryan Helsley (right elbow stress reaction) was transferred to the 60-day injured list. He has been out since August 17.
Reds: OF Jesse Winker, on the 10-day injured list since August 16 with an intercostal strain, started swinging a bat on Tuesday, manager David Bell said.
Cardinals: Begin a three-game series at the NL Central-leading Brewers on Friday night with RHP Adam Wainwright (13-7, 2.95 ERA) on the mound. St. Louis has won each of Wainwright’s last eight starts at Milwaukee since a 4-3 loss on July 18, 2012.
Reds: RHP Vladimir Gutierrez (9-5, 4.03), Friday’s starter against Detroit, allowed seven hits and five runs in a season-low three innings in his last start on Saturday at Miami.
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