De La Cruz, Abbott spark Reds over Cardinals
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Elly De La Cruz kept up his hot start with an RBI, stolen base and impressive headfirst slide at the plate, Andrew Abbott pitched shutout ball for the second straight start and the Cincinnati Reds beat the St. Louis Cardinals 8-4 Saturday behind the two rookies.
The 21-year-old De La Cruz made his big league debut Tuesday and has a five-hitting hitting streak, batting .316 with a double, triple, home run, three RBIs and two stolen bases.
He walked in the fifth inning and reached when he grounded into a forceout in the seventh, then scored from first on Spencer Steer's double when he ran through third base coach J.R. House's stop sign and with a headfirst slide got around catcher Andrew Knizner.
“I didn’t see the stop sign until late,” De La Cruz said through a translator. “I said ‘Damn, I can’t stop.’ It was too late. That's why I kept running.”
Cincinnati manager David Bell wasn't upset with De La Cruz.
“I just loved J.R.'s reaction,” Bell said. “He laughed. He didn't get mad. He might need to put the stop sign away for a while. It seems like he keeps gaining speed as he runs, and that makes it tough for a third base coach.”
De La Cruz maintained he has the most speed among the Reds.
"I am. I’m the fastest man in the world,” he said laughing.
Abbott (2-0). a 24-year-old left-hander who debuted Monday with a win over Milwaukee, allowed five hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings and struck out four. He has pitched 11 2/3 scoreless innings and allowed six hits.
“It's a good start,” Abbott said. “I've got some things to work on. It's just clicking. If we stay the course, we'll be all right. I think it's just go out and have fun, really. There's a lot of excitement on the team. Just harness and go out and do your job and give 100%."
Abbott became the first Reds pitcher with 11 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings at the start of his big league career since Amir Garrett's 12 in 2017. Abbott is the first Reds pitcher to open with consecutive scoreless starts of at least five innings since the mound was moved to its current distance in 1893.
Luke Maile doubled twice with three RBIs and Steer had a sacrifice fly, a two-run double and three RBIs.
Miles Mikolas (4-3) gave up five runs and seven hits in six innings.
“It was not a good outing,” Mikolas said. “I need to be better.”
Maile put Cincinnati ahead with a three-run, two-out double in the second. Stuart Fairchild beat out a grounder to Nolan Arenado at third to keep the inning alive.
“I just put my head down and ran as hard as I could,” Fairchild said. “It appeared he took an extra step back and that's I needed to make it in.”
Cincinnati opened a 5-0 lead in the third when Matt McLain tripled, Jonathan India was hit by a pitch, De La Cruz singled and Steer hit a sacrifice fly.
Paul Goldschmidt had an RBI double in the seventh, Dylan Carlson hit a two-run homer in the eighth against Kevin Herget and Arenado hit a solo shot in the ninth off Alexis Díaz.
Reds: Herget was recalled from Triple-A Louisville in his fourth stint with Cincinnati this season. … RHP Joel Kuhnel was optioned to Louisville. ... RHP Michael Mariot agreed to a minor league contract.
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
Caleb Adam Wainwright, 4, threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game. The crowd gave him a loud round of applause to pitcher Adam Wainwright's son.
Reds: Placed OF Jake Fraley (bruised right wrist contusion) on the 10-day IL, retroactive to Thursday, an injury sustained when hit by a Caleb Ferguson pitch. Fraley has hit .262 with seven homers and 38 RBIs this season. ... OF TJ Friedl (left hamstring strain) was reinstated from the IL and went 0 for 5.
Cardinals: OF Lars Nootbaar (bruised lower back) remains limited because of pain and stiffness in his back. He is a few days away from returning to full baseball activities. …LHP Packy Naughton (left forearm strain) is on a rehab assignment and he will pitch an inning Sunday for Triple-A Memphis.
Reds: RHP Hunter Greene (1-4, 3.92) hasn’t pitched since June 1. He skipped his last scheduled start because of stiffness in his right hip.
Cardinals: Wainwright (2-1, 5.97) takes an 11-17 record into Sunday's start against the Reds, his only losing record against an opponent he was more than one decision against.
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