MLB Tyler O’Neill’s 2-run homer leads Cardinals past Reds

Tyler O’Neill belted a tiebreaking two-run homer and drove in three runs and Paul Goldschmidt homered in his third straight game as the visiting St. Louis Cardinals beat the Cincinnati Reds, 6-3, Saturday.

Steven Matz (4-3) returned from the injured list to allow just two runs on three hits while striking out seven over 5 1/3 innings. Matz, who had been sidelined since his last start on May 22 with a left shoulder injury, was overpowering the Reds before leaving with a strained left knee making a play on a one-out Joey Votto slow roller to first in the sixth inning.

Matz struck out five in a row before kicking Votto’s grounder for an error and sliding awkwardly on both ankles and falling to the ground in pain. Matz immediately left the game for reliever Junior Fernandez.

Nolan Arenado had a pair of doubles and went 3-for-5, while Ryan Helsley struck out the side in the ninth and retired all four batters he faced to record his ninth save in 12 chances.

St. Louis did most of its damage with extra-base hits, as seven of the nine batters in the starting lineup had at least one extra-base hit while the Cardinals as a team totaled eight in the game.

One week after recording his 300th career homer, Goldschmidt earned another career milestone in the third inning against the Reds when he collected his 1,000th career RBI with a line-drive single to left that scored O’Neill for a 2-0 St. Louis lead. The Reds tied the game in the bottom of the inning on a two-run double by Brandon Drury.

The Cardinals took advantage of a poor outing from Cincinnati starter and loser Mike Minor (1-7), who gave up eight hits, five runs, four walks and two home runs in only four innings. The Reds have lost eight of Minor’s nine starts this season.

O’Neill’s two-run homer to center off Minor broke the 2-2 tie in the fourth, and Goldschmidt followed with his third homer in as many games against the Reds. Goldschmidt has homered in the last four games he’s played as he connected for a solo homer for the National League in Tuesday’s All-Star Game.

Cincinnati rookie catcher Mark Kolozsvary, a U.S. Olympic catcher, connected for his first major league homer, a one-out solo drive to left in the seventh. The Reds then immediately mounted a rally but reliever Giovanny Gallegos retired Tommy Pham and Votto on groundouts to work out of trouble.

–Field Level Media

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