Reds can’t complete sweep of St. Louis

St. Louis Cardinals' Randal Grichuk hits a two-run home run off Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Tim Adleman in the second inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

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St. Louis Cardinals' Randal Grichuk hits a two-run home run off Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Tim Adleman in the second inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The Reds did just about everything they could on Sunday to complete a sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals at Great American Ball Park.

They piled up 11 hits. They coaxed a season-high five walks out of St. Louis starter Carlos Martinez. They limited the usually potent top of the Cardinals’ batting order to a 1-for-15 day.

But pushing just two of their 16 baserunners across the plate wasn’t enough. The Cardinals turned four double plays, Randal Grichuk and Kolten Wong homered off of Tim Adleman and St. Louis snapped a three-game losing streak with a 5-2 win.

Yadier Molina had two of the Cardinals’ five hits as they avoided their first sweep in Cincinnati since July 2012.

Carlos Martinez (13-7) allowed three hits over six scoreless innings before the Reds reached him for three hits and two runs to knock him out of the game three batters into the seventh. He walked five and struck out six while improving to 8-1 in 13 road starts this season.

Hernan Iribarren, promoted from Triple-A Louisville before the game and promptly inserted into the starting lineup, led off the seventh with a single, his first in the major leagues since August 2009. Ivan De Jesus Jr. followed with a pinch-hit, run-scoring double and scored himself on a solid single to center by Tyler Holt, who took over in the third for Billy Hamilton after the center fielder suffered a strained left oblique while taking a strike from Martinez.

Cincinnati went on to load the bases with one out against reliever Zach Duke before Scott Schebler flied out. Left fielder Brandon Moss threw out Holt at the plate — the third of four Cardinals double plays in the game, tying their season high

Manager Bryan Price had no problem with the speedy Holt trying to score.

“Offensively, we’re down by three runs and you think you’re going to be conservative, but you still have to score runs,” Price said. “Moss makes a nice play. We had to take a chance with two outs.”

Seung Hwan Oh allowed a leadoff single in the ninth before getting three outs for his 15th save.

Adleman (2-3) matched his career high with six strikeouts in his first career appearance against St. Louis. He allowed four hits and three runs with a walk in five innings.

“Outside of a few pitches, I did a pretty good job of minimizing damage,” Adleman said. “It was better today. I wasn’t in a lot of jams today.”

Price, using September as a tryout camp for the last-place Reds, used the opportunity to check out prospects such as pitcher Wandy Peralta, who made his major league debut in the seventh.

“If this was August instead of September, I wouldn’t have taken Adleman out, but I had four or five guys that needed to pitch,” Price said. “(Adleman had) done enough to keep us in the game.”

Grichuk followed Stephen Piscotty’s double with his 21st homer of the season and second of the series, giving St. Louis a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Grichuk also homered on Friday.

Wong made it 3-0 by leading off the fifth with his fourth homer this season and second on the road trip. He also connected Monday in Milwaukee.

First baseman Joey Votto’s error and pitcher Jumbo Diaz’s error and wild pitch helped St. Louis add two unearned runs in the sixth for a 5-0 lead.

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