ST. LOUIS — Cincinnati hit six home runs including Nick Martini’s three-run shot in the first inning in a 19-2 rout of the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night that kept the Reds alive in the National League wild-card race.
Jonathan India, Spencer Steer, Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Noelvi Marte and Tyler Stephenson also homered for the Reds who scored their most runs since putting up 20 against the Chicago Cubs on May 26, 2022.
With the win and Chicago’s loss to Milwaukee, Cincinnati is now tied with the Cubs 1 1/2 games behind Miami for the last NL wild card. The Cardinals, at 69-91, have their most losses since going 70-92 in 1990.
“We know we’ve got to win out,” India said. “The bottom line, we know we’ve got to win every game. I’m glad we won big tonight, but we have to do the same thing tomorrow.”
Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright, who is retiring after 18 seasons with the team and announced on Tuesday that he had made his final start after getting his 200th win and wouldn’t pitch again, pinch hit in the sixth inning and grounded out to second base.
“That’s probably one of the most fun feelings I’ve ever had,” Wainwright said about his at bat, “I wish we were winning the game, obviously, but I miss doing that. I never thought I’d be able to do it again, so it was neat to do it.”
Brandon Williamson (5-5) allowed two runs on five hits in six innings for his first win since Aug. 7, and Carson Spiers pitched the final three innings for his first career save.
Jake Woodford (2-3) allowed seven runs on six hits in 1 2/3 innings.
Richie Palacios hit a two-run homer in the third inning for St. Louis’ only runs.
Marte and Encarnacion-Strand homered off Casey Lawrence in the fourth inning and Stephenson hit his off Andrew Suárez later in the inning to leave Cincinnati one home run short of tying the franchise’s single-game high of seven last achieved in 2021.
“It felt like it was kind of contagious from the hitting side,” Stephenson said. “It never stopped which was great. We need to have that energy the next two games and, hopefully, we can see where this thing takes us and just keep the momentum going.”
Will Benson drove in Elly De La Cruz with a triple down the right field line and scored on India’s home run in the second inning to increase the Reds’ lead to 6-0, before Steer chased Woodford with his team-leading 23rd home run.
Martini hit his home run into the right-center field bullpen to put Cincinnati up 3-0 in the first.
“I think it was big,” Martini said. “Especially since you know how much these games mean right now. I think it was good to get off to a start like that.”
MOVING ON UP
Prior to Friday’s game, the Reds promoted vice president and general manager Nick Krall to president of baseball operations and vice president and assistant general manager Brad Meador to senior vice president and general manager.
Reds at Cardinals, 7:15 p.m., Bally Sports Ohio, 700, 1410