By Steve Overbay
The Associated Press
ST. LOUIS — Fast starts are becoming routine for Lance Lynn and the St. Louis Cardinals.
Lynn won his 10th straight decision, allowing one run and five hits in seven innings Wednesday to lead the Cardinals over the Cincinnati Reds 4-2.
Lynn (5-0) struck out five and walked two, improving to 10-0 in 10 starts and one relief appearance since losing to Milwaukee on Sept. 7. He became the NL’s first five-game winner.
“It’s early — but it’s fun so far,” Lynn said.
He was 6-0 with a 1.48 ERA through May 7 last season, then went 12-7 with a 4.46 ERA the rest of the way.
Leading the NL Central at the start of May for the sixth straight year, St. Louis has won six of its last nine.
“To be able to pitch like this and win games, it feels good,” Lynn said. “I just go out there, concentrate and keep trying to improve every day.”
Lynn retired the leadoff hitter six times. He also slapped a fifth-inning single to break out of an 0 for 52 slump. In addition, he set down a perfect bunt in the sixth inning.
“That bunt, that’s what I’m most happy abut,” he said.
St. Louis manager Mike Matheny applauded Lynn’s, “bulldog tenacity.”
“He just goes out there and does his job,” he said. “The starting pitching has been a constant for us and he’s helped lead the way. You can’t ask the starters to do more than they’ve done.”
Lynn retired the first four and last five hitters he faced.
“We had opportunities, but he pitched out of it,” Cincinnati’s Todd Frazier said. “We’re scuffling a little bit, but you’ve got to give him credit.”
Trevor Rosenthal pitched a hitless eighth, and Edward Mujica finished the six-hitter for his sixth save in six chances.
Carlos Beltran hit his team-high seventh homer for the Cardinals and Matt Carpenter had three hits, including a go-ahead single in the sixth.
Homer Bailey (1-3) gave up four runs and nine hits in 5 1-3 innings. He is 3-9 against St. Louis, including 0-5 with a 6.90 ERA at Busch Stadium.
Brandon Phillips drove in both Reds’ runs, hitting a solo homer in the ninth.
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