The Norman Transcript

Sports

August 5, 2013

St. Louis thumps Cincinnati 15-2

CINCINNATI — Even when things go horribly wrong on the road, the St. Louis Cardinals can always count on one soothing stop. No matter how deep their slump, it’ll end in Cincinnati.

Matt Carpenter broke his 0-for-23 slump with a bases-loaded double during the decisive rally, and the Cardinals ended a tough trip on the upswing by beating the Reds 15-2 on Sunday.

The Cardinals went 3-8 on a trip that included seven straight losses — four of them in Pittsburgh, allowing the Pirates to overtake them for the NL Central lead. On their final stop, an offense that couldn’t do much of anything found a little bit of everything.

“Offensively, we did a terrific job,” manager Mike Matheny said. “We had a little bit of everything — some power, some good situational hitting, made the (defensive) plays.”

It’s been like that against the Reds lately.

St. Louis took two of three at Great American Ball Park and has won its last six series against Cincinnati, its best such stretch against the Reds since 2003-04. The Cardinals lead the season series 8-4.

“Some teams you play better than others, but they’ve got our number for sure,” said Reds starter Mike Leake (10-5), who gave up a season-high seven runs. “They play us tough. It’s on us to try to figure them out because they’ve got us figured out for the most part.”

The Cardinals scored their most runs against Cincinnati since 1993. They’ve scored at least 10 runs against the Reds in four games this season, the first time they’ve done that since 1980.

Carpenter’s two-run double off the wall completed a five-run rally in the sixth against Leake and two relievers, setting up another blowout.

“It’s a great feeling,” Carpenter said. “It’s even better that we come back and win the series in a convincing fashion. It was fun to join in on the action.”

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