Cardinals, Royals start weekend division series off with wins

St. Louis Cardinals' Dylan Carlson (3) heads home to score on a two-run double by Paul...
St. Louis Cardinals' Dylan Carlson (3) heads home to score on a two-run double by Paul Goldschmidt during the third inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds Friday, April 23, 2021, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)(Jeff Roberson | AP)
Published: Apr. 23, 2021 at 10:33 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Yadier Molina homered and doubled before leaving because of a sore foot, and the St. Louis Cardinals sent the Cincinnati Reds to their fifth straight loss, 5-4 Friday night.

Molina raised his batting average to .339 in helping St. Louis build a 5-0 lead. But the star catcher exited after batting in the fifth inning because of soreness in his right foot.

Manager Mike Shildt didn’t have a report on the severity of the injury postgame.

“We noticed it looked like he favored something after his swing, and then he came in and we got him treatment and made the decision to get him out of there and get him looked at,” Shildt said.

Kwang-Hyun Kim (1-0) allowed one run and five hits with a career-high eight strikeouts. Three of Kim’s four major league wins have come against Cincinnati.

Sonny Gray (0-1) gave up five runs and six hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings in his second start after opening the season on the 10-day injured list with a strained back muscle. The Reds have lost five straight games for the first time since Sept. 22-27, 2019.

“It was one inning for me and I couldn’t get out of that one inning,” Gray said. “I put us in a pretty big hole there in the third inning of a game on the road.”

Cincinnati scored three times in the ninth before Alex Reyes got the final two outs for his fourth save.

Jonathan India lofted a triple off Jordan Hicks that fell between center fielder Dylan Carlson and right fielder Justin Williams, cutting the St. Louis lead to 5-2. Pinch-hitter Tucker Barnhart walked, prompting Shildt to turn to Reyes.

Reyes walked Tyler Naquin to load the bases and then walked Jesse Winker to score another run. Castellanos struck out, but a wild pitch on strike three allowed Barnhart to score.

Eugenio Suárez worked a 3-2 count against Reyes before he struck out looking to end the game.

Molina hit his fifth home run of the season in the second to put St. Louis up 1-0.

The Cardinals broke the game open with a four-run, one-out rally in the third. Paul Goldschmidt doubled in two runs, Nolan Arenado singled to drive in Goldschmidt and Molina doubled to right-center.

“I have had guys on and haven’t done a great job driving them in,” Goldschmidt said. “To be able to come through there and open up that lead was good.”

Nick Castellanos homered to left to open the Reds sixth. It was his seventh homer of the season and his 1,000th career hit.

Castellanos was serenaded with boos in his first game back from serving a two-game suspension for precipitating a benches-clearing incident against the Cardinals on April 3.

“It was definitely a pretty cool moment being in St. Louis and especially hearing all the boos and stuff,” Castellanos said. “Being able to do it, it was a pretty cool moment.”


The Reds recalled RHPs Heath Hembree and Ryan Hendrix from their alternate training site and optioned LHP Cionel Pérez and INF Max Schrock.


Reds: INF Mike Moustakas continues to recover from a non-COVID-19-related illness that has kept him on the 10-day injured list retroactive to April 17.

“We’re going to take the weekend to get him back into as much baseball activity as he needs and have him ready to go in LA,” manager David Bell said.

Cardinals: Placed 1B John Nogowski on the 10-day injured list retroactive to Apr. 20 with a bone bruise on his left hand and activated OF Tyler O’Neill (right groin strain).


LHP Wade Miley (2-1, 2.25 ERA) starts for the Reds against John Gant (0-2, 3.21), who returned to the St. Louis starting rotation this season for the first time since 2018.

DETROIT (AP) — Mike Minor held Detroit hitless until the fifth inning, and Andrew Benintendi and Ryan O’Hearn homered off Casey Mize to lift the Kansas City Royals to a 6-2 victory over the Tigers on Friday night.

Robbie Grossman went deep for Detroit in the fifth, but by then the Tigers were trailing 6-0 after another rough start for Mize. The top pick in the 2018 draft earned his first big league win earlier this month when he held Houston scoreless for seven innings, but since then Mize (1-2) has allowed 11 runs in two outings against Oakland and Kansas City.

Mize yielded six runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Minor (2-1) allowed two runs and four hits in 5 2/3 innings with two walks and nine strikeouts. Detroit didn’t have a hit until Jeimer Candelario doubled to lead off the bottom of the fifth. Grossman hit a two-run shot later that inning.

Detroit has lost seven of eight.

Benintendi opened the scoring for the AL Central-leading Royals with a solo homer in the second, then left his feet to make a spectacular diving catch in left-center field to retire Wilson Ramos in the bottom of the inning.

O’Hearn made it 2-0 in the fourth with his home run. He was recalled prior to the game after the Royals optioned outfielder Kyle Isbel to their alternate site following Wednesday’s game.

Kansas City added four runs in the fifth. Nicky Lopez hit an RBI groundout, Whit Merrifield hit a run-scoring single and Jorge Soler doubled home two runs.

Detroit’s Zack Short singled in the sixth for his first major league hit. He narrowly missed a home run during that at-bat when his drive to left went foul.


Tigers: Manager A.J. Hinch said DH Miguel Cabrera (left biceps strain) could return Saturday or Sunday.


Detroit sends Matthew Boyd (2-1) to the mound Saturday to face Kansas City’s Brady Singer (0-2).

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