CINCINNATI (AP) — Skip Schumaker didn’t think he’d homer this season. His former team wishes he’d been right.
Schumaker hit a three-run homer, rookie Anthony DeSclafani pitched six strong innings and the Cincinnati Reds won their second game of the day, beating the struggling St. Louis Cardinals 5-1 on Saturday.
“I was talking to Homer (Bailey) on the bench after the first game. I told him this might be the first year I don’t get one,” said Schumaker, who debuted with the Cardinals in 2005. “It’s nice to hit it against the organization that I respect the most.”
Earlier, Adam Duvall’s two-run homer in the eighth lifted the Reds to a 4-2 win in the completion of a game suspended in the eighth by rain on Friday.
The first-place Cardinals have lost the first three games of the four-game series. Their lead over Pittsburgh in the NL Central fell to three games before the Pirates hosted Milwaukee on Saturday night.
Schumaker hit his first homer since Aug. 13 of last season.
“We have to disrupt a little bit of what’s going on in this race. To have fun around here we have to beat teams going to the playoffs,” Schumaker said.
St. Louis is 3-8 in September after three straight losses to the last-place Reds, who on Sunday can finish off their first four-game sweep of the Cardinals since 2003.
Joey Votto, who is appealing the two-game suspension he was handed Friday for his altercation with plate umpire Bill Welke on Wednesday, electrified the sellout crowd of 41,187 with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the seventh that Jason Heyward tracked down a step in front of the center field wall.
The Cardinals committed two errors to push their total to five in the first three games of the series.
Rain fell during the middle innings of the scheduled game and again in the eighth and ninth, but not heavy enough to interrupt play.
DeSclafani (9-10) bounced back from giving up hits to the first three Cardinals, including Heyward’s RBI single, to retire 15 straight batters. He finished with one walk and a career-high 10 strikeouts in six innings.
“I ran into trouble in the first. I’m glad I got out of it. It lets my teammates know they’re still in the game,” DeSclafani said. “I was happy for Schumaker. He came into the dugout like a ball of fire.”
DeSclafani has beaten the division front-runners three times in three tries.
“DeSclafani found his curveball and fastball command after the first three batters,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “He’s a tough kid. I’m really happy with his makeup.”
Tony Cingrani, Burke Badenhop and Jumbo Diaz combined to finish the game.
Lance Lynn, coming off his second-shortest appearance of the season, opened with four hitless innings before Eugenio Suarez and Tucker Barnhart started the fifth with singles. Those set up Schumaker’s two-out shot to right. Lynn (11-10) allowed four hits in six innings.
Barnhart added an insurance run with a single in the eighth.
Cardinals: RHP Matt Belisle was reinstated from the disabled list on Saturday. Belisle had been out since June 26 with right elbow inflammation.
Reds: Billy Hamilton’s two stolen bases in the first game were his first since Aug. 18. He was activated from the disabled list on Tuesday after missing 19 games with a sprained right shoulder.
Cardinals: RHP Michael Wacha (15-5) makes his first start since tying his single-game career high by allowing six runs on six hits in four innings of Tuesday’s 8-5 loss to the Cubs.
Reds: Rookie RHP Raisel Iglesias (3-7) is coming off his shortest appearance of the season, lasting just three innings in a 7-3 loss to Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
Cincinnati Vice Mayor David Mann presented career hits leader Pete Rose with a key to the city and proclaimed Saturday “Pete Rose Day.” Friday was the 30th anniversary of Rose’s record-setting hit. A Rose bobblehead helped attract a sellout crowd.
Skip Schumaker’s first home run of the season leaves Brayan Pena as the only Reds player who has been on the roster all year without a homer. “I think Brayan probably was the only one not happy that I hit it,” Schumaker quipped.
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