Series: Game 4 of 4

Cincinnati won 3-1

Game 1: Monday, September 8
St. Louis5Final
Game 2: Tuesday, September 9
St. Louis5Final
Game 3: Wednesday, September 10
St. Louis2Final
Game 4: Thursday, September 11
St. Louis0Final

Cardinals 0

(80-67, 36-39 away)

Reds 1

(70-77, 40-35 home)

    12:35 PM ET, September 11, 2014

    Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio 

    123456789 R H E
    STL 000000000 0 3 1
    CIN 00000001 - 1 3 0

    W: J. Cueto (18-8)

    L: L. Lynn (15-9)

    S: A. Chapman (33)

    Cardinals-Reds Preview


    The NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals haven't been able to keep up with lowly Cincinnati over the last two days.

    Johnny Cueto could help the Reds make it three in a row.

    The Cardinals try to bounce back against Cueto in Thursday's series finale at Great American Ball Park.

    St. Louis (80-66) opened this four-game set with a 5-0 win before losing the next two, 9-5 on Tuesday and 4-2 on Wednesday. John Lackey was ejected in the third for arguing balls and strikes and the Cardinals were shut out over the last eight innings.

    St. Louis now sits 3 1/2 games ahead of Pittsburgh for the division lead after the Pirates won in Philadelphia.

    Cincinnati (69-77) is looking to win three straight for the first time since Aug. 5-7. Alfredo Simon settled in to throw seven strong innings and became the first Reds pitcher with two doubles since Pete Schourek in 1995.

    Ryan Ludwick snapped a 13-game homer drought and Brandon Phillips added two hits and an RBI. Phillips is 14 for his last 40 with three doubles against the Cardinals.

    The Reds now turn to Cueto (17-8, 2.23 ERA), who is one win behind Clayton Kershaw for the most in baseball. The right-hander is coming off back-to-back victories after allowing one run over seven innings to beat the New York Mets 2-1 on Saturday.

    "I will do my best to get to 20 (wins)," he told MLB's official website. "God willing, I would love to get to 20."

    Cueto hasn't defeated the Cardinals since May 2011, going 0-3 with a 3.48 ERA over a seven-start stretch in the series. He's lost both meetings this season -- including a 1-0 defeat on opening day -- while receiving no offensive support.

    Cueto can't be happy to see Jon Jay, who is 12 for 23 with three homers in their matchups. Jay is batting .396 since Aug. 7 -- baseball's second-best average in that span.

    Lance Lynn (15-8, 2.80) is looking to win a season-best fifth consecutive decision after beating Milwaukee 5-3 on Saturday. The right-hander allowed three runs -- one earned -- over six innings, his 12th consecutive outing yielding three or fewer.

    "I think he's starting to see the benefits of having a consistent approach on the mound, regardless of what happens," manager Mike Matheny said of Lynn after St. Louis committed three errors in the first. "Overall, I thought he just did ... almost what you would expect a veteran pitcher to do."

    Lynn has a 4.00 ERA against the Reds this year, but he's won all three starts thanks to an average of 7.5 runs of support. Ludwick and Billy Hamilton are both 1 for 9 against Lynn, who threw seven scoreless innings opposite Cueto in a 7-3 home victory Aug. 20.

    No one in baseball has more hits off Lynn than Jay Bruce, who is 11 for 22 with five extra-base hits -- two homers -- in their matchups. However, Bruce is batting .153 with 21 strikeouts over an 18-game stretch.

    Hamilton could return to the lineup after coming on as a defensive replacement Wednesday. The rookie of the year candidate is mired in a 2-for-24 slump.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Gameday Matchup

     St. LouisCincinnati
    Current StreakW1W2
    Last 106-45-5

    Pitching Matchup

    St. LouisCincinnati
    L. Lynn
    15-10, 2.74 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/27 at ARI
    6.0 IP, 2 ER
    Dec = ND
    J. Cueto
    20-9, 2.25 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/28 vs PIT
    8.0 IP, 1 ER
    Dec = Win

    Gameday Lineups

    NO.St. LouisCincinnati
    1. M. Carpenter, 3B B. Hamilton, CF
    2. J. Jay, CF J. Bourgeois, LF
    3. M. Holliday, LF T. Frazier, 1B
    4. M. Adams, 1B D. Mesoraco, C
    5. J. Peralta, SS B. Phillips, 2B
    6. O. Taveras, RF J. Bruce, RF
    7. A. Pierzynski, C R. Santiago, 3B
    8. K. Wong, 2B Z. Cozart, SS
    9. L. Lynn, P J. Cueto, P