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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Cincinnati Reds right-hander Luis Castillo made life easy for catcher Tucker Barnhart on Saturday night.Castillo tossed 6 2/3 shutout innings and combined with two relievers on a two-hitter to lead the Reds to a 4-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.Barnhart said working with Castillo was easy.“(He has) video game stuff http://www.padresfanproshop.com/authentic-trevor-hoffman-jersey ,” Barnhart said. “Tonight was an example of that. He was able to throw all three pitches for strikes. He was able to keep them off balance all night long.”The Reds snapped a three-game losing streak.St. Louis, which won a major league-best 22 games in August, lost for the second time in six games.The Cardinals are 4 1/2 games behind Chicago in the NL Central after the Cubs beat Philadelphia 7-1.Castillo (8-11) gave up two hits and struck out a career-high 11. He gave up a leadoff single to Matt Carpenter in the first before retiring 15 of the next 16 hitters.Castillo has had an up-and-down season and has struggled with consistency.“We feel like he can do this,” Cincinnati interim manager Jim Riggleman. “He’s not 21, he’s 25. It’s time. We just hope he builds on that, has a good September, and takes us into 2019 as a guy that can anchor our staff.”Castillo had given up five earned runs in two of his last three starts.“A good part was I was on the same page with Tucker Evan Longoria Jersey ,” Castillo said. “He was calling the right pitches. I was throwing the right pitches. That was a big part of my success.Castillo was making his 27th start of the season and said this might have been his best performance to date.“I’ve had a couple good ones, but I felt really, really good in this one,” Castillo said. “I faced a really good team that’s trying to get into the playoffs. To be able to perform and do what I did tonight was really good for me.”David Hernandez and Raisel Iglesias completed the two-hitter, which was the Reds fifth shutout of the season.Suarez keyed a three-run outburst against Daniel Poncedeleon (0-1) in the fourth. Joey Votto broke the scoreless tie with a run-scoring double. Scooter Gennett followed with a hit to set the stage for Suarez’s drive off the wall in left. Suarez, who has hit safely in 11 successive games against St. Louis, pushed his RBI total to 98 Andrew McCutchen Jersey ,.Barnhart added a run-scoring single in the seventh.Poncedeleon, in his third major league start, retired the first 10 batters he faced on 43 pitches. But the next six hitters reached safely ending his night after 3 1-3 innings. Poncedeleon gave up three runs on five hits. He struck out four and walked one.“I think I lost the arm slot on my fastball,” Poncedeleon said. “I was searching out there.”St. Louis has won 20 of its last 26 and has a 29-14 record since manager Mike Shildt took over for Mike Matheny on July 15.TRAINER’S ROOMCardinals: OF Marcell Ozuna was activated from the 10-day disabled list prior to the contest. Ozuna has been bothered by right shoulder inflammation. He is expected to start on Sunday.RHP Adam Wainwright tossed five shutout innings in a rehab outing with Triple-A Memphis in Nashville on Saturday. He gave up five hits, struck out seven and walked two in a 90-pitch outing. Wainwright has missed 98 games with elbow inflammation.UP NEXTRHP Anthony DeSclafani (7-4, 4.34) will face Luke Weaver (7-11, 4.59) in the final game of the three-game series on Sunday. DeSclafani has gone at least six innings in each of his last five starts with a 3-1 record and a 2.62 ERA over that span. Weaver is 3-0 lifetime against the Reds. Matt Adams’ second go-round with the St. Louis Cardinals hasn’t gotten off to a good start — until Monday night.With one swing that propelled a baseball 401 feet http://www.giantsfanproshop.com/authentic-tony-watson-jersey , Adams turned a 6-4 eighth inning deficit into a 7-6 lead. His biggest homer since a three-run blast eliminated Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers from the 2014 National League Division Series enabled St. Louis to score a crazy 8-7 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.This result also impacted the Dodgers negatively, thanks to their 10-6 loss in Cincinnati. That means the Cardinals will enter Tuesday night’s matchup with the Pirates with a two-game advantage over Los Angeles for the NL’s second wild-card spot with 18 games remaining.Article continues below ...For that, they can thank Adams, who entered Monday night’s game batting just .156 in 46 at-bats with St. Louis. Before his big blast off Edgar Santana, Adams was 0-for-3, fanning in the fourth with men at first and third and none out.“I was in that spot earlier on and chased some pitches,” Adams said. “I got a pitch out over the plate this time and didn’t miss it.”Which meant the Cardinals (80-64) didn’t miss a chance to gain ground on two fronts. They also picked up a game on the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs Gregor Blanco Jersey , who lost 3-2 to Milwaukee at Wrigley Field, and are within 3 1/2 games of first place.St. Louis will try for a series win behind its most consistent starter this year, right-hander Miles Mikolas (14-4, 3.06). He notched a 7-6 victory Wednesday night in Washington, although he was touched for 12 hits and four runs in 6 2/3 innings with a pair of strikeouts.Mikolas has faced Pittsburgh four times this year, going 0-2 with a 3.37 earned run average. He’s hit more barrels lately than he has all year, allowing 32 hits and 10 earned runs in 16 1/3 innings over his last three starts.Having worked 173 2/3 innings — just 14 1/3 off his professional career high set last year in Japan — Mikolas could be battling fatigue. That might be a reason why Cardinals manager Mike Shildt is using a six-man rotation on this stretch of 13 games without an off-day http://www.giantsfanproshop.com/authentic-pablo-sandoval-jersey , giving Daniel Poncedeleon a start in Wednesday’s series finale.The Pirates (71-72) counter with right-hander Joe Musgrave (6-8, 3.75), who continues his search for consistency. After two subpar starts against Milwaukee and St. Louis, Musgrave bounced back on September 4 to subdue Cincinnati 7-3, yielding five hits and two runs over 6 1/3 innings with no walks and eight strikeouts.Musgrave will make his third start of the year against the Cardinals, having gone 1-1 in the first two. He opened his August 30 loss against them with 21 consecutive strikes but gave up third inning homers to Harrison Bader and pitcher John Gant to punctuate a 5-0 setback.Pittsburgh wasted a rare power outburst Monday night. Its three homers marked the first time since August 9 that it had blasted that many in a game.
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