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MLB: Cardinals build 5-0 lead, hang on to beat Reds

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Yadier Molina hit a home run and an RBI double as the St. Louis Cardinals edged the visiting Cincinnati Reds 5-4 Friday night.

Molina later exited the game after five innings with right foot soreness.

Paul Goldschmidt hit a two-run double and Nolan Arenado added an RBI single for the Cardinals, who won for just the fourth time in the last 12 games.

Nicholas Castellanos hit a homer for the Reds, who lost their fifth in a row.

Winning pitcher Kwang Hyun Kim (1-0) allowed Castellanos’ homer but just four other hits in 5 2/3 innings. He recorded a career-high eight strikeouts.

Alex Reyes, the Cardinals’ sixth pitcher, got the final two outs to earn his fourth save, and it came in harrowing fashion.

Reds starter Sonny Gray (0-1) took the loss after allowing five runs on six hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out six.

The Cardinals struck first with Molina’s second-inning solo homer down the left field line.

Kim led off the third inning with an infield single, his first big-league hit, to trigger the decisive four-run outburst.

Tommy Edman grounded into a force play, but Dylan Carlson popped a single into left-center field. Goldschmidt, who had been 0-for-13 in his career against Gray, lined a double to drive in two runs.

Arenado followed with an RBI single, then Molina pounded a run-scoring double into the right-center field alley to push the Cardinals’ lead to 5-0.

Edman and Carlson drew two-out walks from Gray in the fourth inning, then reliever Heath Hembree walked Goldschmidt. But Hembree coaxed an inning-ending popup from Arenado to keep the game within reach.

Castellanos put the Reds on the board with his solo homer in the sixth inning. That was his 1,000th career hit and seventh home run of the season.

The Cardinals imperiled themselves in the ninth inning with poor fielding and wild pitching. Right fielder Justin Williams and Carlson, who was playing center field, allowed Jonathan India’s fly ball to fall between them for an RBI triple.

Reyes walked two batters to force in another run. Castellanos struck out on a wild pitch that allowed another run to score and make it 5-4. Finally, Reyes struck out Eugenio Suarez to end the game.

–Field Level Media

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