Anthony DeSclafani handled the St. Louis Cardinals for the second straight start, striking out a career-high nine, and the Cincinnati Reds turned a big first inning off John Lackey into a 3-2 victory Tuesday night.
DeSclafani (7-7), the most experienced member of Cincinnati's all-rookie rotation, gave up seven hits and two runs in six innings.
Last Wednesday in St. Louis, DeSclafani gave up only three hits in seven innings of a 1-0 win over the NL Central leaders.
Aroldis Chapman fanned two in the ninth -- his fastball topping out at 101 mph -- for his 23rd save in 24 chances. The lefty has converted 56 consecutive save opportunities at Great American Ball Park since his last failure in September 2012.
The Reds scored three runs in the first inning off Lackey (9-7), who hadn't allowed that many runs in any of his last nine starts. He went six innings, giving up six hits.
The Cardinals have dominated the Reds in recent years, winning 14 of their last 17 series. The Reds had a bit of a breakthrough in St. Louis last week, taking two of three -- their first series win at Busch Stadium since 2001.
They got a good start on extending that success with a big first inning. Jay Bruce had an RBI double -- his fifth double in the last six games -- and Marlon Byrd followed with another double as Cincinnati sent eight batters to the plate.
After that five-hit, 30-pitch inning, Lackey settled in and allowed only an infield single through the next five innings, retiring the last 14 batters he faced.
Reds: CF Billy Hamilton rammed his right leg into the outfield wall while trying unsuccessfully to catch Grichuk's triple in the third inning. He came up wincing and stretched his leg, but stayed in the game.
Cardinals: Carlos Martinez (11-4) allowed five runs and a season-high 10 hits in five innings of a 9-8 win over Colorado last Thursday. He's 3-1 with a 2.60 ERA in 13 career appearances against the Reds.
Reds: LHP David Holmberg (1-0) makes his second start since he was called up from Triple-A to take Johnny Cueto's spot in the rotation. Holmberg gave up two runs and five hits in six innings of a 15-5 win over Pittsburgh on Thursday.
Link to box score: Cincinnati (48-56) 3, St. Louis (67-39) 2