The rubber game of the Reds'/Cardinals' series had nothing to do with rain gear from an all day pouring rain. It was, in fact, the deciding game of the three-game series.
The Reds were trying to take a second straight series from the National League Central leaders, having broken "service" in St. Louis last week.
Wacha won the romper room pitching duel 3-0
Both put up "nadas" for three innings.
Jason Heyward singled over Brandon Phillips' leaping effort for the Cardinals first hit, leading off the fourth inning. Heyward stole second as Randal Grichuk missed his swing at a 3-2 pitch. Kelton Wong walked. Tony Cruz delivered a two-out run scoring single.
"It's easy to overlook he is a young inexperienced pitcher. This is only his second year as a starter," Price said. "He has room to grow."
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The Cardinals added two more in the fifth on another two-out single from Wong with Matt Carpenter, who dropped a double out of Jay Bruce's reach. Stephen Piscotty was hit with a pitch by Lorenzen. Heyward's slow roller erased Piscotty. Heyward stole second again and scored the Cardinals' third run.
"Lorenzen got in a situation where he had to give Wong a first pitch fastball," Price said. "He just has to learn the tricks of the trade. We brought him up out of necessity but we think he can handle it. He's handled it pretty well."
"I didn't have bad stuff," Lorenzen said. "I competed with everything. I had some guys 0-2 and they battled. That's what the Cardinals are known for. They took pitches. They checked swings and fouled balls off. I want to win but if you take the results out of the equation. I learned a lot. It's a step in the right direction."
Wacha finished seven scoreless innings, allowing just four hits. It extended the Reds' string with 16 scoreless innings.
The Reds' threatened against former teammate Jonathan Broxton. With one out Jason Bourgeois walked. Votto walked in his third straight at bat. Frazier got the crowd excited with a fly to deep center that Grichuk caught at the edge of the warning track. Randy Choate, the left-handed specialist, came on to face Bruce and struck him out.
"The park played big today," Price said. "That ball Frazier hit might have been out on a normal day."
The Reds are retooling the pitching staff with five rookies. They know they will have added challenges ahead.
"I'm learning all the time," Lorenzen said.
"This season provides an opportunity to pitch competitively in September," said Price. "The need to pitch in September to see what it's like. It will pay dividends eventually but we're going to go through some growing pains. They will grow together as a close cohesive group."