• BASEBALL

Lars Nootbaar Hits a Three-Run Homer; Cards Squash Reds’ Playoff Hopes with 15-6 Drubbing

Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 27, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Lars Nootbaar (21) celebrates scoring a run against the St. Louis Cardinals in the second inning at American Family Field.

Lars Nootbaar hit a three-run homer and Jose Fermin drove in three runs as the host St. Louis Cardinals routed the Cincinnati Reds 15-6 on Saturday to eliminate them from the National League wild-card race.

Jordan Walker, Ivan Herrera, Luken Baker and Masyn Winn each drove in two runs for the Cardinals (70-91), who snapped a three-game skid.

St. Louis starting pitcher Drew Rom allowed four runs on seven hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings. Reliever Drew VerHagen (5-1) earned the victory.

Noelvi Marte hit a homer and a two-run double for the Reds (82-79), who fell short of the third NL wild-card berth by losing six of their past nine games.

Cincinnati starter Connor Phillips (1-1) faced three batters and walked each of them on four pitches. All three scored after Reds manager David Bell pulled Phillips from the game.

The Cardinals teed off on relievers Fernando Cruz (five runs on six hits in one inning) and Buck Farmer (two runs on two hits and a walk in one inning) while racing to a 10-0 lead in the first two frames.

After Phillips issued his walks, Walker and Herrera hit two-run doubles and Baker hit an RBI double to put the Cardinals up 5-0.

St. Louis scored five more runs in the second inning. Tommy Edman hit a leadoff single and went to third on Paul Goldschmidt’s ground-rule double.

Nootbaar hit his three-run homer, then a double by Walker, a walk to Herrera and Fermin’s two-run double made it 10-0.

AP Photo/Scott Kane
St. Louis Cardinals’ Lars Nootbaar, front right, is congratulated by Paul Goldschmidt for a three-run home run against the Cincinnati Reds during the second inning of a baseball game Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, in St. Louis.

In the third inning, Goldschmidt’s RBI double pushed the Cardinals’ lead to 11-0.

The Reds got one run back in the fourth inning on singles by Marte, TJ Friedl and Elly De La Cruz.

Then Cincinnati scored four runs in the fifth inning to cut its deficit to 11-5. Nick Senzel hit a homer, Spencer Steer hit a double, Christian Encarnacion-Strand walked, Tyler Stephenson had an RBI double and Marte ripped his two-run double.

Marte’s seventh-inning homer cut the Cardinals’ lead to 11-6.

The Cardinals expanded their advantage to 15-6 in the eighth inning on bases-loaded walks to Baker and Fermin and Winn’s two-run single.