ST. LOUIS — Luke Weaver threw six innings of two-hit ball, Tommy Pham drove in two runs and stole two bases, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-2 on Thursday.
The Cardinals, who are chasing the first-place Cubs in the National League Central and the Rockies in the wild-card standings, have won five of their last six and nine of 12.
Weaver (6-1), a rookie right-hander who has boosted the St. Louis rotation, allowed one unearned run, struck out six and didn’t walk a batter.
Weaver was 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA in four appearances, including three starts, in June. He’s now 3-0 with a 0.99 ERA through his first three starts in September.
Rookie left-hander Amir Garrett (3-8) was charged with four runs in four innings. He struck out seven and walked five.
The Reds took a 1-0 lead in the second when Scott Schebler hit a double and scored with two outs when shortstop Paul DeJong mishandled Phillip Ervin’s grounder.
Garrett struck out four consecutive batters before running into trouble with back-to-back, full-count walks with two outs in the third.
After a stolen base by Tommy Pham and a double steal by Pham and Paul DeJong, Jose Martinez came through with a full-count, two-run single to left to put St. Louis ahead.
Pham hit a two-run homer in the fifth, his 20th of the season. With 21 stolen bases, he became the first Cardinal to record a 20/20 season since Reggie Sanders in 2004.
The Cardinals cut down Joey Votto at home plate to end the Reds’ seventh, following Adam Duvall’s double off the left field fence. DeJong took a relay toss from Harrison Bader and threw home to Yadier Molina, preserving the Cardinals’ three-run lead.
Pham after reaching his 20-20 goal: “I would like to get to 25-25.” #STLCards pic.twitter.com/6zMKTuhav8
— FOX Sports Midwest (@FSMidwest) September 14, 2017
Cardinals: RHP Adam Wainwright (right elbow) threw a bullpen session before Thursday’s game.
Reds: 2B Scooter Gennett, who left Tuesday’s game with left hand inflammation, was not in the lineup for the second straight day and is considered day to day.
Reds: RHP Homer Bailey (4-8, 7.26) starts off a three-game home series against the Pirates and RHP Chad Kuhl (7-10, 4.21). Bailey is 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA in two September starts.
Cardinals: RHP Carlos Martinez (11-10, 3.33) opens a three-game series against the Cubs in Chicago opposite RHP John Lackey (11-11, 4.65). Martinez is 1-1 with a 3.19 ERA in four career starts at Wrigley Field.