Allen Craig responded to a long fly ball just foul with a three-run home run to dead center field, and Yadier Molina followed with another homer to launch a huge rally in the St. Louis Cardinals' crucial series-opener vs. the Cincinnati Reds Friday. Mat Latos, solid through five, failed to record an out in what became a six-run sixth inning that saw the Cardinals come back from three down to take an 8-5 lead.
If the game ends this way the turning point could be in the way each team responded to its shaky starting pitching. The Cardinals pulled All-Star Lance Lynn after just two innings, going to sixth-starter Joe Kelly early. The Reds watched the game get away from Latos in the sixth; he allowed five baserunners in the sixth before they went to Alfredo Simon, who proceeded to allow two more before recording his first out.
Molina, Brandon Phillips's opposite number in the tense Reds-Cardinals rivalry, now has three hits in as many at-bats and two runs scored to start his most recent visit to Great American Ballpark.