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Feldman, Votto help Reds sweep Cardinals

Scott Feldman versus the St. Louis Cardinals is the Mismatch of the Year. When Feldman takes the mound, he takes the Cardinals bats with him.

For the second time this season Feldman fed the Cardinals nothing but zeros when he pitched seven shutout innings as the Cincinnati Reds completed a four-game sweep Thursday afternoon, 5-2.

On April 9, Feldman pitched six shutout innings in St. Louis when the Reds shut out the Cardinals, 8-0.

THE VICTORY COMPLETED Cincinnati’s four-game sweep of the Cardinals, the first time the Reds have swept four from St. Louis since May of 2003. And the Reds scored 28 runs in the four games, the most runs St. Louis has given up in a four-game series since 1970.

These are hard times for the Cardinals. They’ve lost 17 of their last 22 and are on a seven-game losing streak, tying their longest losing spell in 10 years.

FELDMAN RETIRED THE FIRST nine in a row and gave up only four hits in pushing his record to 5-and-4.

His biggest offensive support came not from Scooter Gennett, but from the usual guy, Joey Votto. He had four hits for the 22nd time in his career and it included a two-run home run, his 16th of the year.

Former Reds teammate Mike Leake started for the Cardinals after giving up only two runs in two previous starts this season against the Reds.

He was on a streak of 11 straight starts of pitching six or more innings, but he lasted only five on Thursday. He gave up 10 hits, but only three runs in five innings.

All three runs came in the fifth inning after he escaped a bases loaded and nobody out mess in the fourth.

VOTTO’S THIRD HIT, his third single of the game, came with one out in the fifth. Adam Duvall doubled to left center to score Votto for Duvall’s 46th RBI.

Scott Schebler was hit by a pitch and Gennett singled to make it 2-0. Gennett stole second and catcher Yadier Molina threw the ball into center field, enabling Duvall to score and push the lead to 5-0.

The Reds added two more in the sixth against relief pitcher Tyler Lyons when Zack Cozart beat an infield hit and Votto unloaded his 16th homer over the left field wall.

FELDMAN LEFT AFTER seven and 100 pitches, 63 for strikes, mostly using an effective cutter to befuddle the lethargic Cardinals.

He was replaced by Austin Brice and the Cardinals scored on a two-run home run by Matt Carpenter in the eighth.

The Reds top two in the batting order, Billy Hamilton (0-for-5) and Zack Cozart (1-for-5) went 1-for-10 with no RBI and one run scored. But the three/four guys, Joey Votto and Adam Duvall, went 7-for-8 with three runs scored and three RBI.

With the four-game sweep the Reds have crept back to within one win of .500 (29-30) and begin a six-game west coast trip Friday night in Los Angeles, a three-game series followed by three in San Diego.

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