ST. LOUIS (AP) — Given a rare chance to start, Eric Fryer showed the St. Louis Cardinals what he is capable of.
Fryer had three hits, including a go-ahead double with two outs in the eighth inning during Sunday’s 4-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds 4-3.
A backup to All-Star catcher Yadier Molina, Fryer got his first start this season and is 6 for 6 at the plate. Fryer also threw out Brandon Phillips attempting to steal in the sixth.
“It’s a combination of everything,” Fryer said. “As a catcher, you take more pride in defense.”
Cardinals starter Michael Wacha, who gave up one earned run and seven hits, felt Fryer’s greatest value was with his pitch-calling skills.
“He was the man today,” Wacha said. “We were on the same page right from the start. He did a great job mixing up the pitches.”
St. Louis manager Mike Matheny agreed.
“All the way across, he had a great day,” Matheny said. “It’s always good when you can get Yadi a day off and still get the job done.”
Matt Carpenter and Jedd Gyorko hit solo homers for St. Louis, which has won three of last four. Ten of the Cardinals’ 21 homers this season were hit in the three-game series against the Reds, who have lost five of six.
Kevin Siegrist (2-0) entered with a runner at second and two outs in the seventh, struck out Zack Cozart and pitched a 1-2-3 eighth, fanning two more. Trevor Rosenthal struck out his last two batters in a perfect ninth for his third save in as many chances.
Cincinnati’s Jon Moscot gave up three runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings in his first start this season. He had been on the disabled list due to a strained left intercostal muscle.
“I wanted to get that quality start and go deep into the game,” Moscot said. “I made a couple of mistakes and they took advantage of it.”
With the score 3-all, Ross Ohlendorf (2-1) walked pinch-hitter Aledmys Diaz leading off, and Diaz scored on Fryer’s double.
Reds: LHP John Lamb gave up three runs and six hits over three innings of Triple-A Louisville’s 8-6 loss to Toledo on Saturday. Lamb underwent surgery on Dec. 7 to repair a herniated disk in his back.
Cardinals: Molina and OF Matt Holliday were rested and held out of the starting lineup on Sunday. Holliday pinch hit in the ninth, and Molina caught the final inning.
Reds: RHP Alfredo Simon (0-1) is to open a a seven-game homestand and three-game series against Colorado on Monday.
Cardinals: RHP Mike Leake (0-1) is slated to start the open of a three-game series against the visiting Chicago Cubs.