CINCINNATI (AP) -- Mike Matheny seems re-energized following the
Matheny finished the first half in 4-for-26 slump that dropped
his average from .271 to .250. He began the second half by going
6-for-12 as the St. Louis Cardinals took three of four games from
Cincinnati, capping the series with a 10-4 win on Sunday."Everybody could use the time off," said Matheny, who drove in
three runs. "Our All-Stars were the guys who really needed it, and
they didn't get it."Jeff Suppan won his third straight start to lead the Cardinals
to their 11th win in 13 games. Suppan (9-5) allowed four runs and
seven hits in six-plus innings while improving to 6-0 on the road
this season."This is every pitcher's dream, to have an offense like we have
and a defense like this," Suppan said. "I'm a pitcher who uses
the defense a lot anyway."Edgar Renteria and former Red Reggie Sanders hit solo homers for
St. Louis, 8-2 against the Reds this season after going 7-9 last
year.Matheny, who was on the disabled list from June 2 to June 19
with a muscle strain in his right side, drove in the Cardinals'
first run with a second-inning single and added a two-run double in
a five-run third."He needed the time off," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa
said.Jose Acevedo (4-8) gave up six runs, seven hits and three walks
in 2 1-3 innings, his shortest outing of the season other than an
outing shortened by a rain delay. Acevedo allowed five runs in one
inning for the second consecutive start."Obviously, we'd hoped for more than what he gave us," Reds
manager Dave Miley said. "It looked like he let a tight (strike)
zone affect him, and you can't do that. You can't do a whole lot
about balls and strikes.Acevedo is 1-5 with a 7.94 ERA in his last nine starts, pushing
his overall ERA from 4.15 to 5.77. He was not available for comment
after the game."Acevedo has a great arm," La Russa said. "I think he let the
umpire affect him a little bit. It broke his concentration."St. Louis took advantage of two Cincinnati mental errors to take
a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Jim Edmonds was on third base and
John Mabry on second with one out when Matheny lifted a soft popup
toward short right field. First baseman Sean Casey misjudged it,
and the ball landed for an single as Edmonds scored and Matheny
reached as Acevedo failed to cover first base.John Vander Wal, making his first start of the season for the
Reds following knee surgery in January, hit a two-run homer in the
bottom half, his first home run since last Aug. 10 for Milwaukee
against Florida.Renteria's leadoff homer tied the score in the third. Edmonds'
RBI double gave the Cardinals a 3-2 lead, Mabry hit a sacrifice fly
and Matheny chased Acevedo with a two-run double.D'Angelo Jimenez's RBI single in the fourth extended his hitting
streak to eight games and pulled Cincinnati to 6-3, Sanders homered
in the fifth and Scott Rolen hit a two-run double in the seventh.
Wily Mo Pena hit an RBI single in the bottom half, and Jim Edmonds
had a run-scoring double in the ninth against John Riedling.
St. Louis 2B Tony Womack got the day off after going
hitless in his previous nine at-bats and one hit in his last 14.
... The Cardinals, who have not had a losing record on a trip this
season, guaranteed at least a split of their six-game swing. ...
The Reds reacquired OF Jason Romano from Triple-A Louisville and
designated LHP Jesus Sanchez for assignment. ... The Reds reached a
tentative agreement with their No. 1 draft pick, Texas high school
pitcher Homer Bailey. He is expected to be in Cincinnati on Monday
for a physical and to finalize the deal.