Series: Game 3 of 3

St. Louis won 3-0

Game 1: Monday, August 9
St. Louis7Final
Game 2: Tuesday, August 10
St. Louis8Final
Game 3: Wednesday, August 11
St. Louis6Final

Cardinals 6

(64-49, 26-31 away)

Reds 1

(64-51, 33-26 home)

    12:35 PM ET, August 11, 2010

    Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio 

    123456789 R H E
    STL 000040200 6 11 2
    CIN 000000010 1 5 0

    W: A. Wainwright (17-6)

    L: B. Arroyo (12-7)

    Cardinals complete sweep, move ahead of Reds in division

    Associated Press

    CINCINNATI -- With an emphatic sweep, the St. Louis Cardinals gave second baseman Brandon Phillips a different description to use.

    Whiners? Complainers?

    Try division leaders.

    Colby Rasmus hit his first career grand slam, Adam Wainwright dominated again and the brawl-scarred Cardinals beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-1 on Wednesday, completing a three-game sweep that changed the standings and made a point.

    The defending NL Central champs won't let themselves be dismissed or demeaned.

    "It certainly added fuel to our fire when you've got guys opening their mouth, saying stupid stuff," said Wainwright (17-6), who gave up only two singles in seven shutout innings. "But we only used that in a positive way. It's very unprofessional to fire back."

    The Cardinals overtook the Reds with their first three-game sweep in Cincinnati since 2005, moving a game ahead in the standings. It couldn't have been more satisfying.

    While the Cardinals dressed afterward, televisions in the visitors' clubhouse were tuned to a sports show that replayed their brawl with the Reds from the previous night, one incited by Phillips' comments. The All-Star second baseman had said he hates the Cardinals and called them a bunch of complainers.

    When his words were shown again on the TV screen, one Cardinal simply chuckled.

    The lopsided series could represent a tipping point in the two-team race.

    Cincinnati was on one of its best surges of the season, leading St. Louis by two games when it began. The Reds were shut down by one of the league's best rotations -- Chris Carpenter, Jaime Garcia and Wainwright, who joined the Colorado Rockies' Ubaldo Jimenez as the NL's 17-game winners.

    St. Louis thumped 'em every which way.

    "A lot of things were going on. It's a pumped-up series, everybody was jacked up," said Rasmus, who got his first grand slam on his 24th birthday. "With the pitching we have, that's kind of tough for them, especially coming in with the words they were putting out there. I think it just kind of got everybody more pumped up. It definitely didn't work in their favor."

    The Reds hadn't lost three in a row since the All-Star break and hadn't been swept at home all season. Phillips' incendiary words became a backdrop and flashpoint for a first-inning brawl on Tuesday night, when he and catcher Yadier Molina went nose-to-nose at home plate. A couple Cardinals got kicked by Reds starter Johnny Cueto, who was pinned against the backstop.

    A day later, the Reds didn't put up much of a fight. They managed only four baserunners against Wainwright -- two on errors. The right-hander improved to 9-0 in day games, best in the league. Wainwright has been on top of his game, going 3-0 in August while allowing one run.

    The Reds were held to 11 singles in the last two games. Phillips, their leadoff hitter, had two singles in 14 at-bats during the series, getting the ball out of the infield three times.

    "We're just going to look forward," Phillips said. "There is no reason to panic. They're a good team. They've been to the playoffs so many times."

    There were some lingering wounds from the seven-minute scrum. Reserve catcher Jason LaRue had sore ribs and was expected to get X-rays. Cardinals manager Tony La Russa expects Major League Baseball to discipline the Reds for the brawl.

    Reds manager Dusty Baker acknowledged before Wednesday's game that his team had so far been outplayed. Baker sat in the steamy afternoon heat and watched it happen again.

    Bronson Arroyo hadn't given up an earned run in his last two starts. The Cardinals loaded the bases in the fifth with the help of an intentional walk to Albert Pujols. Arroyo got ahead of Rasmus 0-2 in the count, but the outfielder fouled off a couple tough pitches, worked the count full and then homered off the base of the batter's eye in center field.

    "You try to put this series behind you," Arroyo said. "This took a lot out of us. With the heat and three of the best pitchers in the league, it took a lot out of us."

    Game notes

    With LaRue hurt, the Cardinals called up catcher Steven Hill from Double-A. He'll make his big league debut. They also put right-hander Jeff Suppan on the 15-day DL with a sore groin. ... The thunderstorm caused a 46-minute delay and left standing water in the outfield. ... St. Louis moved a season-high 15 games over .500 with the sweep. ... Pujols' hitting streak ended at 10 games. ... The NL standings board in right field showed the Reds still in first place during the game, even though they'd fallen percentage points behind St. Louis.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Game Information

    StadiumGreat American Ball Park, Cincinnati, OH
    Attendance33,364 (78.8% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
    Game Time2:49
    Weather93 degrees, partly cloudy
    Wind5 mph
    UmpiresHome Plate - Mark Carlson, First Base - Jeff Kellogg, Second Base - Larry Vanover, Third Base - Mark Wegner

    Research Notes

    The Cardinals are the 3rd team in the divisional era to sweep a road series of at least 3 games in August or later vs the 1st place team in its division to take sole possession of 1st place. This excludes the split 1981 strike season. Note: The Yankees swept the Red Sox 4-0 in Boston on Sept. 7-10, 1978. That sweep moved them into a TIE for first place with the Red Sox.
    Adam Wainwright lowered his ERA to 1.99 in the win over the Reds. He is the 5th Cardinals starter in the live ball era (since 1920) to have an ERA under 2.00 through the team's first 113 games (Cardinals are 64-49).
    Colby Rasmus did something today that has only been done four other times in MLB this season, and hadn't been done at all in the NL:

    ESPN Stats & Information