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Reds win series with Cards

Jul 18, 2011 - 12:22 AM Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - Ryan Hanigan knocked in the eventual winning run in the bottom of the seventh with a single up the middle and the Cincinnati Reds took a 3-1 victory over division rival St. Louis Cardinals in the finale of a three-game series at Great American Ball Park.

Homer Bailey (4-4) was brilliant over 7 1/3 innings, yielding a single run on three hits, while fanning four and walking three. Francisco Cordero worked a perfect ninth to earn his 18th save of the season.

"Instead of being five games out, we are only three," Cordero said of his team's current place in the standings. "We just have to continue to play and I think we'll be okay."

Zack Cozart hit his first career major league home run and Miguel Cairo added a triple for the Reds, who took two of three from St. Louis.

Jaime Garcia (9-4) allowed a pair of runs over seven frames to absorb the loss. Garcia suffered his first career loss at the hands of the Reds in six starts.

Lance Berkman clubbed a home run for the Cardinals, who have gone 5-5 over their past 10 contests.

With the game tied at one in the seventh. Cairo belted a one-out triple into the gap in right-center field and Hanigan followed with a seeing-eye single up the middle to plate Cairo and give the Reds a 2-1 advantage.

The Reds added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth on Cozart's long blast into the seats in left.

The Cardinals opened the scoring in the second inning on Berkman's one-out solo shot to center, his 25th home run of the season.

Cincinnati appeared poised to tie the game in the fourth after Joey Votto led off the inning with a double into the right-center gap and advanced to third on a deep flyout to center by Brandon Philips. However, Garcia struck out Jonny Gomes on a 3-2 curveball and induced a weak groundout to second from Jay Bruce to strand Votto at third and preserve the lead for St. Louis.

The Reds did manage to knot the game at one in the sixth. Cozart hit a one-out single and moved to second on a Skip Schumaker throwing error on Votto's grounder to second. A wild pitch by Garcia moved the runners up to second and third, and a second wild pitch allowed Cozart to cross the plate.

"It was a curveball that was just turning too much," Garcia said of the game tying wild pitch. "It was my fault on that one. I just got a little too excited with the situation."

St. Louis threatened in the eighth. After pinch-hitter Jon Jay walked with one out, Bill Bray replaced Bailey on the mound. Nick Punto greeted Bray with a single to right, putting runners on first and second. Daniel Descalso then flied out to left and Nick Masset took the bump next. Masset got Yadier Molina to line softly to Phillips, ending the inning.

Game Notes

The Reds lead the season series with the Cardinals by a 7-5 count...Cincinnati is 25-22 at home this season, while the Cardinals hold a 24-23 road record...St. Louis is 19-16 against the NL Central, while the Reds are 28-20 against their own division...Votto ripped his 21st double of the season in the fourth...Cardinals shortstop Ryan Theriot was ejected in the sixth inning for arguing a safe call on a force play at second base. Theriot will likely be suspended for bumping second base umpire Mike Muchlinski during the confrontation...Cairo smacked his first triple of the year in the seventh.