ST. LOUIS — Michael Wacha kept up his strong pitching against Cincinnati, Yadier Molina hit two-run double in the first inning and the St. Louis Cardinals won 4-2 on Friday night to spoil Jim Riggleman’s debut as Reds interim manager.
Riggleman replaced Bryan Price, who was fired Thursday after Cincinnati lost 15 of its first 18 games.
Wacha (3-1) gave up one run and six hits in 6 2/3 innings, his longest outing of the year, to improve to 10-1 in his career against the Reds.
Jose Martinez had three hits and an RBI, raising his batting average to .358 this season. He has eight RBIs over his last seven games. Tommy Pham scored twice.
Bud Norris picked up his fifth save in five chances despite allowing a two-out RBI single to Alex Blandino, helping the Cardinals win for the sixth time in seven games.
Brandon Finnegan (0-2) lost for the second time in two starts against the Cardinals this year. Finnegan came off the disabled list (left biceps strain) April 14. He allowed five hits and four runs while walking four over three innings.
The Reds have lost 11 of their last 12.
Pham, who scored on Molina’s bases-loaded double in the first, walked in the second and scored on Martinez’s double to make it 4-0.
The Reds’ only damage against Wacha came in the third as Billy Hamilton scored on Jose Peraza’s sacrifice fly. It was Cincinnati’s first run since the eighth inning against Milwaukee on Monday, ending a 21-inning scoreless streak. Last season, the Reds; season-high scoreless streak was 20 innings.
FOURTH TIME’S A CHARM: The Reds appointment of Riggleman as interim manager marks the fourth time in his career that he has held this position. He previously was named interim manager in San Diego, Seattle and Washington. He was promoted to manager everywhere but Seattle. Riggleman also managed the Chicago Cubs (1995-98) and managed in the Cardinals’ minor league system (1982-88).
TRAINER’S ROOM: Reds outfielder Scott Schebler was activated from the 10-day disabled list and left-handed pitcher Cody Reed (0-0, four appearances) was optioned to Triple-A Louisville. Schebler was on the DL with a right ulnar nerve contusion.
Cardinals right-hander Sam Tuivailala threw a bullpen session Friday, and St. Louis president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said Tuivailala will begin an official rehabilitation assignment the middle of next week. Tuivailala was placed on the DL with a left knee strain.
UP NEXT: Reds right-hander Homer Bailey (0-3, 3.42) will face Cardinals righty Carlos Martinez (2-1, 1.75) in the second of a three-game series Saturday. Martinez is 7-3 in his career against Cincinnati, and the Cardinals have won seven of his last nine starts against the Reds, including last Sunday’s 3-2 win in Cincinnati. Bailey is still looking for his first win in five starts. He is 6-14 in his career against St. Louis.