Ozuna, Cardinals power past Reds 9-5 for split in Mexico
MONTERREY, Mexico (AP) — Marcell Ozuna hit two home runs and Matt Carpenter connected for a tiebreaking drive in the seventh inning that sent the St. Louis Cardinals over the Cincinnati Reds 9-5 Sunday for a split of their two-game series in Mexico.
Tyler O’Neill also homered for St. Louis. Yasiel Puig hit his first home run for the Reds and Jesse Winker hit his second in two days at Estadio de Beisbol de Monterrey.
The Cardinals saluted the fans after the win and gave away their hats. The Houston Astros and Los Angeles Angels will play twice at this stadium in early May — Major League Baseball has committed to bring regular-season games to Mexico until 2021.
It was 4-all when Carpenter opened the seventh with his second home run of the season, tagging Amir Garrett (1-1). Ozuna hit a solo homer off Jared Hughes and Jose Martinez capped the five-run inning with a two-run single that made it 9-4.
Ozuna hit a three-run homer and O’Neill added a solo drive as the Cardinals took a 4-0 lead in the first off Anthony DeSclafini.
The Reds rallied to tie it with a four-run fifth off Miles Mikolas. An error by Carpenter at third base set up an RBI double by Michael Lorenzen, and Winker’s three-run drive tied it.
Winker has hit four home runs in his last five games.
Puig homered in the eighth to make it 9-5 and the Reds loaded the bases, but Jordan Hicks retired pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer on a grounder to escape.
Hicks closed for this third save. John Gant (3-0) pitched one inning.
CHANGING THE TUNE
For the Mexico series, and probably in an attempt to please the local crowd, Puig and Reds teammate Joey Votto changed their walk-up song. Puig dropped “This Girl” by Kungs vs Cookin’ on 3 Burners for “El Rey” by Mexican singer Vicente Fernandez, while Votto skipped “Paint It Black” from the Rolling Stones and instead used “Como la Flor” by Selena.
Cardinals: RHP Dakota Hudson (0-1, 2.79) starts at Milwaukee.
Reds: Puig makes his return to Dodger Stadium when Cincinnati opens a series Monday. RHP Luis Castillo (1-1, 0.92 ERA) starts for the Reds — he struck out at least eight and given up no more than two hits in each of his first three starts this year.