ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Cincinnati Reds’ bid to become just the third team to make the playoffs following a 100-loss season ended in game No. 161 when they were eliminated during the seventh inning of a 15-6 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday night.
Elly De La Cruz had just grounded out for the final out of the top of the seventh when the Marlins (84-76) finished a 7-3 win at Pittsburgh to clinch a wild-card berth.
Any drama of scoreboard-watching dissipated when the Reds fell behind 11-0 by the third inning.
Cincinnati, which outhit the Cardinals 14-13, was coming off a 62-100 season. The franchise turned around De La Cruz and fellow rookies Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Spencer Steer and Matt McLain. Rookie Noelvi Marte his first four-hit game for the Reds.
Connor Phillips (1-1) lasted just 12 pitches — all balls. After his walks to Tommy Edman, Paul Goldschmidt and Lars Nootbar, Jordan Walker lined a two-run double on an 0-2 pitch from Fernando Cruz. Rookie Iván Herrera hit a two-run double and scored on rookie Luken Baker’s double for a 5-0 lead.
Nootbar hit a three-run homer in the second off Cruz, and rookie José Fermín’s two-run double agaist Buck Farmer boosted the lead to 10-0. Paul Goldschmidt drove in a run in the third with his second double.
Drew VerHagen (5-1) pitched one inning in relief for the win for the Cardinals (70-91), who are trying to avoid losing 92 games for the first time since 1990. They will finish last for the first time since 1990.
Cardinals optioned RHP Jake Woodford to the Florida Complex League and recalled RHP James Naile from Triple-A Memphis.
Reds: RHP Hunter Greend (9-12, 4.71 ERA) starts the last regular season game. He is 2-4 with a 3.23 ERA in his career against St. Louis.
Cardinals: RHP Miles Mikolas (8-13, 4.82) pitched seven scoreless innings of five-hit ball in a 4-1 win at Milwaukee on Tuesday.