ST. LOUIS — Cincinnati manager Bryan Price knew the St. Louis Cardinals would be out for revenge after the Reds rolled to a 13-run blowout in the opener of their four-game series Monday night.
“But, I didn’t anticipate that type of vengeance,” Price said after the Cardinals turned the tables with a 12-5 victory Tuesday. “It doesn’t mean we have to lose the next game because we beat up on them the day before.”
The Reds’ pitching staff allowed five home runs after holding the Cardinals to six hits in a 15-2 win Monday.
“I knew they wouldn’t sit on their hands and wait to get beat,” Price said.
Reds starter Robert Stephenson zipped through the first three innings, giving up just a solo home run to Matt Carpenter as Cincinnati built a 2-1 cushion.
But then everything fell apart as St. Louis scored 11 times from the fourth through sixth.
“We got into some really bad counts,” Price said. “And they just teed off on some fastballs.”
Stephenson (2-3), who gave up five runs and four hits over four innings, was pleased with his early effort.
“I felt like I was more under control,” he said. “I was able to throw more strikes and get ahead of hitters better.”
Joey Votto and Scott Schebler homered for the Reds. Votto was 3 for 5 and finished a triple shy of the cycle.
Aledmys Diaz hit his first career grand slam for the Cardinals, who kept pace with the Mets and Giants in a tight race for the two NL wild cards.
Jhonny Peralta had a three-run homer and drove in four runs for the Cardinals, who had lost four of five. Randal Grichuk and Matt Adams also went deep.
Diaz slammed a 2-1 pitch from Stephenson over the left-field wall. The 408-foot drive erased a 2-1 deficit and served as a wake-up call for the Cardinals, who grabbed their first lead since Saturday.
Diaz was back in the lineup after attending a private ceremony in Florida on Monday for childhood friend Jose Fernandez, the late Miami Marlins ace who died in a boating accident early Sunday.
The Cuban-born Diaz pointed to the sky after he crossed home plate and fell into the arms of teammate Yadier Molina. Diaz had tears in his eyes as he came out of the dugout for a curtain call.
“I felt some serious goose bumps when he hit that,” Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright said. “I almost got choked up. I know he was. He wanted to make some good swings for Jose.”
The emotional home run triggered an 11-run outburst in a span of three innings.
“Watching him cross the plate, and watching his reaction as he (shook hands) with the guys, really hit me on how much that meant to him,” St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. “You can never understand what each person’s going through when they suffer a loss like that. The show goes on and so does life. But it’s a tough thing for anyone to go through.”
Wainwright (13-9) gave up five runs and 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings.
Adams connected for a pinch-hit homer in the sixth, extending the franchise record to 16 this season.
Reds: SS Zack Cozart, who has not played since Sept. 10 due to a sore right knee, was placed on the disabled list and will not return this season. … 2B Brandon Phillips left in the seventh after hurting his wrist when he checked his swing. He is day to day. … Schebler had a cramping issue and was removed in the eighth.
Cardinals: Carpenter was back in the starting lineup after missing Monday’s game with a right finger injury.
Reds RHP Anthony DeSclafani (8-5, 3.38 ERA) faces RHP Mike Leake (9-11, 4.72) in the third game of the four-game series Wednesday. DeSclafani has 13 quality starts in 19 starts this season. Leake is 0-1 with an 8.31 ERA in three starts against his former team.