ST. LOUIS (AP) — Judging by how John Lamb has stifled the St. Louis Cardinals, the Cincinnati Reds found at least one future rotation member in the Johnny Cueto deal.
The rookie lefty held the NL Central leaders scoreless for the second time this month, striking out six and allowing five hits in six-plus innings in a 2-1 loss on Monday night.
"I hope that I'll be out here and I'd like to believe that the club sees me as help in our future, but generally I'm not going to get too excited about it," said Lamb, who is 1-3 with a 4.60 ERA in eight starts. "I'm just going to keep going out there and try to keep a smile on my face and attack hitters and hope that I get the opportunity to pitch every fifth day."
SEE Lamb's stats.
Lamb struck out six and walked one before getting after giving up Kolten Wong's leadoff double in the seventh. He also blanked St. Louis for five innings on Sept. 10, earning his only career victory despite walking six.
"I thought he was better this time than he was last time," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "He was sharper and didn't give us a lot to work with."
Manager Bryan Price said not too far down the road, he'll allow the 25-year-old Lamb the chance to work out of that trouble. Two relievers got the Reds out of the seventh without damage.
"He did nothing to warrant coming out of the game, that was completely my decision," Price said. "He felt good."
Brandon Phillips had three hits including a first-inning RBI single.
Rookie Stephen Piscotty doubled in the go-ahead run in a two-run eighth inning. Rookie Tommy Pham tripled off J.J. Hoover (8-2) on the first pitch in the eighth and Jhonny Peralta's one-out single tied it ahead of Piscotty's drive off the wall in left-center.
"That's the tough part of those eighth-inning roles," Price said. "Quite often you're coming up against some of their better players with very little margin for error."
Jonathan Broxton (3-5) allowed one hit the eighth and Trevor Rosenthal earned his 47th save in 49 chances to match the franchise record.
The Cardinals had a four-game NL Central lead over Pittsburgh before the opener of their final home stand. They're a major league-best 51-24 at home and have the best overall record, too, at 94-56.
Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia allowed a run on five hits in seven innings. He lacked control in the first but survived with minimal damage after throwing two wild pitches, walking two and allowing two hits, then retired the side in order the next four innings — once with the help of a double play.
Joey Votto drew his 136th walk, in the sixth, breaking his own franchise record set in 2013. Votto also singled in the first and is 5 for 6 against Garcia with a homer, double and three walks.
John Lackey (12-9, 2.79) has a 2.23 ERA since June 15, fifth-best in the majors, but he's 0-2 with a 3.33 ERA in four starts against Cincinnati. Rookie Keyvius Sampson (2-5, 7.09) has qualified for the decision just four times in his first nine career starts.