CINCINNATI — Steve Kline made a mistake and it cost him.
Adam Dunn hit a tiebreaking, three-run home run in the eighth inning, the first home run by a left-handed hitter off Kline this season, and the Cincinnati Reds cooled off the St. Louis Cardinals with a 7-5 win Saturday.
“I just made a real bad pitch to the guy, and he beat me,” Kline said. “I was lucky he didn’t hit it 17,000 rows deep.”
Dunn’s home run broke a game tied at 4, and Barry Larkin and Wily Mo Pena also hit home runs for the Reds, who are 2-7 against St. Louis this season.
“I was just trying to put the ball in play,” Dunn said. “I definitely was not trying to hit a home run, but I’ll take it.”
St. Louis, which overcame a 4-0 deficit to tie the game, had won 10 of its previous 11 games, including a three-game sweep of the Reds last week in St. Louis and the first two of this four-game series.
“We had to find a way to win one,” the Reds’ Sean Casey said. “But none of us has too much success against Kline.”
Before the home run, left-handers were hitting .172 (10-for-58) against Kline.
“He throws in the 90s and he has the best left-handed slider in the game,” Dunn said. “If he makes a mistake, you better hit it.”
Todd Jones (8-2) allowed one run and three hits in 1 1/3 innings, and Danny Graves pitched the ninth for his major league-leading 34th save in 42 chances.
After Albert Pujols tied it at 4 in the top of the eighth against Jones with his 24th home run, Julian Tavarez (2-3) couldn’t hold the lead in the bottom half. Ryan Freel was hit by a pitch, Kline walked Larkin, and Dunn followed with his 26th home run.
Pujols had an RBI single off Graves in the ninth.
Cincinnati starter Cory Lidle allowed three runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings, while the Cardinals’ Jason Marquis gave up four runs and nine hits in five innings.
Casey’s RBI single put Cincinnati ahead in the third. Larkin hit a home run in the fifth, and Pena added a two-run drive later in the inning for a 4-0 lead. He is 11-for-23 in his past six games with five home runs and 10 RBIs.
St. Louis closed in the seventh on Mike Matheny’s RBI single and pinch-hitter Ray Lankford’s two-run double.