ST. LOUIS — Pinch hitter So Taguchi singled over a drawn-in outfield in the ninth inning for his second straight game-winning hit, giving the St. Louis Cardinals a 4-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.
The Cardinals won for the fifth time in six games without catcher Gary Bennett, who left in the second after getting hit by an Aaron Harang breaking ball. The team described the injury as a contusion to the back of the skull.
Bennett took over regular duties after Yadier Molina broke his left wrist last week. Bennett walked to first alongside a team trainer before heading to the clubhouse.
Juan Encarnacion homered and David Eckstein had three hits and an RBI for the Cardinals. Jason Isringhausen (3-0) walked two and struck out two in the ninth against the Reds, who stranded 15 runners and left seven on over the last three innings.
Aaron Miles drew a leadoff walk in the ninth off Jared Burton (0-1), advanced on a sacrifice and went to third on Jon Coutlangus’ wild pitch. Taguchi hit a 3-2 pitch over the head of right fielder Norris Hopper, two days after homering in the 10th inning at Houston.
The Reds stranded five runners in the seventh and eighth against Ryan Franklin.