St. Louis Cardinals' Brandon Moss. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
CINCINNATI -- Brandon Moss would like to hit for a higher average and reach base more consistently. In the meantime, he is content with jogging around the bases.
"I've got power and I go up there to use my power, that's my role on the team," Moss said. "I'm never going to hit .300. I am who I am."
On Wednesday night, Moss homered twice, and Matt Adams and Jhonny Peralta also went deep as the St. Louis Cardinals outslugged the Cincinnati Reds 12-7 at Great American Ball Park.
"It's always fun to watch different guys doing it," manager Mike Matheny said. "Good at-bats all the way through. Saw guys grinding out at-bats, saw some hard-hit balls, guys taking walks."
It was the eighth career multi-homer game for Moss, who leads the team with 13 long balls for the season. His homer in the fifth inning traveled an estimated 426 feet.
"I don't care how far they go," Moss said. "I was happy the second one went (barely) over the fence."
Peralta's two-run shot in the eighth was his first of the season. The third baseman, who was reinstated from the disabled list Tuesday, went 2-for-5 with three RBIs as part of a 15-hit outburst by the Cardinals on Wednesday.
"He looks great, in everything," Matheny said of Peralta. "Nice to see the ball jump out of the park for him. I like everything he's doing."
Zack Cozart and Tucker Barnhart homered for Cincinnati, which also collected 15 hits.
The Reds (22-37) have lost 14 of the past 21 series played against the Cardinals (31-28). The rubber match for this set will be played Thursday night.
St. Louis starter Jaime Garcia allowed five runs and 13 hits (two home runs) in 4 2/3 innings.
"It was rough," Matheny said. "Created a lot of stress, a lot of traffic. That was a tough one for him. It's more about movement than velocity. It was about location for him tonight."
In a roundabout way, Cardinals reliever Matt Bowman (1-1) earned his first career victory after facing one batter.
"I found out I was in line for it in eighth inning," Bowman said. "I don't feel like I did the most work tonight. It was kind of statistical luck."
It was another rough outing for Reds right-hander Alfredo Simon (2-6), whose ERA ballooned to 9.11 after he allowed six runs and seven hits in five innings.
The odds of Simon logging some innings to pick up the Reds' bullpen looked slim in the first inning when he walked leadoff batter Matt Carpenter on nine pitches then issued a four-pitch walk to Aledmys Diaz.
Adams followed with a three-run blast to right-center on the very next pitch, putting the Cardinals ahead 3-0 just three batters into the game.
"It's tough to see the bigger picture when you give up three runs in the first three batters," Barnhart said of Simon. "It is easy to pack it in a little bit. I don't think he did that. He kept us in the game."
St. Louis led 4-1 in the second inning after Yadier Molina doubled and scored on Carpenter's double into the right field corner.
"It seemed like (Simon) never settled in," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "Even in the innings he was able to be more competitive, from a command standpoint, he was extremely erratic."
The wheels nearly came off for Garcia in the second inning when six consecutive batters reached and two scored. However, a pair of hard line-drive outs left the bases loaded and the Cardinals clinging to a 4-3 lead.
Cozart tied the score 4-4 with a leadoff homer on Garcia's first pitch in the fourth. It was his ninth homer this season and fourth in nine appearances.
Moss broke the tie in the fifth with a mammoth two-run homer to the top row of the Moon Deck in right field for a 6-4 St. Louis lead.
"Over the course of the season ... our offense should be among the top of the league," Moss said. "This is a sign that we have a really good offense. I said that last year."
NOTES: Cardinals 1B Matt Adams has reached base in a career-high 19 consecutive games. ... Cardinals C Yadier Molina holds a slim lead over the Giants C Buster Posey in the balloting released Wednesday for the National League All-Star team. ... The Reds' Zack Cozart is fifth among NL shortstops in the latest All-Star voting. ... Cardinals C Brayan Pena made his first rehab appearances for Double-A Springfield on Tuesday, going 0-for-2 at the plate and catching four innings. ... Reds 2B Brandon Phillips extended his hitting streak to 11 games.