CINCINNATI -- Joey Votto's single in the bottom of the ninth inning drove in Shogo Akiyama with the winning run as the Cincinnati Reds beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-3 on Wednesday night.
Facing Giovanny Gallegos (1-1), Akiyama and Curt Casali walked with one out. Votto delivered a sharp line drive to right to send Akiyama sliding across the plate and extend his hitting streak to six games (9 for 20, .450) after sitting out three games.
"I wanted to be instinctive," Votto said. "I wasn't doing much thinking. Early in the season, I may have complicated some things. I think at times you have to let go."
The Cardinals had loaded the bases with one out in the ninth, but Raisel Iglesias (2-2) struck Tyler O'Neill and Lane Thomas to escape.
"I saw Tyler miss a pitch he fouled right back," St. Louis Manager Mike Shildt said. "He kind of made some tough pitches. We weren't able to put the ball in play. You've got to put that ball in play."
"Iglesias has been in that situation more than anyone," Reds Manager David Bell said. "His back was against the wall. Joey is another guy who has been in that situation more than anyone. There is no one you would want up there in that situation more than Joey."
The Reds avoided a three-game sweep to finish 3-4 on a home stand against the Cubs and Cardinals, two of the teams they're chasing in the NL Central.
"The time is for sure running out," Votto said. "We're playing the teams above us. They are big games, for sure."
One night after the Reds needed five relievers and an infielder to pitch during a 16-2 loss, an efficient Tyler Mahle turned in a season-high seven innings. Mahle yielded 4 hits and 3 runs with 2 walks and 3 strikeouts.
CUBS 8, PIRATES 2 Javier Baez hit a three-run home run and Kyle Hendricks (4-4) pitched one-run ball over six innings to lead Chicago.
PHILLIES 3, NATIONALS 0 Zack Wheeler (4-0) tossed three-hit ball over 62/3 innings to outpitch Max Scherzer, and Jay Bruce hit a home run as Philadelphia beat Washington.
ROCKIES 9, GIANTS 6 In Denver, Garrett Hampson and Sam Hilliard homered and newcomer Kevin Pillar delivered a key triple as Colorado earned a come-from-behind victory to beat San Francisco.
ASTROS 2, RANGERS 1 Michael Brantley hit a two-run home run to back up a strong start from rookie Cristian Javier (4-1) as Houston held on for a victory over Texas.
BREWERS 8, TIGERS 5 Keston Hiura and Jace Peterson homered as host Milwaukee snapped Detroit's six-game winning streak.
INDIANS 5, ROYALS 0 Triston McKenzie (2-0) tossed six innings of three-hit ball to celebrate his 23rd birthday, and Tyler Naquin hit a pair of home runs for the only runs of the game to lead Cleveland.
RAYS 5, YANKEES 2 Mike Brosseau hit two home runs as Tampa Bay topped host New York.
TWINS 8, WHITE SOX 1 Josh Donaldson returned from the injured list with two hits and two RBI for host Minnesota, which backed Jose Berrios with three home runs to beat Chicago.
BLUE JAYS 2, MARLINS 1 In Miami, Lourdes Gurriel homered and Hyun Jin Ryu pitched six solid innings to lead Toronto.
BRAVES 7, RED SOX 5 Adam Duvall hit three home runs a night after teammate Marcell Ozuna became the first NL player ever to hit three home runs in Fenway Park, and Atlanta beat host Boston.
METS 9, ORIOLES 4 Michael Conforto went 4 for 5 with a home run and five RBI, Pete Alonso hit a home run and New York beat host Baltimore to snap a five-game losing streak.
Colorado 9, San Francisco 6
Cincinnati 4, St. Louis 3
Chicago Cubs 8, Pittsburgh 2
Philadelphia 3, Washington 0
Arizona at LA Dodgers, (n)
Tampa Bay 5, NY Yankees 2
Cleveland 5, Kansas City 0
Minnesota 8, Chicago White Sox 1
Houston 2, Texas 1
Oakland at Seattle, ppd., coronavirus
NY Mets 9, Baltimore 4
Toronto 2, Miami 1
Atlanta 7, Boston 5
Milwaukee 8, Detroit 5
San Diego at LA Angels, (n)