ST. LOUIS (AP) Key hits from rookies helped the St. Louis Cardinals get to the Reds bullpen before Cincinnati could get to Aroldis Chapman.
Trevor Rosenthal was ready for the ball.
Stephen Piscotty doubled in the go-ahead run in a two-run eighth inning, a rally that began with Tommy Pham's leadoff triple, and Rosenthal earned his 47th save in 49 chances to match the franchise record in a 2-1 victory on Monday night.
''As big of a mess as you could put yourself in, just keep trying to make pitches,'' Rosenthal said after working around two one-hit singles. ''I've seen having a one-run lead and the bases loaded, nobody out, and somehow magically getting out of it when you feel like there's no way.''
Rosenthal tied the record held by Lee Smith (1991) and Jason Isringhausen (2004). Manager Mike Matheny said in July, Isringhausen told him to ''slow that kid down.''
Rosenthal has balls from all of his saves this season, although he added, ''I don't know why I kept them.'' He said he'll text Isringhausen, ''and let him know I'm happy to be a part of that club.''
Rookie Tommy Pham tripled off J.J. Hoover (8-2) to open the eighth and Jhonny Peralta's one-out single tied it ahead of Piscotty's drive off the wall in left-center. It was the seventh go-ahead RBI for Piscotty in 55 games with St. Louis.
''It was tough to get that first run, and as soon as we did I think all of us were able to take a breather and relax,'' Piscotty said. ''That calmed me a little bit more and I got a good pitch to hit.''
Johnathon Broxton (3-5) allowed one hit the eighth for the Cardinals, who have a four-game NL Central lead over Pittsburgh. They're a major league-best 51-24 at home and have the best overall record, too, at 94-56.
Reds rookie starter John Lamb held St. Louis scoreless for the second time this month, striking out six and allowing five hits in six-plus innings. Brandon Phillips had three hits including a first-inning RBI single.
''Definitely, some mixed emotions, not getting a `W' to go home with,'' Lamb said. ''Generally, it was nice to gout there and toss six scoreless, for sure.''
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.
''It was a tough inning, but stuff happens,'' Garcia said. ''I've always said I never want to come out of a game, especially in the situation we're in right now.''
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.
WEAK ARM FACTOR
Randal Grichuk's arm was exposed in the sixth when Eugenio Suarez took second on a routine single but was tagged out when he over-slid the bag. Todd Frazier attempted to exploit Grichuk when he tagged on a routine fly out in the seventh but the Cardinals had moved Piscotty to left and Frazier was out at second for the third out.
Reds: Billy Hamilton will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery on Friday. He has missed six straight starts.
Cardinals: Matt Holliday (quadriceps) has played in just 11 games since June 9 and has pinch hit twice since being activated from the DL on Sept. 15. He's not ready to play outfield.
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.