ST. LOUIS -- Jhonny Peralta drove in three runs with a double, Jon Jay extended his hitting streak to 12 games -- and his hit-by-pitch streak to two -- and Lance Lynn pitched seven scoreless innings as the Cardinals swept their series with the Reds, winning the final game 7-3 on Wednesday night at Busch Stadium.
With Milwaukee's loss earlier in the day, the Cardinals are 1 1/2 games back in the NL Central.
The Cardinals chased Reds starter Johnny Cueto in the sixth as manager Bryan Price stuck with him as long as possible in an effort to rest his worn-down bullpen. Cueto, who's responsible for half of the Reds' wins since the All-Star break, gave up five runs in five-plus innings.
Jay singled and came around to score in the third and the fifth, and was hit by a pitch in the first inning, the second straight plate appearance where he had been hit and the sixth time in six games.
Lynn allowed only one runner to reach second, and that was in the first inning before he struck out Ryan Ludwick looking to end the inning. While the Reds got runners on in the second, third, fifth, sixth and seventh, none of them got past first.
The game was delayed for almost an hour at the top of the eight and Lynn didn't return. He finished with five strikeouts in seven innings and picked up his 14th win, one behind NL leader Adam Wainwright.
The Reds scored their runs in the ninth off Carlos Martinez, with help from a fielding error by Jay. After four straight batters reached against Martinez with one out in the ninth to create a save situation, Trevor Rosenthal came in. He got the first hitter, Billy Hamilton on a bouncer back to the box and then walked Jay Bruce to load the bases and bring the tying run to the plate in Todd Frazier. Frazier grounded to short for a force at second and Rosenthal had his 37th save.
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