ST. LOUIS — Scott Rolen homered twice and the Cincinnati Reds overcame a rough outing by Johnny Cueto, recovering for a 9-8 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.
Jonny Gomes' RBI single and Drew Stubbs' go-ahead sacrifice fly off Blake Hawksworth put the Reds ahead to stay in the seventh inning after Brendan Ryan's two-run double put the Cardinals ahead 8-7 the inning before.
Joey Votto homered and had four hits, showing no rust from a six-game absence because of a sore neck, and helped the Reds rally after blowing a four-run lead to reclaim first place in the NL Central. The Cardinals won the opener of a three-game series Monday to tie for the lead.
Shaky Lincoln puton DL; Fisher demoted
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The Reds made two bullpen moves Tuesday, putting right-hander Mike Lincoln on the 15-day disabled list with a strained upper back and demoting right-hander Carlos Fisher to Triple-A Louisville.
First baseman Joey Votto returned to the lineup after missing six games with a sore neck, and was batting third. Miguel Cairo started all six games and was 12-for-28 (.429) with two homers.
Manager Dusty Baker said if Votto hadn't been ready Tuesday, he wouldn't have been in the lineup until Friday because he didn't want Votto to face Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter his first game back. Carpenter starts Wednesday for St. Louis and the Reds have a day off Thursday.
Baker said Lincoln was not injured Monday night but had been pitching through the injury for a while.
"We need him to get back to himself," Baker said. "Something's been bothering him, but not enough to not pitch. Finally, we're like 'Hey, you've got to go get your stuff together.'"
Before Monday, Fisher hadn't allowed a run in four straight appearances but Baker said he needed to work on throwing consistent strikes with his fastball and breaking ball.
"He showed flashes of brilliance for us," Baker said. "He has the stuff."
Chapman sharp in Bats' loss
Reds prospect Aroldis Chapman pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on four hits for Triple-A Louisville on Tuesday night. The Bats were leading 3-2 at Columbus when Chapman left, but lost when Jordan Brown doubled in the game-winner in the ninth.