CINCINNATI (AP) Nick Lodolo came off the injured list to pitch 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball, Jeimer Candelario homered and the Cincinnati Reds won a season-high fourth straight game, 3-1 over the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday.

Lodolo, who missed his last two starts while nursing a groin injury, allowed a first-inning home run to Paul Goldschmidt but otherwise stayed out of trouble against the hot-hitting Cardinals. The 26-year-old lefty allowed five hits, struck out three and did not issue a walk.

“He liked his fastball today,” Cincinnati manager David Bell said. “He got ahead, got to two strikes, kind of stayed with the fastball. So it was great to have him back out there.”

Reliever Fernando Cruz struck out all five batters he faced in the sixth and seventh innings. Sam Moll fanned two more Cardinals in the eighth, and Lucas Sims retired the side in order in the ninth - striking out Alec Burleson and Goldschmidt and getting Nolan Arenado to pop out - for his first save.

Sims got the call in the ninth to give the Alexis Diaz, the regular closer, a break after he pitched in four games in the last week.

Sims said he didn't feel any additional pressure in the save situation with some heavy St. Louis hitters coming to the plate.

“You know, we’re in an important part of our schedule right now, where we are at in the standings, (playing) a divisional foe, riding a three-game win streak,” Sims said. "Being able to slam the door and kind of keep this good thing that we got going, I think that’s more where it came from. Less about the game situation and more about where we are right now as a team.”

The Cards got solid pitching from starter Lance Lynn, who allowed three runs (one earned) and five hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked three.

Candelario homered to right in the first inning. Cincinnati got a run on Will Benson’s RBI single in the second inning, and another came home on an error by Goldschmidt.

“Lance did a really nice job, especially pitching through those errors,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “He kept his composure. Overall, he got after it. He gave us six and definitely gave us a shot.”

The Reds pulled out of a downward spiral to sweep a three-game series from the Los Angeles Dodgers last weekend after losing their previous eight series in a row, going back to April 26. Cincinnati last won four straight games in July 2023.

Cardinals rookie shortstop Masyn Winn singled in the third to extend his hit streak to 16 games, while left fielder Burleson pushed his streak to 11 games with a single in the sixth.


Cardinals: OF Lars Nootbaar is day-to-day. He injured his right hamstring running out a triple on Saturday.

Reds: TJ Friedl will not need a rehab assignment and could return later this week or early next week.


Lefty Andrew Abbott (3-4, 2.68 ERA) is the scheduled starter for the Reds against Cardinals right-hander Kyle Gibson (3-2, 3.81) as the series continues Tuesday night.



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