Ryan Helsley, Alec Burleson spark the Cardinals to 1-0 victory over the Reds

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Ryan Helsley closed for his major league-leading 29th consecutive save and Alec Burleson drove in the lone run, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 1-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night.

Helsley pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning. Left fielder Brendan Donovan made a leaping catch in front of the wall in left on a ball hit by Stuart Fairchild to end the game.

“I thought it had a chance to go,” said Donovan, a former utility Gold Glove winner. “I know how fly balls play in this ballpark. I got a good bead on it.”

St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol was impressed.

“He got a good jump. It went further than I thought,” Marmol said. “A really nice play. He’s made several good catches like that over the last few weeks. He’s been really good out there.”

Cincinnati manager David Bell said he thought Anderson had tied it.

“Off the bat, yeah, I thought it had a chance. This is a big ballpark,” Bell said. “All you can do it put a good swing on it. We came up short. We weren’t able to score. Give the Cardinals pitchers credit.”

Helsley hasn’t blown a save since March 30, his first outing of the season against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. Helsley did earn the victory in that game.

With one more save, Helsley will tie the 30 saves that Hall of Famer Lee Smith posted in 1993 before the MLB All-Star Game, a Cardinals record.

Andre Pallante (4-3) pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings, checking the Reds on four hits. He struck out five while, walked three and hit a batter. Pallanet has won all five decisions against the Reds in his career over his 14 appearances.

“As long as I got the ball in decent spots, I had good results on it,” said Pallante, who developed a blister on his big toe in the third inning on worked through it. “It’s the command that’s important.”

Pallante wriggled out of a two-out bases-loaded jam in the fifth by getting Elly De La Cruz to ground out.

“I felt pretty confident there against De La Cruz,” Pallante said. “I thought my fastball was really good against him. I trusted it and got it inside.”

Frankie Montas (3-6), who signed as a free agent in the offseason, allowed one run on two hits in six innings.

“I thought it was a really good game by both sides,” Montas said. “I was throwing strikes today, attacking the hitters. I wasn’t being too predictable.”

The Cardinals scored on a sacrifice fly to short center by Burleson in the third inning. Shortstop De La Cruz caught the ball with his back to the infield. Michael Siani led off with a double and took third on a ground out.

“I’ve played with Elly,” Siani said. “I know how talented he is. I know he’s going after the ball. I know he was pretty far out there. In that spot, take a chance and go. I mean, he’s got to make a perfect throw to get me out. Play aggressive.”


Reds: Selected C Austin Wynns from Triple A-Louisville. They also placed C Tyler Stephenson on the paternity list, and designated OF Peyton Burdick for assignment.

Cardinals: Called up RHP Gordon Graceffo, the team’s No. 8 prospect and a fifth-round pick in 2021, from Triple-A Memphis. He was 8-5 with a 3.84 ERA in 14 starts. … Optioned RHP Kyle Leahy to Memphis.


Reds: OF Jake Fraley (right calf contusion) and 3B Jeimer Candelario (hamstring tendinitis) each missed their third straight game. Neither player is expected to require an IL stint.

Cardinals: OF Lars Nootbaar (oblique strain) began a rehab assignment at Double-A Springfield on Friday. He was hurt May 29.


Cardinals RHP Sonny Gray (9-4, 2.81) was set to start Saturday against RHP Carson Spiers (1-1, 3.45).


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