CINCINNATI (AP) — Joey Votto hit a three-run homer to back Tyler Mahle’s sharp return from injury, and the Cincinnati Reds beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-3 on Sunday.
The last-place Reds overcame Paul Goldschmidt’s two opposite-field homers to take two of three in the series. They’ve won eight of their last 12 games.
“They beat us a couple of times in St. Louis,” Cincinnati manager David Bell said. “Then we come back and win a series against a really good team. It keeps us going in the right direction.”
The only hits allowed by Mahle in six innings were Goldschmidt’s two home runs, giving him four in the series and 24 this season. The slugger launched a two-run drive to right in the fourth and a solo shot in the sixth.
Goldschmidt, who also homered in the All-Star Game on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium, hit at least one in each game of the series. But he won’t be available for St. Louis’ next game.
Before their finale in Cincinnati, the Cardinals announced that Goldschmidt and star third baseman Nolan Arenado — two of their best players — won’t make the trip to Toronto for a short series with the Blue Jays because they haven’t received the COVID-19 vaccination.
Backup catcher Austin Romine also will not be going to Canada with the team for games Tuesday and Wednesday. Canada has restrictions on travelers who aren’t vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Mahle (4-7) came off the injured list and allowed three runs with three walks and five strikeouts.
“Probably I wasted some pitches, like some off speed that I couldn’t get over, but I was happy with my fastball and the outcome,” Mahle said. “I felt good.”
Mahle hadn’t pitched since July 2 due to a right shoulder strain.
“We know what he does,” St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol…