ST. LOUIS — The Cardinals’ shorthanded bullpen couldn’t pitch out of a tough spot, and St. Louis couldn’t convert on an early lead.
Khris Davis hustled home on an infield grounder in the eighth inning and the Oakland Athletics rallied for two runs, beating the Cardinals 3-2 on Saturday night.
Oakland trailed 2-1 in the eighth when Davis singled with one out against Matt Bowman (2-5) and Ryon Healy doubled, extending the longest active hitting streak in the majors to 13 games.
“I’d say just one pitch probably that inning didn’t go well and that made the difference,” Bowman said.
Seung Hwan Oh relieved and Max Muncy hit a grounder that Brandon Moss stopped with a dive, but Davis easily beat the throw to score the tying run. Brett Eibner followed with a sacrifice fly.
“The play was to see the ball through the middle, stay on the corners,” Davis said. “He dove, so as soon as he dove I thought it would be a good time to go.”
St. Louis manager Mike Matheny was shorthanded in the bullpen because rookie Alex Reyes started in place of Mike Leake, who was scratched because he was still recovering from shingles. Left-handed setup man Kevin Siegrist was unavailable as well.
Reyes made his first major league start, giving up one run on two hits and four walks in 4 2/3 innings.
“I feel like my command could have been better,” Reyes said. “Four walks, I wasn’t able to get deep in the game, but I tried to execute pitches as best as I can. Things didn’t work my way, but hopefully next time they will.”
Randal Grichuk hit his 18th homer in the second inning and then the Cardinals scored on an error in the third to lead 2-0 against starter Zach Neal.
Neal pitched a career-best six innings. Oakland pitchers held the Cardinals without a hit after the fourth inning, retiring the last 17 batters.
Daniel Coulombe (2-1) and Liam Hendriks combined for two perfect innings to set up Ryan Madson, who pitched a perfect ninth for his 26th save.
Zach Duke relieved Reyes and hit pinch-hitter Danny Valencia to load the bases, then walked Davis to force home a run. Reyes had started his big league career with five relief appearances, pitching 9 1/3 scoreless innings.
The Cardinals have homered in 16 straight games, one shy of their season best.
Prior to the game, the Cardinals inducted former players Joe Torre, Chris Carpenter and Terry Moore, as well as former club president Sam Breadon, into the team’s Hall of Fame.
Cardinals: Manager Mike Matheny said Leake first displayed symptoms of shingles on Monday and has been healing slowly.
Athletics: RHP Andrew Triggs (0-1, 4.38 ERA) will be making his fifth career major league start. The A’s will be trying to win their first road series since taking two of three from Texas Rangers from July 25-27.
Cardinals: LHP Jaime Garcia (10-9, 4.37 ERA) will be making his first career start against Oakland. He is 1-1 with an 11.00 ERA in his last two starts.