ST. LOUIS -- Nick Senzel and Phillip Ervin hit solo home runs, Luis Castillo pitched six effective innings and the Cincinnati Reds beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-3 Sunday night to end a four-game losing streak and salvage a split of their doubleheader.
With the 4-3 win in the first game and the Chicago Cubs' 4-0 loss to Milwaukee, the Cardinals gained a half game in the NL Central to increase their division lead to three games. St. Louis has only lost two of its past 11 games and is 12-3 in its past 15.
Castillo (14-5) lasted six innings, giving up three runs and five hits with three walks. He struck out eight as the Reds' pitchers had 11 in the game.
Daniel Ponce de Leon (1-2) allowed four runs -- three earned -- and five hits with a walk, and a hit batter in four-plus innings. Called up earlier in the day when rosters expanded, he entered the fifth with a 3-2 lead but gave up Senzel's 12th homer to left center to start the inning. Joey Votto, who doubled off the Cardinals' starter, also scored in the inning as the Reds took a 4-3 lead.
Ervin's fifth homer of the season in the sixth capped the scoring. He finished a triple shy of the cycle.
The Cardinals' Andrew Knizer hit his second homer of the season, a two-run shot that was part of a three-run third for St. Louis. Kolten Wong had three hits, including a triple, and an RBI.
In the first game, Harrison Bader continued his hit parade with a game-ending single to lift the Cardinals to the win.
Bader, facing five infielders with no one out, lofted a fly ball off Michael Lorenzen (0-4) to deep right field to bring in pinch-runner Tyler O'Neill.
"In that situation, I was aware of the infielders, but I wasn't paying attention to them," Bader said. "Because I'm just trying to get the ball in the air."
Bader is hitting .333 (12-for-36) with nine RBI in 12 games since being recalled from Triple-A Memphis.
Eugenio Suarez homered for the Reds, who have dropped four in a row. Suarez then left the second game after being hit by a pitch in the fifth inning.
Jose Martinez began the Cardinals' winning rally with a walk. Yadier Molina followed with a ground rule double to set the stage for Bader's hit.
St. Louis scored single runs in the seventh, eighth and ninth for its second consecutive last at-bat win following a 3-2 triumph on Saturday.
Carlos Martinez (4-2) picked up the victory by striking out the side in the ninth on 13 pitches.
Cincinnati starter Tyler Mahle, who was added to the roster from Triple-A Louisville earlier in the day, gave up two runs, one earned, on two hits over 61/3 innings. He struck out five and did not walk a batter.
Suarez broke a 1-1 tie with a two-run shot in the third, his 40th homer of the season. He has a major-league leading 20 homers since the All-Star break.
"It made me feel so happy, so proud of myself," Suarez said.