Mark Mulder got through four innings without incident Monday night, although he wasn't all that sharp. Then, Mulder's errant location caught up with him in the fifth and then again in the sixth as he lost to Cincinnati, 6-1. Mulder was denied his 100th career win for the second time. Instead, he suffered his 51st career loss.
In a space of seven batters in the fifth and sixth, Mulder allowed six hits. Five of the hits scored as Mulder was removed after only five official innings.
The Cardinals, who are 12-4 at home, fell to 5-5 on the road in the first game of a seven-game trip. They got only four hits off Cincinnati righty Bronson Arroyo and none after the sixth inning.
REPLAY: Felipe Lopez's two-out single in the fifth broke a 1-1 tie for Cincinnati. Cardinals starter Mark Mulder then gave up successive hits to Reds left fielder Adam Dunn (a double), right fielder Austin Kearns, third baseman Edwin Encarnacion and second baseman Brandon Phillips in the sixth before departing.
The Cardinals scored only in the second on a homer by Juan Encarnacion. The homer was Encarnacion's third, but second in the last two games.
--LF John Rodriguez, in his fourth start hitting second ahead of 1B Albert Pujols, had two of the Cardinals' four hits. Rodriguez is seven for 11 in the four starts and extended his hitting streak to three games (six for 10).
--1B Albert Pujols was walked once, giving him a league-leading 29. He went hitless and is still at 28 on the season.
--Cardinals RHP Josh Hancock and LHP Randy Flores pitched three scoreless innings, although Hancock allowed two of LHP Mark Mulder's inherited runners to score. The Cardinals' bullpen has given up only one run in its last 31 2/3 innings.
--C Yadier Molina went hitless again and is nothing for his last 15 and batting under .150.
--3B Scott Rolen is expected to rejoin the team in Houston on Wednesday, but may not play after being laid up for a week because of what was described as bronchitis.