Wells Loses His 3rd Straight Game

The Redbird Report. The last time Kip Wells pitched a full season in the major leagues, he led the National League in losses at 18 with Pittsburgh in 2005. Absorbing a 10-3 beating by the Reds on Tuesday night, Wells is tied with Washington's Jerome Williams at four for the National League lead this year.

Wells had been pitching reasonably well until he fell apart after some defensive breakdowns last Thursday in San Francisco. He blanked the Giants for four innings that day, but then, while not being helped much in the field, he gave up five runs in the next two innings.

He continued that ineffective pitching Tuesday night, serving up three home runs and eight runs in 4 2/3 innings.

One of the home runs was by Ken Griffey Jr., who now has 564 career dingers after his first this season. The other two were by Alex Gonzalez, who had had just one hit in 10 at-bats against Wells before he had two homers and a double against him last night.

Wells also failed to sacrifice in the third inning when the Cardinals had a chance to get back into the game.

"Kip had a tough day," manager Tony La Russa said. "Today was a stinker. We did not do very well and they did very well, so it wasn't much of a game."

REDS 10, CARDINALS 3: The Cardinals lost for the seventh time in eight home games, matching their poor 1969 start as they gave up three home runs. Scott Rolen, who had five hits on Sunday, had two more Tuesday, giving him seven in his last nine at-bats and raising his average to .288.

Kip Wells has lost three in a row and is 1-4 for the season.

NOTES AND QUOTES

--RHP Chris Carpenter continued on the comeback trail after having to be shut down with an elbow problem when he threw from 120 feet on flat ground on Tuesday. If Carpenter can continue his rehabilitation program without pain or swelling, he is scheduled to throw off a mound on Saturday.

--RF Juan Encarnacion, recovering from irritation in his left wrist (he had surgery in December) went 0-for-3 with a walk while playing for Class AA Springfield in his first minor league rehabilitation game on Monday. The Springfield team was rained out on Tuesday.

--Tuesday's loss to the Reds shouldn't have been that much of a surprise. Cincinnati beat the Cardinals nine times in 15 meetings last year, including five of nine at Busch Stadium.

--LF Chris Duncan, a left-handed hitter, is 6-for-19 (.316) against left-handed pitching after a run-scoring single off Cincinnati LHP Mike Stanton in the eighth inning. In the top of the inning, Duncan had made a sparkling, twisting grab of Ken Griffey's drive to left-center.

--1B Albert Pujols left in the ninth inning Tuesday when, according to manager Tony La Russa, "his knee barked a little. Hopefully, it's nothing serious."

--C Yadier Molina snapped an 0-for-10 skid with a third-inning infield single, one of two hits he had.


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