The Redbird Report - Reds 5, Cardinals 1

Right-hander Adam Wainwright has had a roller coaster season in his first year as a starter for the Cardinals, but one thing he hadn't been doing was allowing home runs. Wainwright had surrendered just four homers, one by a left-handed batter, in 63 1/3 innings.

But the Reds clouted three homers in six innings against Wainwright (4-5) on Thursday.

Two left-handed batters, Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn, cracked solo homers for the Reds. And Edwin Encarnacion, who had four hits, belted a two-run homer and drove in a run with a single. The Reds dropped the Cardinals five games under .500 and 5 1/2 games off the Brewers' pace in the National League Central Division.

For their next six series, the Cardinals will have to go outside a division that has been reasonably comfortable for them. They are 19-14 in their division, 7-17 away from the Central.

Wainwright chastised himself for some poor location choices.

"It wasn't like I was out there getting crushed all night long," he said. "I just let a few hitters get away from me. That's all I'm going to think about. Three homers beat us tonight.

"My stuff wasn't great, but it was better than what I came away with. I made some good pitches and obviously I made some bad ones. Our plan was pretty good. I just strayed away from it a little.

"That (game) was just very mediocre, if that."

REDS 5, CARDINALS 1: The Cardinals missed a chance to tie their season-high winning streak of four games. They rarely had Cincinnati right-hander Kyle Lohse in trouble. They drew only one walk from Lohse, and their walk total of 148 is the lowest in the National League.

NOTES AND QUOTES

--SS David Eckstein had his hitting streak snapped at nine games, but RF Juan Encarnacion extended his streak to eight games. He has had extra-base hits in seven of them.

--2B Adam Kennedy was back in his usual spot. Aaron Miles, who replaced him Wednesday, had no hits in his last 16 at-bats. Kennedy, meanwhile, was 10-for-23 (.435) in his career against Cincinnati RHP Kyle Lohse. Kennedy had one single and Miles ended his drought with a pinch single in the sixth.

--RHP Andy Cavazos was recalled from Class AAA Memphis and INF Brendan Ryan, called up a week ago from Memphis, was sent back. Cavazos pitched a scoreless ninth in his major league debut.

--RHP Kip Wells, 0-2 with a 5.68 ERA in four previous interleague starts against the Angels, will face them Friday at Busch Stadium in the Angels' first visit in five years. Wells has a 2-10 overall mark this year.

--With their rotation basically consisting of four converted relievers and struggling RHP Kip Wells, the Cardinals probably are in need of a starting pitcher.

But manager Tony La Russa, taking the high road, at least publicly, said Thursday, "My opinion is that the guys we have right now are capable of giving us what we need. The guys we have are the guys who can get the job done."


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