The Redbird Report 08/24

Anthony Reyes gave up a grand slam for the second start in succession.

Just when the Cardinals were poised to make it to .500 for the first time since April 16, they fell back -- and hard.

Four errors were charged, another ball missed by Chris Duncan should have been an error, and Anthony Reyes (2-13) wasn't able to weather the poor defense. After two misplays and a walk in the third inning, Reyes gave up a grand slam to Florida's Josh Willingham.

"(Reyes) wasn't blame-free," manager Tony La Russa said. But La Russa made it clear, "We definitely did not have a good defensive game."

The 11-3 loss to Florida came on a day when the Cardinals, with a victory, would have been 62-62 and only two games behind the first-place Chicago Cubs in the National League Central Division.

"We knew .500 was there," La Russa said, "but we did win the series."

Reyes, who had been pitching well lately, labored through five innings at 106 pitches.

"There was a difference," La Russa said. "Whether his mechanics were off or whatever, he wasn't as sharp."

MARLINS 11, CARDINALS 3: Anthony Reyes surrendered a grand slam to Florida's Josh Willingham -- and relievers Brad Thompson and Tyler Johnson both offered up home runs, too -- as the Cardinals lost for just the fourth time in their last 14 games. Reyes allowed four runs, but none of them were earned, as the Cardinals made four errors.

NOTES AND QUOTES

--RHP Brad Thompson gave up his 20th homer, a three-run drive to PH Cody Ross and then hit the next batter, SS Hanley Ramirez. Manager Tony La Russa said the volatile Thompson had been upset and didn't mean to hit Ramirez but admitted, "It looked like crap."

--C Yadier Molina, hitting .378 over a 23-game span, got a rest for backup Gary Bennett, who hadn't started since Aug. 12. Bennett allowed two stolen bases, committed a throwing error and struck out three times.

"Gary's an important part of this club," said La Russa before the game.

--1B Albert Pujols played six innings despite a sore upper right leg. His home run streak was stopped at five games.

--INF Aaron Miles, whose wife gave birth to the couple's second child Wednesday night in California, is expected back for Friday's start of a three-game series with Atlanta.

--RHP Anthony Reyes gave up a grand slam for the second start in succession. Chicago's Daryle Ward had homered off him last week in Chicago.


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