The Redbird Report 09/13

The Cardinals received their seventh start of four innings or less in their last eight games, as right-hander Anthony Reyes lasted just 3 1/3 innings Wednesday night.

But they also scored only one run on nine hits and have tallied just three runs in the hitters' haven of Great American Ball Park in two nights.

As the Cardinals sank to a season-high sixth consecutive loss -- all on the seven-game trip that concludes Thursday afternoon -- Reyes reeled off three scoreless innings before yielding home runs to Brandon Phillips and Edwin Encarnacion in the fourth.

Reyes has given up four home runs to Encarnacion in six at-bats. But the Cardinals' starting pitching is in such a fix that he may get a start against Philadelphia next week.

If not, right-hander Kip Wells, who has lost just once to Philadelphia in his career, may get the start. But he is 6-16.

In the last eight games, Cardinals starters have toiled only 27 2/3 innings, giving up 49 hits and 32 earned runs. They have won just one of those games and have sunk to an almost too-much-to-overcome five games under .500, let alone four games off the pace of both Milwaukee and Chicago.

REDS 5, CARDINALS 1: The Cardinals are one loss away Thursday from a complete skunking on a seven-game trip. After losing three at Arizona and a makeup game at Chicago, the Cardinals have dropped the first two of a three-game series at Cincinnati. After losing the three games in Arizona by a total of four runs, they have been outscored 25-6 in the next three losses.

NOTES AND QUOTES

--INF Scott Spiezio is saying he is ready to return to the team this weekend in St. Louis after undergoing treatment for substance abuse. The team would have to remove him from the restricted list first. Spiezio has been working out in St. Louis.

--Manager Tony La Russa has adjusted his rotation so that RHP Adam Wainwright will be moved back to pitch the first game of the Chicago series Friday against Cubs RHP Carlos Zambrano. Wainwright has been hit hard in three starts against the Cubs, losing two, but he still is the Cardinals' best starter. The switch would enable him to pitch against Philadelphia and Milwaukee, too.

--RHP Braden Looper will move back to the first game of a day-night doubleheader Saturday. Looper, for much of the season, has been the best daytime pitcher in the major leagues.

--RHP Kip Wells, who gave up just one run in four innings of relief Sunday in Arizona, will return to the rotation for the series finale at Cincinnati on Thursday afternoon.

--CF Jim Edmonds had three of the Cardinals' nine hits Wednesday.

--RF Rick Ankiel snapped a hitless streak at 19 at-bats with a single in the sixth inning Wednesday.

--The impatient Cardinals' hitters drew no walks and fanned seven times.


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