He didn't have much of a breaking ball, and, admitting he was crossed up with catcher Jason LaRue, he made a terrible pitch near the eyes of Atlanta rookie Clint Sammons, who slammed a two-run homer to break at 4-4 tie in the sixth.
Pineiro has just one win in his last 14 starts.
Manager Tony La Russa, asked why Pineiro had given up so many leads, said, "That's something you should ask him. I don't know."
Pineiro said, "I wish I knew, so I could stop doing it."
Earlier in the season, Pineiro was pitching in some bad luck, but lately, he said, "I've been bad. I haven't been pitching the way I'm capable of pitching. I'm letting my team down and letting myself down. It's not been a good time right now."
Unless he improves markedly, Pineiro would seem the odd man out when Adam Wainwright comes off the disabled list in a couple of weeks.
BRAVES 9, CARDINALS 4: Albert Pujols doubled in two runs, pitcher Joel Pineiro doubled in another and Ryan Ludwick delivered a run-scoring single with two outs. But Pineiro and reliever Kelvin Jimenez combined to allow 15 hits as the Cardinals were unable to complete a four-game series sweep.
NOTES AND QUOTES
--The Cardinals were unable to complete a deadline deal. "We had so many different balls in the air," GM John Mozeliak said. "When 4 o'clock came (and there was no deal), it was a little bit of a letdown.
"But I look at it as an opportunity to let (the players) continue to play."
--INF Aaron Miles was happy the Cardinals didn't make a deal.
"We've got a good team," Miles said. "That's why we're in the position we're in. I'm happy I didn't have to say goodbye to any of my teammates."
--RHP Adam Wainwright threw 25 curveballs in a bullpen session. This was the first time he had been "spinning" any pitches since he suffered a sprained middle finger on his right hand two months ago.
Wainwright will throw another side session Saturday and then face some of his own hitters Tuesday before going on a rehabilitation option.
--RHP Chris Carpenter said he felt good after his first big-league start in 16 months Wednesday. Carpenter, who worked four innings of one-run ball against Atlanta, next will face the Dodgers in St. Louis on Tuesday.
--1B Albert Pujols' two RBIs gave him 11 over his last six games.
--CF Rick Ankiel missed his fifth consecutive start because of an abdominal strain, although manager Tony La Russa is hopeful Ankiel can play against Philadelphia at home on Friday.
--LHP Jaime Garcia is likely to be called up from Class AAA Memphis to flesh out the bullpen Friday.
--RHP Josh Kinney, trying to rebound from "Tommy John" right elbow surgery in March 2007 and a break in the same elbow last August, has experienced a setback in his rehab. He has slowed his throwing program, the team announced in a statement.