Wainwright vowed his personal losing streak would end after losing a fourth straight start in the Cardinals' 6-1 loss to the Cincinnati Reds at Busch Stadium. But it may not matter after Saturday's loss dropped the Cardinals eight games behind the Reds in the National League Central Division.
A win would have moved the Cardinals to within six games of the Reds and put them in position to sweep the series Sunday afternoon and inch a game closer in the division. But Aaron Miles' error allowed three unearned runs in the first inning and Wainwright allowed the first career home run to Reds pitcher Travis Wood as the Reds may have delivered the final blow in the Cardinals' pursuit of another division championship.
"I don't like losing one game much less four in a row," Wainwright said. "I won't lose again."
The Cardinals are somehow 1-7 in the last eight games started by Wainwright and Chris Carpenter. Wainwright lost his fourth-straight start for the first time in his career. He entered with a 5.21 ERA in his last three starts and fell in a hole early when a potential double-play ball off the bat of Joey Votto was booted by Aaron Miles at second base.
Instead of ending the inning, the Reds' had runners at second and third with one out. Scott Rolen walked before catcher Ramon Hernandez grounded out to short to put the Reds in front. The big blow came off the bat of Johnny Gomes, who followed with a two-out, two-run double to left to make it 3-0 before the Cardinals even had a chance to bat.
"Aaron Miles is a great defensive player," Wainwright said. "He has been and will be in the future. It just came up on him, the ball took a funny hop or something, but I should have got out of that inning with one run. I made a good pitch on Hernandez and the scored a run and that should have been the end of it. I just didn't make a pitch to Gomes.
"It's been very frustrating. Not in the last few years have I felt this frustrated since my first year. I feel like I'm doing the things I need to do to be prepared for each start. I'm just not making pitches when I need to. That's really what it comes down to."
The Cardinals again went silent at the plate after scoring early in the game. An RBI single by Matt Holliday in the bottom of the first accounted for their only run of the game.
The final nail in the Cardinals coffin may have come when Reds' rookie left-hander Travis Wood launched a solo home run off Wainwright into the seats in left to make it 5-1 in the fourth. Wood, who allowed one run in seven innings, became the first Reds rookie pitcher to hit a home run since Jeff Russell in 1983.
"Just a lack of execution on my part," Wainwright said. "You're never expecting a pitcher - that's the first time I've ever given up a home run to the pitcher. I'm never expecting that. If I make my pitch down down and away like I'm trying to, he doesn't hit it out. Ridiculous. Enough is enough."
But trailing by eight games with just 29 left to play, Wainwright and the Cardinals appear to be running out of time, regardless of whether Wainwright loses again or not.
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