ST. LOUIS — Mitchell Boggs faced the music Monday after a miserable ninth inning ended the St. Louis Cardinals' home opener on a sour note.
Boggs entered a 4-4 game and allowed seven runs (six earned), two hits and four walks, including two intentional, in the Cincinnati Reds' nine-run outburst that gave them a 13-4 victory over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium.
"This is the worst outing of my career. I don't think you can put it any other way," Boggs said. "I wasn't good today. There's no other way to say it; there's no excuse. I didn't execute. You walk four guys in a tie ballgame in the ninth inning, that pretty much says it all."
Boggs walked Shin-Soo Choo to open the ninth, then got Chris Heisey on a popup to second. After a wild pitch to Joey Votto put Boggs behind in the count 2-0, Votto was intentionally walked.
Brandon Phillips' double inside the right-field line on a curveball made it 5-4, and Jay Bruce was intentionally walked to load the bases.
Todd Frazier's walk forced in a run to make it 6-4, and Jack Hannahan reached on an infield single to shallow short. Pete Kozma fielded the ball, but his throw to the plate was late.
Ryan Hanigan then reached on Kozma's error behind the mound that made it 8-4. Marc Rzepczynski relieved and offered no relief as Cesar Izturis singled to right to make it 9-4, and Choo doubled into the left-field corner to make it 12-4.
One out later, Votto's RBI single made it 13-4. The Reds finally were retired when Frazier struck out with the bases loaded.
"I felt like I had good stuff," said Boggs, who is filling the role of closer until Jason Motte returns from the disabled list. "Two guys (Hannahan and Hanigan) hit the ball a combined 80 feet. There wasn't a ball hit on the barrel today.
"But when you go out there and walk guys, you can't expect the guys behind you to make plays for you because you're putting them in a bad situation, and that's what I did today."
Boggs, who blew a save Wednesday in a 16-inning loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, has a 14.54 ERA in 4 1/3 innings.
Second baseman Daniel Descalso said the Cardinals have confidence that Boggs will be effective again this season. Boggs was 4-1 with a 2.21 ERA in 78 games last year.
"He knows we've still got his back," Descalso said. "We don't have to go say anything to him. We're confident in him and his abilities. He'll be out there again in a big spot for us, and he'll get the job done."
For now, it's back to the drawing board for Boggs.
"I'll sit down and look at it and figure out what I've got to do (Tuesday) when I show up to help this team win," he said. "I'm not going to hide from this. ... But like I said, I expect to be a part of a lot of good ones."
Boggs said being in a different role shouldn't affect him.
"My mind-set, no matter what the inning is, is to come in and make quality pitches and get guys out," he said. "I feel like my stuff is good enough to compete with anybody in this league."
Garcia fans 10
Jaime Garcia was in line for the victory until Trevor Rosenthal, working in Boggs' usual setup role, allowed an eighth-inning run that knotted the score at 4.
Garcia permitted three runs (earned) on six hits in 6 2/3 innings, with three walks and 10 strikeouts. The 10 strikeouts matched Garcia's career-high set Aug. 19, 2012, vs. Pittsburgh.
"I definitely felt good physically out there," Garcia said. "I was trying to give us a chance to win the ballgame. Unfortunately, we didn't win it."
Brandon Phillips homered off Garcia in the sixth to cut the Cardinals' lead to 3-2. After St. Louis went ahead 4-2 in the sixth, Chris Heisey's RBI double past third baseman David Freese drove in Hanigan to make it 4-3.
Randy Choate relieved and recorded the final out against Votto, a roller to Descalso.
"It's definitely unbelievable to be a part of Opening Day," Garcia said. "But again, we're all in here and we're not happy about the results. We've got to turn the page and go out there (Tuesday) and win a ballgame."
Carpenter, Furcal in house
Pitcher Chris Carpenter and shortstop Rafael Furcal, both of whom are sidelined for the season with injuries, participated in pregame festivities.
"It's good to have them both here," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said, adding that he's not certain how frequently either will be around this season.
"It's very similar to all the other players who have been injured," he said. "It's a tough situation to have these guys in here when they know they can't really do what they want to do on the field. But we make it available to them and tell them that they bring value. Any way we can have them around, we'll take them.
"We've made that known to Rafi, and hopefully he takes us up on it because he brings an energy into the clubhouse, onto the field and into the dugout that not too many other people can do."
Carpenter (arm numbness) said two months ago that he probably would not spend time around the team during the regular season. Furcal (Tommy John surgery) appears to have left the door open to occasionally be with his teammates.
Contact reporter David Wilhelm at email@example.com or 239-2665.