The Cardinals looked like they were off to a good start Monday, putting together a 2-0 lead as the game neared the halfway mark.
But Todd Wellemeyer's inability to get the third out allowed the Reds to rally and St. Louis was never able to recover from five consecutive Cincinnati runs despite the fact that Cincy starter Edinson Volquez left after an inning with back trouble.
Former Cardinals disabled lister Mike Lincoln jumped in the mix and showed his former club what they missed with three solid innings that drug his ERA back toward earth at 8.10.
Colby Rasmus and Joe Thurston, a pair of players who had been slumping badly, each had three-hit nights. But it wasn't enough to spark the Redbird offense as Skip Schumaker, Chris Duncan, Rick Ankiel and Brendan Ryan all wore the collar.
Ryan Ludwick didn't start. But he came to the plate as the tying run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and ripped one halfway across the warning track to narrowly miss pulling the Birds' bacon out of the fire.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Rasmus showed signs of coming out of his hitting slide by nearly hitting for the cycle. He lacked only a triple.
Lowlight: Wellemeyer continues to befuddle. He once again could only make five innings. The Cardinals need to get their best spring training pitcher back to his March form... But I guess spring training doesn't mean a lot when Khalil Green was the Birds best hitter...