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April 23: Reds 5, Cardinals 3

I wonder what it is that Chris Carpenter did to make his teammates so unhappy with him.

After all, they've had to go to some major extremes to prevent him from getting into the win column this season. And Saturday's 5-3 loss to the Reds was no exception.

Carpenter held Cincinnati to two runs over six innings. His only mistakes were a walk to Brandon Philips followed by a homer by Joey Votto in his final frame. But St. Louis first baseman Albert Pujols wasn't going to let his MVP Award rival show him up on his own field. The Mang hit a solo homer in the bottom of the sixth to put Carp in line for his first victory.

Fernando Salas relieved in the seventh and retired the Cincinnati hitters without any damage. The Birds then went back on the attack with catcher Yadier Molina's leadoff double. Second baseman Nick Punto sacrificed Yadi to third. But the drive stalled there when pinch hitter Tyler Green was struck out by Reds lefty Aroldis Chapman and shortstop Ryan Theriot grounded out.

After a rain delay Miguel Batista took over and got the first out in the eighth inning. Drew Stubbs reached base on an error by St. Louis third baseman David Freese and, after Philips struck out -- which should have been the third out of the inning -- all hell broke loose.

Joey Votto was intentionally walked -- which put the go ahead run on base -- and the strategy backfired when Batista hit Jonny Gomes with a pitch to load the bases. Ryan Franklin relieved and he walked Jay Bruce to drive in the trying run then allowed a single to Miguel Cairo to plate two more to give the Reds a 5-3 lead they would never surrender.

Cardinals Star of the Game: Chris Carpenter held the Reds to two hits and two runs.

Cardinals Play of the Game: Pujols' home run to regain the lead for St. Louis

Lowlight: The bullpen's dreadful performance. The Reds managed only four hits on the day but managed to score five runs thanks to five free passes. This is a game that should have been won.

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