The good news is that the Cardinals seem to be very good at taking two games out of a three-game series.
The bad news is that they seem to be allergic to performing a sweep.
After totally dominating Cincinnati Wednesday night, the Cardinals sent out their junior varsity line-up for the Thursday afternoon finale and they lost 6-3 with Yadier Molina, David Freese and the injured Lance Berkman sitting on the bench.
The Reds broke out in front in the fourth when they bookended a pair of homers by Brandon Phillips and Ryan Ludwick around a single from Jay Bruch to make the score 3-0. They added a fourth run in the fifth when Phillips knocked in another run.
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The big Cardinals push came in the bottom of the sixth when Matt Holliday ended an 0-for-11 streak with a three-run homer to make the game 4-3.
But the Reds answered with runs in the seventh and eighth to provide the final 6-3 margin of victory.
St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright started out well with three scoreless innings before his fourth inning stumble. He ended up giving up four runs on seven hits and a walk over five innings. He struck out five with a limited arsenal that never seemed to break the 90 MPH mark with his fastball. Both the homers he gave up came on 83 MPH cutters.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Holliday
Cardinals Play of the Game: Holliday's homer, his third of the season.
Lowlight: Centerfielder Jon Jay, who has played so well early this season, left the game early with an apparent shoulder injury.