The chapter of the season has changed, but the Cardinals were still stuck on the same old story Friday as they blew numerous chances to score -- and eventually blew the lead to lose to the Reds.
Adam Wainwright entered the seventh inning having allowed one run on two hits. But shoddy defense led to a three-run breakthrough in the frame. With no margin for error provided by the offense, that's all it took for Cincinnati to seize a 5-3 win.
In the second inning Carlos Beltran drew a lead-off walk but was erased from the bases when Allen Craig hit into a double play. With two outs, Yadier Molina doubled and David Freese walked then Skip Schumaker singled to make it 1-0 St. Louis in what could have been a much bigger inning.
In the third Rafeal Furcal singled and then stole second. Jon Jay singled Furcal to third and Matt Holliday drove him home on a ball up the middle. What seemed like it might have been a double play turned into a failed fielder's choice when Reds second sacker Brandon Phillips failed to anticipate a throw and caught the ball two steps off the bag as Jay arrived safely at second base. But the Cardinals wasted their new life as Beltran forced out Holliday at second on a fielder's choice, Craig popped up and Molina struck out.
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Freese walked to lead off the fourth but was erased by a Skip Schumaker double play ball.
The Cardinals loaded the bases in the seventh but couldn't score and only dented the plate once in an eighth inning rally to fall short.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Skip Schumaker was 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Shane Robinson seemed like the only St. Louis hitter capable of getting a clutch hit when he knocked in a two-out run in the eighth.
Lowlight: More failed opportunities to score cost the Cardinals another game they should have won.