Despite tying his career high with 10 strikeouts, Cardinals’ starting pitcher Jaime Garcia was unable to get a win Monday afternoon as the Redbirds lost 13-4 to Cincinnati. The Cardinals allowed nine runs in the ninth inning one day after scoring nine against the Giants in the fourth inning.
Garcia left with a 4-3 lead after 6.2 innings of work. Garcia scattered 6 hits and three walks while throwing 96 pitches. However, the Cardinals’ bullpen couldn’t hold the lead.
“Jaime was good,” Cardinals skipper Mike Matheny said. “He did a nice job taking us deep like we wanted to be.”
Rookie Trevor Rosenthal allowed the Reds to tie the game in the top of the eighth.
Then, in the top of the ninth, Mitchell Boggs allowed 7 runs, six earned, before being pulled. Boggs walked four, two intentionally, and allowed two hits while recording just one out.
“We have to find the zone better, no question,” Matheny said. “We can’t give up free bases. Those things will come back and haunt you.”
Mark Rzepcynski relieved Boggs with the bases loaded and quickly allowed an RBI single to Cesar Izturis, keeping the bases loaded. That brought Shin-Soo Choo to the plate and Choo quickly made up for two earlier gaffes by clearing the bases with a 3-run double.
Choo eventually capped the Reds’ ninth inning scoring off when Joey Votto got his first hit of the day.
Boggs (0-1) took the loss as the Cardinals (3-4) fell two games behind Cincinnati (5-2) in the win/loss column.
Matheny said he wasn’t concerned with the bullpen yet.
“A loss this fresh, you don’t want to think about anything right now,” Matheny said. “Those guys know that they can pitch better than they did. They just have to do something different, we all do, we just have to figure out what that is and make the adjustments.”
The Cardinals took an early lead in the first inning. Following a lead off single from Jon Jay, Carlos Beltran flew out to Choo. After Matt Holliday walked, Yadier Molina drilled a pitch to center that Choo couldn’t hold on to, allowing both Jay and Holliday to score.
In the fourth, Allen Craig led off with a double and scored on Molina’s first hit of the day.
St. Louis got its final run in the sixth. Beltran led off with a fly out and Holliday followed with a single. That brought Molina to the plate and once again, Shoo was unable to hold on to Molina’s deep fly ball. Holliday scored from first on Choo’s second error of the day.
“He put together some good at bats, Matheny said of Molina. “There was not a lot of reward for them, especially the first one.”
That would be all the runs the Cardinals could muster.
St. Louis had just four hits in the game. Jay, Holliday, and Molina singled while Craig had the Cardinals only extra-base hit of the day.
Playing in his first game after being activated from the disable list, David Freese was 0-for-3 with a strikeout.
Cincinnati’s Brandon Phillips finished the day 2-for-5 with a home run, a double, a walk, two RBIs, and two runs scored. Choo was also 2-for-5 with a walk, a double, and three runs batted in.
After losing their third series opener of the season, the Cardinals look to even the series this afternoon. Lance Lynn will face Bronson Arroyo with the first pitch at 7:15 p.m.
NOTES: Garcia struck out Joey Votto in the first inning for his 400th career strikeout. ... The last time Garcia had 10 strikeouts in a game was Aug. 19, 2012 when the Cardinals played Pittsburgh, St. Louis lost that game in 19 innings. ... The last time St. Louis played Cincinnati for its home opener was April 15, 1965 and the Cardinals lost 10-4