Game Report: Reds 8, Cardinals 0

By Rob Rains

There were two trends, neither of them positive, which dominated the first week of the season for the Cardinals.

With the exception of Saturday’s game, the offense struggled – which was the case again on Sunday when they managed just six hits against Scott Feldman and two Reds relievers. They were shut out for the second time in the three-game series.

The other negative trend was the performance of the Cardinals’ bullpen. Seung Hwan Oh served up his second homer of the week and the sixth allowed by the relievers in the season’s first six games to account for the final Reds run.

Brett Cecil also allowed two runners he inherited from starter Carlos Martinez to score in the Reds’ four-run sixth

The loss wrapped up a 2-4 homestand to start the season.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: Five of the eight position players in the Cardinals’ starting lineup on Sunday are now hitting less than .200. Dexter Fowler was 0-for-3 and has a .174 average. Even though he had a hit on Sunday, Marr Carpenter is hitting .150; Jhonny Peralta’s average fell to .143 and Jedd Gyorko is hitting .157. … The only regulars hitting better than .218 are Aledmys Diaz at .296 and Yadier Molina at .278.

On the mound:
Martinez was not nearly as sharp as he was in his opening night start, allowing six hits and getting charged with six runs, two of them scoring after he left the game with nobody out in the sixth. He walked one and struck out three. One of the hits was a home run by Adam Duvall, the first allowed by a Cardinals starter this season … Cecil allowed a two-run double to Scott Schebler, and Miguel Socolovich and Oh each allowed two hits and a run. The home run off Oh was hit by Joey Votto.

Key stat: The Cardinals were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. They finished the six-game homestand 8-for-48, a .167 average, and four of those hits came when they scored 10 runs on Saturday.

Worth noting: Stephen Piscotty was not in the starting lineup for the second day in a row because of a sore knee, which he hurt on a slide at second base on Friday night. That came three nights after he was hit three times in one inning with throws at the plate and on the bases, making for a tough opening week. He hopes to be in the lineup on Monday night … Pitcher Luke Weaver, who had to leave his opening night start at Memphis after two innings with an apparent injury to either his wrist or hand, was placed on the seven-day DL on Sunday. A corresponding roster move was not announced … The Cardinals are expected to activate Trevor Rosenthal from the DL in time for Monday night’s game, with Sam Tuivailala likely returning to Memphis … Tyler Lyons expects to make his second rehab start on Wednesday in Memphis.

Looking ahead: The Cardinals start their first road trip of the season on Monday night in Washington against the Nationals, whom they played eight times in spring training. Adam Wainwright will start against Tanner Roark. After the three games in Washington the Cardinals will head to New York for three games against the Yankees next weekend.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains