Game Report: Reds 3, Cardinals 2

In this year filled with inconsistencies for the Cardinals, there so far have been at least a couple of facts the team can rely on.

They can’t beat the Reds in Cincinnati, and Mike Leake can’t beat his former team anywhere.

The loss Friday night dropped the Cardinals to 0-5 in Cincinnati, the first time the Cardinals have lost five consecutive games on the road to the Reds since 2003. Leake suffered the loss, which dropped him to 0-5 in his career against the Reds, and the Cardinals have lost all seven of his starts over the last two years.

Joey Votto drove In two of the Reds’ runs to continue to torment the Cardinals. His 2-of-4 night increased his average to .429 (18-of-42) with 11 RBIs in 11 games against the Cardinals this season.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: The Cardinals have scored two or fewer runs in six of their last eight games and over their last 74 innings have only had two multi-run innings, scoring three runs once and two runs another time … Their only runs Friday night came on an RBI single by Leake in the third, following a triple by Greg Garcia, and in the eighth on an RBI single by Carson Kelly, making only his second start since July 22 … Kelly’s hit pulled the Cardinals within 3-2 but the threat died when Randal Grichuk took a called third strike with the bases loaded … Paul DeJong was back in the third spot after a day off and had a pair of singles, snapping an 0-of-16 streak … The Cardinals also stranded two runners in both the seventh and ninth innings.

On the mound: Leake lost for the fourth time in his last six starts. He gave up eight hits in his six innings, three consecutive hits in the first and five hits in the fifth, when the Reds scored twice, had a runner thrown out at the plate and stranded two runners.

Key stat: The loss dropped the Cardinals’ combined record against NL Central opponents to 18-28. In addition to being 3-8 against the Reds, they are 4-8 against the Cubs and 6-8 against the Brewers. The only opponent they have a winning record against is the Pirates at 5-4.

Worth noting: With Jedd Gyorko out of the starting lineup, Stephen Piscotty hit cleanup and went 0-of-4. The Cardinals have one RBI out of the cleanup spot in their last 13 games … The Cardinals brought Sam Tuivailala back from Memphis again before the game, giving them nine relievers on the roster. He got the final out in the eighth inning, retiring Adam Duvall on a lineout to third … Luke Weaver was sent back to Memphis, which clears the way for Adam Wainwright to return to the rotation but the Cardinals will have to make another roster move to bring him off the DL.

Looking ahead: The Cardinals will try to snap the five-game losing streak in Cincinnati on Saturday behind Lance Lynn. Luis Castillo is scheduled to start for the Reds.