Game Report: Rays 7, Cardinals 3

By the time Michael Wacha recorded his 10th – and final – out Friday night, he had allowed nine hits and four runs and the Cardinals were headed to another loss at Busch Stadium.

The Rays finished with 16 hits in handing the Cardinals their fifth loss in their last six games and third in four games during the current homestand.

The Cardinals have lost six of their last seven games against Tampa and have not defeated the Rays in St. Louis since 2008.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: The Cardinals were limited to five hits, two coming in the first three batters of the game, which led to their first run on a sacrifice fly by Dexter Fowler … Kolten Wong hit his third homer of the year in the fourth inning … The Cardinals had only two at-bats in the game with a runner in scoring position, with their other run also scoring on a sacrifice fly, from Yadier Molina in the third inning.

On the mound: Wacha lost his third consecutive start and in all three he has failed to go more than five innings. He left with one out in the fourth and a runner on first, who later scored with Zach Duke on the mound … Ryan Sherriff made his major-league debut and worked three scoreless innings, allowing two hits and walking one while striking out four … The final two Rays runs scored in the ninth inning off Brett Cecil.

Key stat: Since their eight-game winning streak, the Cardinals have gone 3-8 and are back to 4 ½ games behind the Cubs in the NL Central. The loss dropped them back to the .500 for the season at 64-64.

Worth noting:
Tommy Pham was not in the lineup because of a sore foot, but was able to pinch-hit and singled in the seventh … Sherriff was the first Cardinals’ reliever to pitch three scoreless innings in his major-league debut since Jose Jimenez on Sept. 9, 1998 … The nine-inning game lasted 3 hours, 38 minutes.

Looking ahead: Despite his recent struggles, Mike Leake will get another start in the 6:15 p.m. game on Saturday while Blake Snell will start for the Rays.