Game Report: Reds 2, Cardinals 1

By Rob Rains

The Cardinals have had more than a few frustrating losses this season, but Wednesday night might rank near the top of the list.

Three times in the final four innings they had the potential tying run on third base and could not get him home. They were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left six runners on second or third in the game.

“Missed opportunities, that’s the way to look at it,” said manager Mike Matheny. “When you have that many chances to score, that hurts … It’s baseball. There are just going to be times when it doesn’t happen. Tonight was one of those times.”

It could not have come at a worse time for the Cardinals, with the season coming to a rapid conclusion and the Cardinals still on the outside of a playoff spot, perhaps watching it slip away. They remained 1 game behind the Giants for the second wild-card spot after the Giants lost 2-0 to the Rockies. Both teams have four games left in the regular season.

  Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: The Cardinals’ only run scored when Matt Adams, pinch-hitting in the fifth inning, grounded into a double play after Aledmys Diaz had reached third with nobody out … Brandon Moss struck out to end the sixth with runners on second and third; Stephen Piscotty struck out and Jhonny Peralta grounded out in the eighth when they had runners on second and third, and after Kolten Wong led off the ninth with a triple, Diaz grounded out, Greg Garcia flied out and pinch-hitter Jedd Gyorko grounded out … Moss is now 7-for-95 since Aug. 27.

On the mound: Mike Leake saw his record since July 29 fall to 1-4 as he has won only one of his last nine starts (he has four no-decisions). Both of the Reds’ runs scored on a bloop single by Adam Duvall with two outs in the third … Duvall also led off the eighth with a triple off Randal Grichuk’s glove off Kevin Siegrist, but Seung Hwan Oh came in to strike out the final two hitters of the inning … The Reds also left a runner on third in the ninth when Zach Duke retired Joey Votto on a fly to left.

Key stats: The loss was the 43rd of the season at home for the Cardinals, the most since they lost 47 games at home in 1990 … They saw their record fall to 13-31 when they do not hit a homer, and when they hit either 1 or no homers at home, they are 15-35 this season. When they hit two or more homers at home, they are 19-8.

Of note: The Cardinals had tied their longest streak of the season for consecutive errorless games at five before Garcia was charged with two errors, one throwing and one fielding … The Cardinals used the same lineup for the second consecutive game for the fifth time this season. They have never used the same lineup in three consecutive games this season … Further research on Wednesday found that Tuesday night was the first time in franchise history the Cardinals had hit for the home run cycle at home, hitting a solo homer, 2-run and 3-run homers and a grand slam … In his first at-bat in the Instructional League, Tim Tebow of the Mets homered off Cards prospect John Kilichowski, pitched this year at State College and Peoria. That was Tebow’s only hit in six at-bats.

Looking ahead: Alex Reyes will make the start on Thursday night in the final game of the series against the Reds’ Dan Straily. It is a 6:15 p.m. game.