This 7-5 Cincinnati Reds loss to St. Louis at Busch Stadium proved extra unfortunate because the lineup provided leads of 4-0 through two innings and 5-4 through the fifth. Neither one held up as Cincinnati dropped the first two games of the three-game series.
“We’ve had a couple of games where we’ve been able to score some runs. We just haven’t been able to hold the opponent down,” Price said. “I just saw some better things offensively. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to take advantage of the lead and maintain it.”
“I catch that. I should. I expect to,” Jay Bruce said. “I just jumped a tad early. Error or not, it’s a ball I should have caught. I take a lot of pride in defense and that side of the game.”
The Reds (2-6) are 1-4 on the current road trip with one game left to play.
“Across the board, we just need to get better,” Reds starter Homer Bailey said.
Before Tuesday’s game, Price had his four best hitters, Bruce, Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Ryan Ludwick, in his office for a chat
“It was just a conversation, not a motivational gung-ho speech or anything,” Price said.
Like the first showdown vs. Lynn, Bailey did not hold the lead and it came apart in a four-run Cardinals second that brought nine to the plate. The inning started with Yadier Molina’s homer to left field. After a second run scored, Kolten Wong’s two-run triple to right field made it a 4-4 game.
“Tonight I definitely felt like I deserved a loss,” Bailey said. “I guess you can always say, ‘It’s still early,’ but every single game counts. We’re just in a bad knoll right now. It seems like when we hit, we don’t pitch. When we pitch, we don’t hit. It’s kind of the way things have been going right now.”
The Reds’ tough times in St. Louis continue. Now that the Cardinals have taken the first two games of the three-game series, Cincinnati is 3-26-2 in series at Busch Stadium since 2003 .
“They’ve been good against us here, in St. Louis in particular, taking advantage of RBI opportunities,” Price said. “They got some guys in scoring position and did what they’ve done the last couple of years and drove them in. We couldn’t avoid the big inning. If there’s been a nemesis for us, against this team in particular in St. Louis, it’s been avoiding the big inning.
“We have to make better pitches. We have to play a better game all the way around.”