The Cardinals came close to an impressive comeback, but fell one run short in a 6-5 loss to the Reds at Busch Stadium Wednesday. St. Louis starting pitcher Mark Mulder suffered his second loss and dropped to 0-2 by allowing all—each of them came with two outs.
Centerfielder Jim Edmonds was the first to score with a solo home run in the second inning. It was his third long ball of the season. But Cincinnati bounced back with RBI singles from D’Angelo Jiminez and former Kansas City Royal Joe Randa in the top of the third. Randa’s infield single scored Jiminez in the fifth inning to make it 3-1 Cincinnati. Later in the inning Austin Kearns blasted Mulder with a three-run homer extend the Reds’ lead to 6-1.
Reggie Sanders lifted his home run total to four, by nailing a three run shot in the bottom of the sixth, to cut the lead to 6-4. It stayed that way until the bottom of the ninth, when David Eckstein hit a ground rule double to score So Taguchi. Hector Luna also raced across home plate, but the umpires ruled that he needed to go back to third base. Larry Walker was intentionally walked to load the bases, which gave Cardinal fans a situation they dream about: Bases loaded, one out, Albert Pujols at the plate. Those dreams were quickly shattered, when Pujols grounded into a double play to end the game.
Back up infielder Abraham Nunez had to leave the game in the ninth inning with a broken rib after a hard slide by the Reds’ Ryan Freel. Third baseman Scott Rolen continued to struggle on Wednesday, going 0-for-4. He’s hitting .167 this season.