Despite Homer Bailey making his 2015 debut, the Reds (5-6) lost their third game in a row and were defeated for the sixth time in seven games, dropping below .500 for the first time all season. The loss means Cincinnati still hasn’t claimed a series victory in St. Louis since September of 2011.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (5-6) 2 9 1
St. Louis Cardinals (7-3) 5 10 0
W: Martinez (1-0) L: Bailey (0-1) S: Rosenthal (4)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Arms

*Bailey’s final line: 5.2 innings pitched, nine hits, five runs (all earned), three walks and zero strikeouts. With two outs in the sixth inning, Bryan Price left Bailey one batter too long and Matt Carpenter clubbed his second hit of the day off Bailey for a two-run double, pushing the Cardinals’ advantage to 5-1. By leaving Bailey in, Price essentially gave his middle relievers a vote of no confidence. The fact that Bailey was making his first start since Aug. 7 makes Price’s call to let Bailey face Carpenter even worse. Bailey failed to fan a batter in a start for the first time since Sept. 23, 2009.

*Manny Parra relieved Bailey and got the only out he was asked to get. Kevin Gregg came in for the seventh and recorded a 1-2-3 inning, the first time in five appearances this season he did not permit at least one run to score. Jumbo Diaz pitched a scoreless eighth, dancing around a hit and an error by Brandon Phillips.

*As for the Cardinals, Carlos Martinez notched his second straight quality start against the Reds, logging six innings of one-run, three-hit ball. The right-hander struck out four and walked two. Last Sunday at Great American Ball Park, Martinez went six innings allowing two runs and punching out eight.

*Seth Maness supplanted Martinez and was knocked around a bit, ceding four hits and a run in 1.2 innings. After Randy Choate allowed a hit to the only batter he faced, Jordan Walden came in and retired Marlon Byrd with runners on first and second and two outs in the eighth.

*With runners on second and third and two outs in the ninth, Trevor Rosenthal struck out Joey Votto looking to complete his fourth save.

The Bats

*Zack Cozart’s solo home run in the top of the fifth was his first home run since Sept. 20, 2014. Cozart added singles in the seventh and eighth, and is slashing .368/.415/.526 this season.

*Phillips’ single in the eighth plated pinch runner Kristopher Negron.

*Jay Bruce’s opposite-field single in the eighth snapped an 0-for-11 skid.

*Carpenter, Matt Adams and Yadier Molina each notched two hits. Adams tallied a run-scoring hit in the first. Molina doubled in a run in the third inning.

*Jason Heyward smacked his first homer as a Cardinal in the third. It was a solo shot to right-center.

The Rest

*The Reds made some nice plays defensively. Cozart made a diving stop and throw to rob Adams of a hit in the seventh. Votto saved a run in the bottom of the fourth when he snagged a tough grounder from Martinez with runners on first and third and two outs. Phillips made a diving stop on a Peter Bourjos liner to end the third.

*Billy Hamilton left the game in the eighth inning with an apparent leg injury after beating out an infield single. Hamilton, who broke an 0-for-14 streak with the base knock, has already missed a game with a sore finger.

*After scoring a run in the first inning, Matt Holliday left the game with mid-back tightness.

*Chris Welsh made a mention of this in the eighth inning during the FS Ohio telecast, but the Reds look flat right now.

*Pete Rose is reportedly joining FOX as an analyst.

Up Next

In the series finale tomorrow, the Cardinals host the Reds on Sunday Night Baseball. Adam Wainwright, who has limited batters to 1-for-23 with runners in scoring position this season, gets the ball for St. Louis. (Hat tip to for that stat nugget.) Mike Leake, who has yielded seven earned runs and 12 hits in 12.2 innings this season, starts for Cincinnati.