- Associated Press - Saturday, April 16, 2016

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Adam Wainwright is confident he’ll come around. Three starts in, though, the results are ugly.

The St. Louis Cardinals ace has an 8.27 ERA after blowing a four-run lead in a 9-8 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday. He let a three-run cushion slip away in his previous start.

“I’m not going to sugarcoat it and tell you I’m great and that guys are just getting lucky,” Wainwright said after giving up seven runs in 5 1/3 innings. “No. I’m throwing the ball in the middle of the plate and they’re crushing it.”

Wainwright (0-2) retired his first eight batters before Reds starter Brandon Finnegan (1-0) singled with two outs in the third. The two-time 20-game winner has yet to recapture his form after missing most of last year with a torn left Achilles, and though he trusts all his pitches, too many have been hittable.

“They’re just not doing what they’re supposed to do, and what they will do and they’re going to do,” Wainwright said.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny sees positives, such as good velocity and swings and misses on breaking balls. Wainwright noted he got more groundouts this time, too.

For now, that’ll have to do.

“That’s not the first time he’s not been exactly where he wants to be,” Matheny said. “He demands a lot of himself and he’ll get it right. I know right now he’s frustrated.”

Brandon Phillips, Zack Cozart and Jay Bruce had two RBIs apiece for the Reds.

Stephen Piscotty had four RBIs for St. Louis, and his three-run homer made it 4-0 in the second inning.

“You know, it wasn’t a bad pitch,” Finnegan said. “It was low, he went down and got it and hit it well. Not going to be the last time I throw a good pitch and someone hits it out.”

J.J. Hoover allowed a two-run homer to Brandon Moss before finishing for his first save. The Cardinals had crept closer with runs in the sixth and seventh.

“The guys were driving the ball, putting together big at-bats,” Matheny said. “I like everything we’re doing offensively and we just need to keep doing it.”

The Reds tied it on Phillips’ RBI double in the fifth and got RBI doubles from Eugenio Suarez and Phillips in a four-run sixth that made it 8-4. Cozart had three hits and two RBIs, and Bruce hit his third homer off Jonathan Broxton in the ninth to put the Reds up by three.

Cincinnati tied a franchise record with nine doubles, also accomplished May 19, 1999, at Colorado. That total tied for the most at 11-year-old Busch Stadium, with the Cardinals doing it against the Cubs on July 21, 2012.

Finnegan gave up four runs in five innings, none of them earned due to center fielder Scott Schebler’s error in the second.


Suarez made a diving catch on Piscotty’s liner down the third base line to save two runs in the fourth. Jedd Gyorko made two nice plays at second base, robbing Joey Votto of a hit with the infield in in the fifth and snaring Devin Mesoraco’s liner in the ninth.


Reds: LHP John Lamb (back surgery) was sent to Triple-A Louisville on a rehab assignment and scheduled to start against Toledo. … RHP Homer Bailey (elbow surgery) was scheduled to work three innings at the player development complex in Goodyear, Arizona.


Reds: RHP Jon Moscot is scheduled to come off the 15-day DL from a strained left intercostal muscle Sunday to make his fourth career appearance in the series finale.

Cardinals: RHP Michael Wacha won the home opener with six scoreless innings on Monday against Milwaukee. For his career, he’s 7-2 with a 2.60 ERA in April.

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