Wainwright frustrated, confident he'll regain form

Cardinals ace 0-2 with 8.27 ERA in three starts

Wainwright frustrated, confident he'll regain form

ST. LOUIS -- Adam Wainwright's frustration with his performance on the field, and some of the criticism off of it, was evident Saturday after he struggled once again.

"I don't care what all those Twitter people out there calling for my retirement and all that, and I don't know how many times I have to tell people to relax, because you pitch a few games like this you don't deserve to tell them to relax," Wainwright said.

"What I will and can say is I will come out of this, and I will be a very, very good pitcher. I'm just not there right now."

After a Stephen Piscotty three-run homer in the second staked the Cardinals to a 4-0 lead, Wainwright, for the second straight start, couldn't hold on to the lead, as the Reds rallied for a 9-8 win.

Piscotty's three-run home run

The Reds scored two runs in the both fourth and fifth innings and three more off of the right-hander in the sixth.

"I was given another big lead, and I blew it again," Wainwright said. "But the only way I can look at it in a positive light is the first three or four innings I was pretty crisp, and I need to draw off of that."

Wainwright lasted just 5 1/3 innings. Five of the 10 hits against him were doubles, including two by Brandon Phillips.

Phillips' RBI double ties game

"He came out early and had a six-pitch inning, and you could that he's getting some swings and misses on the breaking ball," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "It's just going to be location on everything. That's what this game's all about."

Wainwright has struggled to find his form after missing most of 2015 due to a torn left Achilles he suffered last April 25 at Milwaukee. He took the loss on Opening Day at Pittsburgh, giving up three runs in six innings, and he couldn't hold on to a 4-1 lead his second time out in Atlanta, getting a no decision in a 12-7 Cardinals win.

Wainwright hasn't won a game since April 19, 2015 when he gave up one run in eight innings in a 2-1 win against the Reds.

"Listen, you throw the ball down the middle of the plate, these big league hitters will punish you for it," Wainwright said. "I've made more mistakes these first three games than I have entire seasons I feel like. The only way I'm not going to come out of this is if I get down on myself and start pouting around about it."

The Reds' nine doubles tied for the most for one team in a game in Busch Stadium III history, equaling the mark set by the Cardinals against the Cubs on July 21, 2012.

Piscotty had a pair of hits including the homer and drove in four. Aledmys Diaz reached safely three times, had two hits and scored a pair of runs, while Brandon Moss had a pair of hits including his third homer in the past four games.

Joe Harris is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.