Reds' bullpen can't hold winning line for Reed

Rookie still looking for first victory despite strong outing vs. Cards

Reds' bullpen can't hold winning line for Reed

ST.LOUIS -- As reliever Tony Cingrani took the mound in the ninth inning with the Reds holding a four-run lead, rookie starter Cody Reed almost certainly thought he was on the brink of his first Major League win.

Two pitching changes, 10 at-bats and five runs later, Reed took a no-decision after the Cardinals rallied for a 5-4 walk-off victory on Monday night at Busch Stadium.

Cincinnati is 0-9 in Reed's starts this season, though it was his most constructive outing to date. Reed threw his first scoreless start over six innings -- yielding a career-low four hits. His performance marked a complete turnaround from an appearance on Thursday against the Cardinals, when he gave up five runs on eight hits in five innings.

"Threw my two-seam a lot more so that really helped, and really got some ground balls," Reed said. "My changeup was really effective to get some fly balls, so mixing those back and forth really helped."

Reed, the club's No. 7 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com entering the season, had allowed at least four runs in seven of his first eight starts. He also got himself out of tough situations on Monday, stranding the Cardinals without a run despite having seven chances with runners in scoring position.

"I thought Tucker [Barnhart] did a great job of getting him to utilize his slider and changeup when he was behind in the count," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "He made some good pitches. He was able to throw some two-strike sliders, some 3-2 sliders, some backdoor called third strikes to end innings and squash rallies."

Reed also didn't yield a run in the first inning on Monday after he gave up 13 over his previous eight starts. Price also let Reed go out for the sixth inning with 87 pitches to face the heart of the Cardinals' order in Matt Holliday, Brandon Moss and Yadier Molina.

"I think it helped that we were up 4-0, wasn't going to hurt if I got out at that point," Reed said. "Definitely a confidence thing for him to leave me in there and let me go out for the sixth."

Despite his performance, Reed is still chasing that first win after the Reds lost for just the second time when taking a leading into the ninth inning.

"It would be nice to be celebrating his first win than a tough loss here," Price said. "But we'll shoot to get his first win next time out."

Nick Krueger is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Louis. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.