Cards extend streak to 22 games with HR

Cards extend streak to 22 games with HR

CINCINNATI -- Blessing or curse?

Jedd Gyorko's first-inning home run in Saturday's 9-1 loss to the Reds at Great American Ball Park allowed the Cardinals to extend their franchise-record streak of hitting homers to 22 consecutive games. During that span, however, the Cardinals are 11-11, and Saturday's setback was their third consecutive loss -- bad timing for a club seeking a sixth consecutive trip to the postseason.

Manager Mike Matheny said he doesn't believe things have deteriorated to the point that his hitters are spending nine innings waiting for the long ball.

"A home run is a good way to be able to produce offense," Matheny said, "but it's not like we're sitting there striking out or popping up all game. When you take that many walks [eight on Saturday], you know guys are putting together good at-bats. We've just got to keep going."

Gyorko's long drive to the left-field seats on the first pitch from Cincinnati right-hander Dan Straily kept alive a streak that began against the Reds on Aug. 9.

"We have to be able to put together a big inning and string together hits," Matheny said.

The previous club record was 19 consecutive games, set in 2006 and passed Wednesday when Yadier Molina went deep. Molina and Randal Grichuk each hit solo shots Friday to extend the streak to 21 games.

St. Louis, which has 192 total homers after Gyorko's Saturday blast, is chasing the team's single-season record of 235, set by the 2000 club that included sluggers Jim Edmonds, Mark McGwire and Ray Lankford.

The longest streak in baseball history, 27, was set by the 2002 Rangers.

Andy Call is a contributor for MLB.com based in Cincinnati. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.