Cards not concerned with slow offensive start

After being shut out twice in Reds series, club remains confident

Cards not concerned with slow offensive start

ST. LOUIS -- It's six games.

That was the familiar refrain from the St. Louis Cardinals' clubhouse, and in particular infielder Jedd Gyorko, following Sunday's 8-0 loss to the visiting Reds, which dropped the Cardinals to 2-4 on the young season.

The Cardinals scored 14 runs in their two wins and just five runs in their four losses. They were shut out Friday, scored 10 runs Saturday, and were shut out again Sunday by the Reds' trio of Scott Feldman (1-1), Blake Wood and Tony Cingrani.

"After coming off a good game [Saturday] we were just hopeful that would be kind of the key to spark a good long roll," manager Mike Matheny said, "but just had trouble getting anything going today."

Through six games, the Cardinals are hitting .208 as a team with 11 extra-base hits. They are slugging .297 with a .316 OBP.

"It's six games," Gyorko said. "Obviously you want to get off to a good start, but we're not stressing, pressuring over it. It's six games. We've got a long way to go."

The Cardinals managed just six hits Sunday, including four in six innings against Feldman, and only one baserunner, Matt Carpenter, reached third base.

"We pitched two shutouts here," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "Not only is that unlikely, but to come in here and be able to do that and extract two wins is a big deal for us in the early start of a season."

The Cardinals, who now head on the road for three games against the Nationals and three games against the Yankees, need to get some of their key hitters going.

Center field Dexter Fowler, signed in the offseason to set the table as the leadoff hitter, is hitting .174 (4-for-23). First baseman Carpenter, now the team's No. 3 batter, is hitting .150 (3-for-20).

The team has used four players in the cleanup spot -- third baseman Jhonny Peralta and first baseman-outfielder Matt Adams twice, catcher Yadier Molina and right fielder Stephen Piscotty once each -- and those players have combined to hit .200 (4-for-20) in that spot with one extra-base hit and three RBIs.

"Whether it's fourth, fifth, sixth, somebody in there is going to have an opportunity to have a big night for us," Matheny said. "We're going to look day to day and if something looks really good, we roll with it. I'd love to roll one lineup out there 162 times. We'll see what it looks like each day and how everybody feels. Just knowing that 162 of the same isn't possible. But I'd like to see some consistency, I know our guys would too, but we just have to keep searching until we find that really good rhythm and then ride it as long as we can."

The Cardinals haven't found any consistency offensively through the first six games of the season, but maintain they are confident that will come.

"We're a good lineup," Gyorko said. "We know we are. But six games, we didn't swing the bats that well. We know what we're capable of doing. We just have to go out and get hot. One guy getting on, leading to another guy and keeping the line moving. We'll be fine."

Nate Latsch is a contributor to MLB.com, based in St. Louis. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.