Bailey bitten by home run ball in rubber-game loss

After four shutout frames, Reds starter allows trio of Cardinals homers

Bailey bitten by home run ball in rubber-game loss

ST. LOUIS -- It didn't matter how many runs the Reds scored in the series opener vs. the Cardinals -- that still counted as just one win. The team's history at Busch Stadium indicated getting a series victory was no gimme.

What began as a promising outing by starter Homer Bailey went askew as the Cardinals' bats and starter Jake Westbrook's complete game equaled a 10-0 shutout over the Reds on Wednesday afternoon.

"I was hoping this would be different, especially after the first night," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

Cincinnati was held to one combined run over the past two games and was scoreless in the past 14 innings. That was in stark contrast from Monday's 13-4 win, which was capped by a nine-run top of the ninth inning.

After back-to-back series wins at home vs. the Angels and Nationals, the Reds' first road series goes into the loss column. Since 2003, they are 3-23-2 in the 28 previous series at St. Louis.

"Their pitching shut us down," Baker said. "[Lance] Lynn was tough last night, and Westbrook was tough today. Anytime you get a good-pitched game like that back-to-back, it makes it tough to score runs and makes it tough to beat the opposition."

Bailey had his own momentum coming into the day after he allowed just 10 runs over the final 48 2/3 regular-season innings last season and tossed six scoreless innings in his 2013 debut vs. Washington.

Bailey needed just 14 pitches over the first two innings, including a brisk six-pitch second inning. But with two outs in the fifth, St. Louis suddenly pounced. Jon Jay hit an 0-1 pitch just out of Shin-Soo Choo's reach over the center-field wall for a solo homer. It snapped Bailey's 23 2/3 regular-season scoreless innings streak, going back to 2012. After a Matt Carpenter single and Matt Holliday's RBI double to left field, Carlos Beltran hit a 2-1 pitch to right field for a two-run homer and a 4-0 Cardinals lead.

"We rolled through them pretty quick, and then just that one inning, they started seeing the ball really well," Bailey said.

St. Louis picked it back up in the sixth, as Bailey was unable to record an out. Matt Adams deposited a 1-2 pitch into the right-field seats for a two-run homer. Bailey's day was finished after Pete Kozma lined a ball off of Bailey's ankle that ricocheted into left field for a double.

"I didn't really come out of the game because of my foot," Bailey said. "It was because of me giving up the rockets that haven't really landed yet."

Bailey allowed seven runs on nine hits over five-plus innings with three walks and two strikeouts.

Freshly recalled from Double-A Pensacola, reliever Logan Ondrusek recorded two outs before Carpenter hit a 3-0 pitch to the first row in center field, making it 8-0.

"These are the teams that we have to beat in order for us to put ourselves in good shape," Beltran said. "It's early in the year, but Cincinnati is a good team. It felt good to be able to go out there and win the series against them."

Westbook never let up on the Reds' lineup, which collected just five hits -- four coming with two outs. He walked four, hit a batter and struck out three.

Cincinnati often swung early in counts. Even with a four-pitch walk to Devin Mesoraco in the fifth, Westbrook needed just eight pitches to finish the inning.

"There were some misses on our part and some good sinking pitches on his part," said Reds first baseman Joey Votto, who was 2-for-3 with a walk. "It was a perfect storm of a complete-game shutout. You need a little bit of luck, you need some skill and that's exactly what happened today. I thought he threw fantastic, competed well, and I wasn't particularly surprised by that because he definitely has that capability."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.