Reds 6, Cardinals 3

It was a day of firsts for several Cincinnati Reds hitters. And

another day to forget for Adam Wainwright.

Brandon Phillips homered for his first RBI of the season and

Drew Stubbs homered for his first extra-base hit Thursday as the

Reds backed soft-tossing Bronson Arroyo’s eight innings and broke

loose for a 6-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals that averted a

three-game sweep.

”It’s been so long since we played a game like that,” manager

Dusty Baker said. ”I’m just glad our offense got clicking.”

Ryan Ludwick also homered for the Reds, who had connected just

once in their previous nine games and began the day with a .211

batting average.

The Reds picked on Wainwright (0-3), a 20-game winner in 2010

coming off reconstructive elbow surgery that sidelined him all of

2011.

Wainwright is winless in his first three decisions for the first

time in his career. He allowed multiple home runs in consecutive

starts for just the second time ever.

”His velocity is a little bit down,” Ludwick said. ”I feel

like we were able to take advantage of it a little bit and in that

scenario, you’ve got to. When he’s on, when he gets back to 100

percent, he’s one of those guys that sometimes you’re lucky to get

one run against.”

Though he said it was a ”valid question” to ask whether the

comeback had been a lot tougher than he had anticipated, Wainwright

added, ”I’m just in a funk.”

”You can say whatever you want to about surgery and all that,”

he said. ”My arm feels fine, I’m just not throwing great.”

Wainwright allowed four runs in five innings, leaving him with a

9.88 ERA. He thought his fastball had more life and that his

curveball also was improved, but ”my cutter was brutal, and that’s

what both home runs were on.”

Phillips hit his first homer since Sept. 20 against the Astros,

a span of 53 at-bats, and earned his first RBI in 40 at-bats.

Stubbs was 3 for 5 and the homer was his first extra-base hit in 50

at-bats.

Ludwick’s two-run homer was the Reds’ second in a span of three

at-bats in the fourth. Stubbs hit his first off Victor Marte in the

seventh.

Matt Holliday’s three-run homer in the sixth was the only damage

against Arroyo (1-0), who struck out five and walked none while

scattering five hits. Arroyo threw just 90 pitches.

”He doesn’t throw any fastballs on fastball counts,” Holliday

said. ”He mixes it up, slow, slow and slower, and then he’ll sneak

his fastball in there. He had us off-balance.”

Joey Votto added an RBI single in the Reds ninth off Fernando

Salas. Sean Marshall struck out the side after allowing a leadoff

hit in the ninth for his second save in second chances.

Cardinals center fielder Jon Jay left after the seventh with a

sprained right shoulder after bumping into the wall trying to snare

Stubbs’ homer. Jay said X-rays showed no significant damage and

said he was day to day.

”I was about to make my jump and just miscalculated my steps,”

Jay said. ”It’s not too bad. Tomorrow is going to be a bigger

day.”

Earlier Thursday, general manager John Mozeliak said first

baseman Lance Berkman would be placed on the 15-day disabled list

with a left calf injury. The Cardinals plan on activating

utilityman Skip Schumaker from the 15-day disabled list from a

pulled right side muscle sustained in spring training.

”If you can’t run, you can’t play,” Berkman said after the

game. ”It’s not really that tough of a decision.”

Phillips got his RBI with one out in the third, Jay Bruce

followed with a single and Ludwick hit the next pitch beyond the

visitor’s bullpen.

Arroyo allowed two hits the first five innings, but the

Cardinals opened the sixth with three straight hits. Rafael Furcal

and Jay singled before Holliday, who had been 3 for 26 on the

homestand, hit his third homer to cut the deficit to 4-3.

The NL Central-leading Cardinals are 9-4. A sweep over the Reds

would have given the franchise its best start to the season since

it was 13-3 in 1982, a World Series title year.

NOTES: The Reds are 3-21-2 in 26 series in St. Louis since the

start of 2003. … RHP Homer Bailey (0-2, 5.40) starts for the Reds

in the opener of a three-game series at Chicago on Friday. St.

Louis’ Lance Lynn (2-0, 1.50) makes his fifth career start at

Pittsburgh. … Wainwright previous allowed homers in consecutive

starts May 5 and 10, 2009, surrendering two each against the

Phillies at home and at Cincinnati. … Marshall has seven

strikeouts in 4 1-3 innings. … Rafael Furcal had two hits for the

Cardinals and is 6 for 10 the last two games.