ST. LOUIS (AP) - The cheers picked up when Allen Craig's gaudy numbers in the clutch flashed on the Busch Stadium scoreboard.
Can't win `em all.
The St. Louis Cardinals' cleanup man had two hits but also twice tapped into inning-ending groundouts to strand four runners against Mat Latos in a 2-1 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Monday night.
Craig is now 7 for 13 with runners in scoring position and two outs, and was just part of the problem given the Cardinals stranded 10 runners overall.
``Against a guy like that you've got to take advantage of those opportunities and it just didn't' work out,' Craig said. ``I just wasn't good enough today. I don't look at those stats, I just try to get the job done every time.'
Latos outpitched Adam Wainwright, extending his scoreless innings streak to 17, and the Reds got an RBI apiece from Joey Votto and Xavier Paul.
Aroldis Chapman worked a perfect ninth for his sixth save in six chances, finishing off only the third road victory in 11 games for the Reds and handing St. Louis its third straight loss.
Yadier Molina had three of the Cardinals' seven hits, including an RBI double off Jonathan Broxton that produced their first run in 17 innings. The Cardinals entered with a major league-leading .355 average with runners in scoring position.
``We were expecting that big hit, especially when we got to two outs,' manager Mike Matheny said. ``Those were the things we've been doing this season and kind of counting on it happening, and didn't have it tonight.'
They didn't have it Sunday, either, in a 9-0 loss to Pittsburgh - but Matheny thought it was just a slump.
``I don't see a theme,' he said. ``Guys are going about it the right way. We started cranking out some at_bats in the eighth and that's a little bit late. You saw their guys doing it from the top.'
Wainwright (4-2) trailed just six pitches in after Shin-Soo Choo doubled on his first offering, advanced on a sacrifice and scored on Votto's single. Over his final six innings, the right-hander gave up three hits and one run on Paul's broken-bat forceout grounder in the fourth set up by hits from Brandon Phillips and Todd Frazier.
``The first inning I really threw only one bad pitch,' Wainwright said. ``I feel behind a couple guys but had a feeling Choo was swinging first pitch. That's good, that's a first-pitch out if you execute your pitch, and I just didn't execute.'
Wainwright walked two, one intentionally, after issuing just one in 37 1-3 innings his first five starts.
Latos (2-0) worked around five hits and three walks in his sixth quality start in as many outings this season. The Reds have scored just four runs in his last three appearances.
The Cardinals had two base runners in an inning four times against Latos.
NOTES: Jaime Garcia (2-1, 2.89 ERA) has eight wins over the Reds - double that of any other opponent - entering Tuesday's start against Bronson Arroyo (2-2, 4.24). Arroyo is 8-14 against the Cardinals and has lost his last two starts, including a 5-1 loss on April 9 in St. Louis. ... Carlos Beltran did not start a day after being taken out of the game with flu-like symptoms, but flied out as a pinch hitter in the eighth and is expected to play Tuesday. ... Molina is 2 for 2 on steals after catching Latos napping and taking third without a play in the fourth. ... David Freese is in an 0-for-16 slump that has dropped his average to .163 after failing to get the ball out of the infield in four at_bats. Daniel Descalso also is hitless in 16 at_bats after a pinch-hit groundout in the seventh.
The Associated Press News Service
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