ST. LOUIS (AP) - Chris Carpenter of the St. Louis Cardinals felt he made only one bad pitch in the second inning of Friday night's 11-8 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.
But when he left the mound at the end of the inning, he had faced 10 men and surrendered five runs. That left his team in a 5-0 hole and in an uphill battle.
``I hung a curveball to (Brandon) Phillips,' Carpenter said. ``Besides that, all the other pitches were good pitches.'
But in a bottom-line business, Carpenter said that all that mattered is the win.
``I didn't pitch well enough to give our guys a chance,' said Carpenter, who entered the game with a 7-1 record with 52 strikeouts against the Reds the past two seasons. ``Offensively, the guys did a great job.'
The Cardinals battled back to tie the game 5-5, but never took the lead.
``We had eight but we had a chance for bigger innings,' St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said. ``We had opportunities to do more and we gave up extra runs that were preventable.'
Juan Francisco hit a three-run homer and drove in five runs, and Yonder Alonso had a two-run homer and scored three runs for the Reds. Todd Frazier added a pinch-hit, solo home run for Cincinnati.
``The young guys did a great job for us,' Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said. ``I'm just glad we had that lead, because sooner or later he (Carpenter) is going to settle down. Tony stuck with him and he settled down.'
Carpenter was at a loss to explain the big inning, which has hurt him at times this year.
``I have no idea,' Carpenter said. ``I continue to try and execute. I continue to try and make pitches. I feel like I do at times and it just hasn't worked out. This was a big game for us and I wasn't able to do what I needed to do.'
Jose Arredondo (4-4) allowed a solo homer in one inning of work but got the win. Phillips, Edgar Renteria and Jay Bruce drove in the other runs for the Reds.
Reliever Marc Rzepczynski (0-1) started the seventh for the Cardinals in a 6-6 game and got Joey Votto to ground out to lead off the inning. But Bruce singled to left and Alonso followed with his fourth homer to make it 8-6.
After the Cardinals cut it to 8-7 on an RBI single by Rafael Furcal in the eighth, Francisco gave the Reds plenty of insurance with a two-out, three-run shot off reliever Kyle McClellan in the ninth.
Furcal and David Freese each had a solo home run and an RBI single for St. Louis, and Jon Jay was 2 for 3 with two runs scored. Matt Holliday added a solo homer in the ninth off Francisco Cordero.
After spotting the Reds the 5-0 lead, the Cardinals began pecking away at Cincinnati starter Johnny Cueto, getting two runs in the bottom of the second on an RBI single by Freese and Yadier Molina's fielder's choice. St. Louis scored a run in the third on Lance Berkman's RBI single, and tied it in the fifth on Furcal's homer and a double play by Holliday that scored Jay to tie it 5-5.
Frazier hit a solo shot off Carpenter with two outs in the sixth to give the Reds the lead again, but Freese tied it with a solo homer off Arredondo leading off the bottom half.
NOTES: Furcal has homered in three straight games. ... The Reds are looking to win their first three-game series in St. Louis since June 5-7, 2006. Cincinnati is 0-12-1 in 13 series since. ... Carpenter has allowed 21 of his 85 earned runs in the second inning. ... Votto, who went 2 for 5, leads the NL with a .358 road average. ... Freese also grounded into a double play, giving the Cardinals a majors-leading 147. ... Homer Bailey (7-6) starts for Cincinnati on Saturday against Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia (10-7).
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