The skid continues for Cardinals

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33. 2. 127. Final. 1

The St. Louis Cardinals haven’t had a four-game losing streak prior to Friday’s home game with the San Diego Padres.

There is a first time for everything, but this isn’t the first time the Cardinals wanted.

St. Louis’ losing skid reached four games despite a strong performance by Michael Wacha as the Padres eked out a 2-1 victory at Busch Stadium.

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The Cardinals dropped to 51-28 overall, only 5 1/2 games in front of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League Central. The Chicago Cubs are in third, 8 1/2 games back.

St. Louis lost despite another solid performance from Michael Wacha, who has turned into the undisputed ace of this squad. Wacha struck out six in seven innings of work and came away with a no-decision. That loss went to Trevor Rosenthal, the usually reliable Cards reliever.

Even the way the Cardinals scored was unimpressive. Xavier Scruggs grounded into a double play and sent Jason Heyward home with a run in the fifth inning.

From there, Jedd Gyorko was a one-man wrecking crew for the Padres. He homered off Wacha in the seventh to tie the score, and his RBI single sent Yangervis Solarte home in the top of the ninth for the game’s decisive run.

Padres pitcher Andrew Cashner and relievers scattered just four hits.

There is no question the Cardinals are in a major slump right now. How this team responds in the next week will tell an awful lot about where it is headed. Keep in mind, after two weekend games with the Padres, the Cardinals have the Cubs and Pirates next week. That could break this team’s back the way the Cards are playing.

What’s up next

Carlos Martinez (9-3, 2.80) can hopefully drag the Cardinals out of the gloom. He faces Odrisamer Despaigne, who carries a 3-6 record and 4.94 ERA into the contest.

Next: The Cardinals hacking soap opera continues

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