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St. Louis Cardinals Fall From First Place, Lose 7-3 To Reds

Jon Jay's three-run home run was the only bright spot in a dreary game for the St. Louis Cardinals, who watched new starter Kyle McClellan struggle against a potent Cincinnati Reds offense as local antagonist Johnny Cueto threw nearly eight innings to pick up his second win of the season. McClellan allowed four runs on three homers and struck out just one across six innings, stoking fears about his strikeout rate as a starter. Ryan Franklin continued to struggle, allowing two runs of his own across an inning and a third and increasing his ERA to 9.88. Jay, who replaced Lance Berkman in a double switch after McClellan's exit, drove in rookies Daniel Descalso and Tyler Greene to score the only runs for the Cardinals, who fall to 22-18 on the season, a half-game behind the Reds in the early NL Central playoff hunt. 

In the third and final game of the series the Cardinals will look to get on the board behind Chris Carpenter, who will face young left-hander Travis Wood. Carpenter is 1-2 with a 4.32 ERA, stung by a high batting average on balls in play and some early problems with the home run. Wood is 2-3 despite some excellent peripherals in his first full season as a starter for the Reds.