Jesse Winker hit the second pitch of the game down the right-field line for a home run and Eugenio Suarez broke the contest open with a grand slam in the fifth inning as the visiting Cincinnati Reds blasted the Cardinals, 6-0, on Wednesday night before a crowd of 40,124 at Busch Stadium.
The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Cardinals (76-69), who have won eight of their last 10. The Reds (63-83) are 9-6 against the Cardinals this season.
The Cardinals and Reds wrap up the series Thursday afternoon. Then it's off to Chicago for a weekend series at Wrigley Field.
As they did on Tuesday night in a 13-4 Cardinals' win, the Reds grabbed the lead with a first-inning solo home run. Winker hit Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty's second pitch of the game past the foul pole in right for his first career leadoff homer.
The Cardinals had their chances early, stranding seven runners through the first three innings and eight overall in the game.
The Reds managed to break things open in the fifth, chasing Flaherty in the process. Jose Peraza led off with an infield hit and moved to second on a groundout. After hitting Cincinnati pitcher Tyler Mahle with a two-strike pitch, Flaherty was lifted in favor of lefty Ryan Sherriff.
After a popout, the Cardinals came close to escaping the inning when Paul DeJong came up with a diving stop on a Zack Cozart ball up the middle and shuffled the ball to Kolten Wong for the inning-ending force at second. The Reds challenged the call, which was overturned and loaded the bases with two outs.
Joey Votto hit a run-scoring single to left to make it 2-0 and Suarez followed with a grand slam into the Cincinnati bullpen that stretched the visitors' advantage to 6-0.
Flaherty (0-1) allowed four hits and three runs over 4 1/3 innings in his third major-league start. He struck out three, walked two and hit a batter.
Reds rookie right-hander Tyler Mahle (1-2) picked up his first major-league win in his fourth major-league start. He scattered four hits and pitched around three walks in a five-inning outing. He struck out four.
The Reds outhit the Cardinals 8-5, getting the grand slam from Suarez, the solo shot from Winker and two-hit games from Votto (RBI) and Peraza.
Jose Martinez had a pair of singles to lead the Cardinals' attack.