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Arroyo, Reds top Cardinals

CINCINNATI — John Smoltz had trouble gripping the ball Wednesday night and is hoping he still has a chance at being a postseason starter for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Smoltz gave up Laynce Nix’s first career grand slam in four shaky innings as the Cardinals lost 6-1 to the Cincinnati Reds.

St. Louis has dropped three straight since clinching the NL Central title with a 6-3 win Saturday at Colorado and lost five of six overall. Smoltz (1-3) gave up six runs and six hits with five walks and three strikeouts.

‘‘I’m not even going to look at it as a game I can get really mad about,’’ Smoltz said. ‘‘I’m certainly not going to look at my body of work and say this game was indicative of the way I’ve been throwing.’’

Manager Tony La Russa was more concerned about his team’s lack of offense.

‘‘The score is what it is and that’s all I’m going to say about it,’’ La Russa said. ‘‘I take a positive in that they scored six runs early and didn’t score any more after that. We got just one run. Obviously, there is more that our offense should produce.’’

Bronson Arroyo allowed one run and four hits in 8 1-3 innings, falling just short of his fourth complete game of the season. The right-hander improved to 7-5 with a 2.07 ERA in his last 16 starts, tying his career high with his 15th victory of the season.

Reds’ boxscore

Reds 6, Cardinals 1

St. Louis Cincinnati

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Schmkr 2b 3 1 1 0 Stubbs cf 4 0 2 1

Kinney p 0 0 0 0 Janish ss 5 0 1 0

BThmp p 0 0 0 0 Votto 1b 4 0 1 0

Glaus ph 0 0 0 0 BPhllps 2b 3 1 0 0

TGreen pr 0 0 0 0 Rolen 3b 3 2 1 0

DeRosa 3b 4 0 0 0 Bruce rf 2 2 0 0

Pujols 1b 4 0 2 1 L.Nix lf 4 1 1 4

Hollidy lf 4 0 0 0 Hanign c 3 0 1 1

Rasms cf 3 0 1 0 Arroyo p 4 0 1 0

Ludwck rf 4 0 0 0 Masset p 0 0 0 0

LaRue c 2 0 0 0

Ankiel ph 1 0 0 0

Pagnzz c 0 0 0 0

BrRyan ss 3 0 1 0

Smoltz p 1 0 0 0

DReyes p 0 0 0 0

Thurstn ph-2b 2 0 0 0

Totals 31 1 5 1 Totals 32 6 8 6

St. Louis 000 100 000 — 1

Cincinnati 024 000 00x — 6

DP—Cincinnati 1. LOB—St. Louis 5, Cincinnati 8. 2B—Schumaker (34), Rasmus (22), Janish (20), Votto (37), Rolen (7). HR—L.Nix (15). SB—Stubbs (10).

IP H R ER BB SO

St. Louis

Smoltz L,1-3 4 6 6 6 5 3

D.Reyes 1 0 0 0 1 1

Kinney 2 1 0 0 0 0

B.Thompson 1 1 0 0 0 0

Cincinnati

Arroyo W,15-13 8 1-3 4 1 1 1 6

Masset 2-3 1 0 0 1 1

Umpires—Home, Fieldin Culbreth; First, Brian O’Nora; Second, Adrian Johnson; Third, Gary Cederstrom. T—2:39. A—11,930 (42,319).