CINCINNATI -- The season has brought one setback after another for the St. Louis Cardinals -- Manager Tony La Russa's drunken-driving arrest, reliever Josh Hancock's death, a series of injuries to everyday players.
The defending World Series champions may be running out of resilience.
Joey Votto hit a two-run double and David Ross followed with a two-run homer Thursday, sending the Cincinnati Reds to a 5-4 victory that completed the Cardinals' trip to ruin.
The Cardinals lost all seven games on their trip, capped by their first three-game sweep in Cincinnati since July 1998.
It's their first winless trip of at least seven games since May 1972.
"We're a little flat, things aren't going our way, and we're not playing good baseball," Jim Edmonds said. "All those add up to losses. It's really no different than it was at the start of the year."
The Cardinals had surged from 10 1/2 games out at the end of June to within one game of first place in the NL Central. They are now five games behind first-place Chicago.