CINCINNATI -- Homer Bailey had a three-run lead, so he could afford to be aggressive -- even with runners at second and third. So he went after Kolten Wong with a 93-mph fastball.
Wong chopped a ball into right for a double. The next pitch was an 86-mph slider. Randal Grichuk rocketed it into right for a two-run double. Bailey went with a 92-mph fastball to Greg Garcia. He lined to left for another double.
Three pitches, three doubles, four runs.
It was that kind of day for Bailey. He ended up going 3 1/3 innings and allowing a career-high 10 runs on 10 hits in the Reds' 13-4 loss to the Cardinals on Sunday.
"It was a little bit of everything," Bailey said. "No command. I just didn't have it."
Bailey, the 31-year-old right-hander, seemed to have found himself a bit coming into the start, which was his ninth since coming off the disabled list, following 2 1/2 years of surgery and rehab. He had made quality starts in four of his past six outings, and he was coming off a six-inning, four-hit, one-run effort in a 9-2 win in Pittsburgh.
Reds manager Bryan Price said there are going to be days like Sunday in Bailey's road back.
"You hate to concede that," Price said. "His games have been divided between games when he's really been sharp and been able to control the game and give us good competitive innings. On the days he hasn't, he's been vulnerable to the big inning. That's what happened [Sunday].
"I don't think it's unusual, considering what he's been through the last three years to have the inconsistencies. But you don't want to concede and say, 'This is part of the post-injury circumstances.' I know he expects more of himself. I think he has enough stuff and arm strength. The repetition is going to serve him well."
Bailey faced the minimum three batters in the first. Joey Votto's three-run home run gave him a 3-0 lead.
Bailey gave that up in the second. After a scoreless third, it all came apart in the fourth. Bailey allowed five runs -- four of them on Jose Martinez's grand slam -- and recorded only one out. Now 3-6 with an 8.86 ERA, he has allowed 67 hits in only 42 2/3 innings.
Bailey, who is coming off three surgeries, said he is physically fine.
"It was one of those days," Bailey said. "Nothing felt good. I didn't execute very many pitches. I had a lot that missed big. I had some that just missed. It was one of those deals where I didn't perform well, and it cost our team the game."