The Blues slumped to their eighth Super Rugby loss in nine matches when they were beaten 23-11 by the Queensland Reds at Eden Park on Friday night.
After charging to a 12-0 lead in the first eight minutes, the Reds were held to 15-8 at half-time, and their well-marshalled defence put paid to a second-half fightback by the Blues.
Digby Ioane returned from a five-week ban to celebrate his 50th game for the Reds with a try in the second minute, while team mates Luke Morahan and Dom Shipperley also crossed.
The Pat Lam-coached Blues were condemned to chasing the Reds for the entire night after conceding a soft early try.
Luke Braid hit back for the Blues with a try in the 26th minute but that was to be his team's only five-pointer for the night as they blew a series of promising drives in the second half with handling errors and penalties.
Braid says the side is lacking the detail and played too much in their own half.
The Reds' win kept them in the hunt for top spot in the Australian conference and an automatic playoff berth with just over half the season remaining in the competition.