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St. Louis at Cincinnati

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St. Louis (2-0) «0110004006100
Cincinnati (0-2)000002010360

Cardinals use four-run seventh to rally past Reds

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday are in the middle of something really good.

Pujols singled home the tiebreaking run in the seventh inning and Holliday followed with a two-run double, sending the St. Louis Cardinals to a 6-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night.

Adam Wainwright (1-0) gave up only three hits in seven innings, including Orlando Cabrera's two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth that tied it at 2. Then, an offense that has been awfully impressive in two games took this one over.

"Oh, we have a great lineup," said Wainwright, the only one in the batting order who failed to reach base. "We have some guys who have probably not made a name for themselves, but they'll be known quick. It's a good lineup. You have to grind all the way to the pitcher's spot."

The Cardinals started their winning rally off Daniel Ray Herrera (0-1). Pujols -- 4 for 5 with two homers on opening day -- singled off Logan Ondrusek for the lead. Holliday followed with a double off the base of the wall in center, turning it into a painful learning experience for the rookie reliever making his second big league appearance.

"I threw Pujols a cutter," Ondrusek said. "He broke his bat, but he's still strong enough to get it out there and score the run. Holliday the same thing - a cutter that caught too much of the plate. It's something you've got to learn."

The top five hitters in the Cardinals' order scored, with Pujols -- batting third -- and Holliday doing the most damage.

"We're getting what we've earned," manager Tony La Russa said. "We're really cranking out a lot of good at-bats."

The Reds promoted the second game of the season as "opening night" and had several special attractions, including postgame fireworks. The first night game usually draws a small crowd -- only 13,568 showed up to see the Mets last season. The Reds sold 28,132 tickets for Wednesday's game, their biggest crowd for a second game since 1994.

The unusually large weeknight crowd saw another loss to the defending NL Central champions, who have the top two starters and the best 3-4 hitting combination in the division.

Both ends of the equation came through again.

Pujols drove in four runs and scored four more during an 11-6 win on Monday, one that featured four Cardinals homers - a club record for a season opener. They stayed unbeaten with a little old-fashioned small ball.

Right-hander Johnny Cueto gave up only five hits in six innings, but the Cardinals managed to lump them together. David Freese singled home a run in the second with a soft liner over the head of second baseman Brandon Phillips, and Ryan Ludwick drove in another with a single through the left side of the infield in the third.

Cueto was locked in against Pujols, refusing to give him anything to hit. He walked Pujols on a full-count pitch in the first inning rather than throwing something in the strike zone. Cueto got him looking at a third strike in his next at-bat, a 94 mph fastball right at the knees, then retired him on routine fly.

Couldn't keep him down all game.

Pujols singled on the first pitch from Ondrusek in the seventh. Pujols has won three NL MVP awards, including the last two, and is 5 for 9 in his first two games with four RBIs and five runs scored. After Holliday doubled home two more, Freese completed the four-run rally with another single.

"That's what you hope to do as an offense," Holliday said. "Adam was pitching so well and gave up that home run. As an offense, you're looking to get him the lead back. When he's pitching like that, he doesn't need a lot."

Wainwright, who led the league with 19 wins last season, faced only 17 batters in the first five innings. Cabrera hit his first homer off him in the sixth, and added a run-scoring double in the eighth off Kyle McClellan.

Notes

  • Reds Hall of Famer Joe Morgan threw a ceremonial pitch.
  • The Cardinals' best season-opening start was 7-0 in 1962.
  • La Russa switched his weekend pitching plans. Rookie LH Jaime Garcia will start on Saturday, a day earlier than planned. RH Chris Carpenter will get an extra day of rest and pitch in a nationally televised game Sunday night in Milwaukee. "It will be Garcia's first start," La Russa said. "I looked at it and just thought it was better."
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Matt Holliday extends the Cardinals lead with a two-run double in the seventh inning. (AP)
Matt Holliday extends the Cardinals lead with a two-run double in the seventh inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cincinnati

O. Cabrera
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
St. Louis

M. Holliday
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 
St. Louis Cardinals
Skip Schumaker, 2B5110002 .100
Brendan Ryan, SS4100110 .125
Albert Pujols, 1B4111120 .556
Matt Holliday, LF5222001 .333
Colby Rasmus, CF2120200 .667
Ryan Ludwick, RF5011024 .222
Yadier Molina, C3010103 .429
David Freese, 3B4022012 .375
Adam Wainwright, P4000026 .000
    Kyle McClellan, P0000000 .000
    Dennys Reyes, P0000000 .000
    Ryan Franklin, P0000000 .000
Totals36610658  
Batting
2B - Matt Holliday (1, Ondrusek), Colby Rasmus (1, Cueto)
SH - Colby Rasmus (1)
RBI - Albert Pujols (4), Matt Holliday 2 (2), Ryan Ludwick (1), David Freese 2 (3)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Ludwick (1), David Freese (1)
SB - Matt Holliday (1, 2nd base off Cueto/Hernandez), Colby Rasmus (1, 2nd base off Cordero/Hernandez)
Team LOB - 10
St. Louis Cardinals
Adam Wainwright (W,1-0) 7322261 2.57
Kyle McClellan 0.2211020 5.40
Dennys Reyes (H,1) 0.1000010 0.00
Ryan Franklin (S,1) 1100000 9.00
Pitches-Strikes - Adam Wainwright 95-62, Kyle McClellan 19-13, Dennys Reyes 4-3, Ryan Franklin 9-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Adam Wainwright 7-7, Ryan Franklin 1-2
Batters Faced - Adam Wainwright 25, Kyle McClellan 4, Dennys Reyes 1, Ryan Franklin 4
Cincinnati Reds
Drew Stubbs, CF3100112 .400
Orlando Cabrera, SS4123001 .222
Joey Votto, 1B4000021 .333
Brandon Phillips, 2B4010010 .250
Scott Rolen, 3B3010100 .250
Jay Bruce, RF4000002 .125
Jonny Gomes, LF4000032 .000
Ramon Hernandez, C3120000 .333
Johnny Cueto, P0000000 .000
   a- Chris Dickerson, PH1000010 .167
    Danny Herrera, P0000000 .000
    Logan Ondrusek, P0000000 .000
    Arthur Rhodes, P0000000 .000
    Nick Masset, P0000000 .000
   b- Laynce Nix, PH1000011 .333
    Francisco Cordero, P0000000 .000
Totals3136329  
a-struck out for Cueto in the 6th
b-struck out for Masset in the 8th
Batting
2B - Orlando Cabrera (1, McClellan), Ramon Hernandez (1, McClellan)
HR - Orlando Cabrera (1, Wainwright)
SH - Johnny Cueto (1)
RBI - Orlando Cabrera 3 (3)
2-OUT RBI - Orlando Cabrera (1)
SB - Orlando Cabrera (1, 3rd base off Reyes/Molina)
CS - Brandon Phillips (1, 2nd base by Wainwright/Molina)
Team LOB - 4
Cincinnati Reds
Johnny Cueto 6522330 3.00
Danny Herrera (L,0-1)0111000 9.00
Logan Ondrusek0233100 27.00
Arthur Rhodes 1100120 0.00
Nick Masset 1000020 22.50
Francisco Cordero 1100010 0.00
HBP - Molina (by Johnny Cueto)
Pitches-Strikes - Johnny Cueto 109-65, Danny Herrera 2-2, Logan Ondrusek 9-4, Arthur Rhodes 20-10, Nick Masset 10-7, Francisco Cordero 17-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Johnny Cueto 6-9, Arthur Rhodes 1-0, Nick Masset 1-0, Francisco Cordero 2-0
Batters Faced - Johnny Cueto 27, Danny Herrera 1, Logan Ondrusek 3, Arthur Rhodes 5, Nick Masset 3, Francisco Cordero 4
Game Information
Attendance - 28132
Game Time - 3:01
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Eric Cooper, First Base - Bill Miller, Second Base - Chad Fairchild, Third Base - Mike Reilly