|St. Louis (63-44) «||4||1||0||4||3||0||1||0||0||13||14||0|
CINCINNATI -- With their hitting slump a thing of the past, the Cardinals can relax and focus on getting back into first place.
It's only a half-game away.
David Freese set the tone with a bases-loaded double in the first inning, and Daniel Descalso hit two of the Cardinals' three homers on Friday night as St. Louis pulled away to a 13-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
The Cardinals have emerged from a deep hitting slump by scoring 13 runs in each of their last two games. It's the first time this season they've had double-digit run totals in consecutive games.
"Our guys put so much pressure on themselves," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "They're perfectionists. It was frustrating for a quite a few days. It was good to see some energy. I hope we can keep riding it."
While the Cardinals have emerged from their hitting slump, the Reds are still stuck in theirs.
Shelby Miller (11-7) limited Cincinnati to two singles over the first five innings before Joey Votto hit a three-run homer in the sixth. The Reds managed only six hits, five of them singles. They've been held to three or fewer runs in six of their last seven games.
"I felt really good," Miller said. "That was some of the best stuff I had all year. I kind of let it get away from me in the sixth inning. I guess I kind of lost my focus, which is something that shouldn't let happen."
In every respect, it was a night the Reds wanted to forget.
"This is a game that depends upon how short a memory you have," outfielder Jay Bruce said.
Bronson Arroyo (9-9) matched his season high by giving up seven runs in only 3 2-3 innings, his shortest outing of the season.
The 13 runs were the most allowed by Cincinnati this season.
"These guys were cold coming in here and all of a sudden -- Boom! -- everybody looks hot," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.
The Cardinals improved to 7-3 against the Reds this season, keeping the defending NL Central champions at arm's length. They moved to a half-game behind first-place Pittsburgh. Cincinnati stayed 5 games back.
Both teams were coming off tough weeks set up by a lack of offense.
The Cardinals lost four of five in Pittsburgh and seven straight overall, allowing the Pirates to take over the top spot. St. Louis managed a total of only 10 runs during the seven-game losing streak, which ended with a 13-0 victory in Pittsburgh on Thursday.
The Reds had trouble scoring runs on the West Coast while dropping five of their last six games there.
Which one would break out first in the weekend series?
The Cardinals. Emphatically.
They quickly got to Arroyo, who had trouble getting his pitches to go where he wanted. The Cardinals loaded the bases on a pair of hits and a walk with one out in the first, and Freese doubled off the wall in center for a 3-0 lead. Jon Jay followed with an RBI single on Arroyo's 24th pitch.
Just what the Cardinals needed to relax a little.
"That was big," Matheny said. "It's what got us going there. I've always been a big believer in the team that scores early has a better chance to win the game."
It never got much better for Arroyo, who has faced the Cardinals more than any other opponent in his career and had far more bad times than good. He fell to 8-16 in 37 career starts against St. Louis.
Descalso hit a pair of solo shots for the first multihomer game of his career, and Craig had a two-run shot as St. Louis pulled away. The Cardinals hit only nine homers in July, including one after the All-Star break.
|Matt Holliday heads for home for one of the Cardinals' 13 runs against the Reds on Friday. (USATSI)|
|Players of the Game|
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|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Matt Carpenter, 2B||6||0||0||0||0||3||2||.304|
|Carlos Beltran, RF||3||4||3||0||1||0||0||.302|
|Adron Chambers, RF||2||0||1||0||0||1||1||.333|
|Allen Craig, 1B-LF||3||3||3||3||1||0||0||.323|
|a-Brock Peterson, PH-LF||1||0||1||0||1||0||0||.200|
|Matt Holliday, LF||2||2||0||1||2||0||1||.275|
|Matt Adams, 1B||2||0||0||0||0||2||4||.284|
|David Freese, 3B||4||1||1||4||1||1||0||.266|
|Jon Jay, CF||5||0||2||3||0||2||0||.258|
|Tony Cruz, C-3B||4||0||0||0||1||1||3||.221|
|Daniel Descalso, SS-2B||5||3||3||2||0||0||2||.265|
|Shelby Miller, P||3||0||0||0||0||2||1||.108|
|Kevin Siegrist, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.000|
|a-walked for Craig in the 7th|
|2B - Carlos Beltran 2 (17, Arroyo), Adron Chambers (1, Ondrusek), David Freese (17, Arroyo), Jon Jay (15, Partch)|
|HR - Allen Craig (11, Partch), Daniel Descalso 2 (5, Partch)|
|RBI - Allen Craig 3 (84), Matt Holliday (52), David Freese 4 (39), Jon Jay 3 (44), Daniel Descalso 2 (29)|
|2-OUT RBI - Allen Craig 3 (36), Matt Holliday (22), David Freese (18), Jon Jay 2 (21)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|DP - Craig-Descalso|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Shelby Miller (W,11-7)||5||5||3||3||3||8||1||2.89|
|Pitches-Strikes - Shelby Miller 97-58, Kevin Siegrist 27-20, Keith Butler 20-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Shelby Miller 5-1, Kevin Siegrist 2-1, Keith Butler 3-3|
|Batters Faced - Shelby Miller 22, Kevin Siegrist 6, Keith Butler 7|
|Shin-Soo Choo, CF||2||1||1||0||1||1||0||.284|
|a-Corky Miller, PH-C||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.172|
|Derrick Robinson, LF-CF||4||1||1||0||0||1||1||.261|
|Joey Votto, 1B||2||1||2||3||2||0||0||.320|
|Brandon Phillips, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||2||4||.261|
|Jay Bruce, RF||4||0||0||0||0||1||5||.276|
|Todd Frazier, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||2||1||.237|
|Zack Cozart, SS||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||.240|
|b-Chris Heisey, PH-LF||2||0||0||0||0||0||1||.218|
|Devin Mesoraco, C||3||0||1||0||0||1||0||.252|
|Jack Hannahan, 1B||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.212|
|Bronson Arroyo, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.079|
|c-Cesar Izturis, PH-SS||2||0||0||0||0||1||1||.189|
|a-popped out for Ondrusek in the 7th|
|b-grounded out for Simon in the 6th|
|c-grounded out for Partch in the 5th|
|HR - Joey Votto (17, Miller)|
|RBI - Joey Votto 3 (52)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|Bronson Arroyo (L,9-9)||3.2||8||7||7||1||5||0||3.62|
|Pitches-Strikes - Bronson Arroyo 84-53, Curtis Partch 46-21, Alfredo Simon 13-7, Logan Ondrusek 19-13, Sam LeCure 21-10, J.J. Hoover 17-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bronson Arroyo 3-3, Curtis Partch 1-3, Alfredo Simon 2-0, Sam LeCure 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Bronson Arroyo 20, Curtis Partch 11, Alfredo Simon 3, Logan Ondrusek 6, Sam LeCure 4, J.J. Hoover 5|
|Attendance - 39095|
|Game Time - 3:23|
|Temperature - 82|
|Umpires - Home - Tim Welke, First Base - Will Little, Second Base - Dan Bellino, Third Base - Bruce Dreckman|