I don't know which was better, watching the Cardinals finally blast Bud Norris like the scrub that he is... Or watching the cocky Reds cough up six runs in the ninth inning to eventually lose to Philadelphia and let the Redbirds gain a game in the standings.
The Cardinals seemed to have a more patient approach at the plate than they have in the past.. They also seemed to be looking for balls away that they could drive to the opposite field. Those elements combined to let the Birds score a couple of runs early and grab the lead. And, while Norris settled down for a while and held St. Louis in check in the middle innings, by working him over they broke him down in the eighth with three more runs. In the end it was 8-0 St. Louis.
Norris, who was 4-0 with a 0.35 ERA previously against the Cardinals, pitched 7 2/3 Friday and gave up five earned runs on seven hits and a walk. Wainwright pitched eight innings and gave up no runs on six hits and three walks.
Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday homers in the eighth inning Friday against the Astros. AP photo.
In addition to beating Norris for the first time, the Redbirds also reached another milestone Friday night. It was the first time that Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday each drove in two or more runs in the same game -- they actually had three apiece. Holliday broke the game open with his three-run homer in the eighth while Pujols added some cushion in the ninth with a long round-tripper. Pujols was 2-for-4 while Holliday was 1-for-5. But Holliday made his one hit count. It came immediately after Pujols was intentionally walked.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Wainwright
Cardinals Play of the Game: Holliday's homer
Lowlight: Yadier Molina hung up another 0-for-4 and has dropped to a .222 batting average.