The weather was cold and rainy. But it's turning out to be a beautiful day in St. Louis with a 4-2 win over the Marlins by the Cardinals, a 5-4 victory over the Cubs by the Phillies and a giant chokefest by the Reds who blew a one time 8-1 lead over Atlanta and lost 10-9 on a grand slam in the ninth.
Welcome back to first place, St. Louis.
Not only did the Cardinals win, but Brendan Ryan got his first start since a five errors in three games streak that caused him to lose his job Monday to Felipe Lopez. And Ryan came through with solid defense, a hit in three at bats and an walk. He also scored a run.
Cardinals third baseman David Freese and leftfielder Matt Holliday, who each had clutch, two-out RBI hits to pace St. Louis to a 4-2 win, celebrate the victory over Florida. AP photo.
Starter Adam Wainwright scuffled in the first, allowing a pair of Florida runs. But it turned out to be the only damage he gave up in seven innings of work with six hits allowed and eight strikeouts. Wainwright improved to 6-2 with a 2.49 ERA.
The Cardinals struck back with a run in the second when Lopez singled and Ryan Ludwick walked to bring up the heart of the order. Matt Holliday flied out, allowing Lopez to move to third, then Pujols popped out to just behind second base. David Freese came up with two outs and laced a single to put the Birds on the board. Then Yadier Moline hit a line drive to center that nearly gave St. Louis the lead.
Instead the Redbirds had to wait until the bottom of the second inning when Ryan singled with one out and Wainwright sacrificed him to second base. Felipe Lopez walked and then Ludwick and Holliday hit back to back doubles to drive home three St. Louis runs and give the Birds a 4-2 lead they never surrendered.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Wainwright.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Holliday's two-run, two-out double in the second to give St. Louis the lead.
Lowlight: Joe Mather was 0-for-4 on the day and saw his batting average drop to .190 for the season. He seems to be desperately holding onto the last spot on the roster. Will the Cardinals call up the hot hitting (albeit in Class AA) Aaron Miles and force Skip Schumaker to be the backup centerfielder? Or will Miles' second stint with the Cardinals fade to black now that Flip Lopez is healthy once again?