Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse tossed a complete game shutout Thursday afternoon to push the Cardinals past Washington 5-0 and help the club hang onto a share of first place in the National League Central Division.
He allowed only two hits and two walks while striking out six in an effort that improved Lohse's record to 3-1 and gave the Birds their third consecutive series victory.
Albert Pujols walked with two outs in the first inning and Matt Holliday -- who hadn't homered since opening day -- cranked a ball over the boards and into the visitors bullpen to give the Redbirds a 2-0 lead in the first inning that stood until the last St. Louis at bat.
The Cardinals managed only six hits in the game, but they timed them well, putting together an eleventh hour rally that put the game out of reach for Washington.
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In the bottom of the eighth inning Colby Rasmus turned an 0-2 count into a walk and then jogged the rest of the way home when Pujols hit his sixth homer of the season. Holliday then walked and came all the way around to score when third baseman David Freese doubled to give the Birds their final 5-0 cushion.
Holliday collected two of the St. Louis hits, drove in two of the five runs and scored two more. His batting average stands at .455 while Pujols's one hit in three at bats made his average rise to .247.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Lohse
Cardinals Play of the Game: Holliday's two-out homer in the first inning
Lowlight: Nothing to complain about today.