There. Was that so hard?
The Cardinals actually hit the ball, threw the ball and caught the ball their way to their fourth win in 16 games Tuesday at Baltimore, turning back the Orioles back 6-2 -- despite an appearance by Ryan Franklin.
Kyle Lohse pitched five shut out innings until rain cut his start short. Meanwhile newly returned third baseman David Freese keyed a second inning outburst with the first of his two hits in four at bats on the night and Matt Holliday and Colby Rasmus homered to stake the Redbirds to a 6-0 lead after seven innings.
Lance Lynn, recently added to the St. Louis bullpen to replace Miguel Batista, was unbelievably good in relief of Lohse. He pitched two innings and struck out five Baltimore batsmen.
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Since Lynn has served as a starter his entire career prior to the last week, I thought he'd likely pitch three or four innings to save the bullpen after the starter's early exit. But, for some reason, manager Tony La Russa decided the game was too far out of hand and he brought in Franklin to make things more interesting.
Facing the bottom of the order in the bottom of the eighth, Franklin retired the first Orioles hitter or a line drive to Holliday in left field. He was 0-2 on the next hitter before allowing a solo home run. Then he was 0-2 on the next guy before somehow managing to surrender a hit. Adam Jones then doubled to bring up the meaty part of the Baltimore batting order with one out and a man on base in a 6-2 game.
Fortunaley, Fernando Salas was able to nail down a five-out save to give the Birds a much needed win.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Lynn. Not only did he do a good job in general. But his excellent relief appearance had to be extremely encouraging to Lynn's teammates. Hopefully it is a sign that the worst of the Redbirds' bullpen problems are behind them.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Holliday's homer in the seventh was huge in helping preserve the St. Louis win. He was robbed of a second homer in the top of the ninth by Orioles left fielder Luke Scott.
Lowlight: Franklin gave up three hits, including yet another homer, in a third of an inning. How much longer can he go out there when the guy just can't get anybody out? Sorry, Frankie. But it looks like it's all over but the crying.