Colby Rasmus' homer, his third in four games, provided the antedote to the Cardinals bullpen as the Birds beat the Rays 5-3 to take sole posession of first place.
Rasmus was only 1-for-4 in the game. But with two outs in the top of the eighth and the Birds clinging to a 2-0 lead, Lance Berkman and David Freese walked. The St. Louis centerfield got ahold of a lazy slide and golfed it just inside the right field foul pole to add three runs to the Cardinals cushion.
It was a good thing, too. The Rays scored three two-out runs of their own in the bottom of the inning. A 3-2 deficit was turned into a 5-3 lead because of that one swing of the bat.
Closer Fernando Salas recorded a rare 1-2-3 inning to bring home the win and the Twins took care of the Brewers to put the Redbirds in first place all alon.
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Cardinals Star of the Game: Starter Jake Westbrook looked earl on like he would be lucky to make it through five innings. His pitch count climbed as he struggled to close out innings and got behing hitters. But Westbrook settled down in the fourth inning and went seven frames with only two hits allowed, his best start of the season.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Rasmus' homer.
Lowlight: In their two innings of work, Cardinals bullpenners gave up three runs. While the Redbirds have managed to put together a four-game winning streak, it's obvious that the pen still needs a lot of help.