The Cardinals started off their six-game road trip on a sour note, losing the first two games to the rebuilding Astros.
But the Birds rebounded to bomb the Astros on get away day -- and then they swept the Diamondbacks to conclude their trip with a very respectable 4-2 record.
Kyle Lohse got the win with five innings of one run baseball before giving way to a pinch hitter in the sixth inning a game tied at one. Matt Carpenter drove a ball just beyond the reach of Arizona's left fielder Jason Kubel to drive in two runs and give St. Louis a 3-1 lead. Arizona responded for a run in the bottom of the frame against Kyle McClellan to make the score 3-2. But a two out outburst in the top of the ninth made the game appear more one-sided than it really was.
Matt Holliday hit a two-run double off J.J. Puts to put St. Louis out front 5-2. And then Allen Craig drove a two-run homer over the right centerfield boards to make the game 7-2. The Birds would need every one of those insurance runs.
Jon Jay got the night off and it showed in the bottom of the ninth when substitute Shane Robinson misjudged a fly ball that opened the door for an Arizona rally. Robinson broke back on the ball which fell in front of him. And, after a grounder up the middle off Mitchell Boggs made it two on with no outs, the Cardinals were forced to crank up the bullpen with a 5-0 lead. A broken bat singled loaded the bases, still with none down.
Closer Jason Motte was summoned and he struck out the first batter he faced then coaxed a game-ending double play to propel St. Louis to a 20-11 record and a 4-0 mark against non National League Central competition.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Rafael Furcal collected four hits on the night to raise his batting average to .361 for the season.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Matt Carpenter, pinch hitting against a lefty hurler, drove in two runs with a double in the sixth to put the Redbirds ahead for the first time in the game.
Lowlight: Kyle Lohse came out of the game after five innings pitched with only 73 pitches thrown. He had only allowed one run at the time, so it seems that the decision likely had more to do with a play on the bases earlier in the game in which the St. Louis starter grabbed his left hamstring while pulling up at third base.