Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook gave up only seven hits in seven innings of work Thursday afternoon against the Dodgers.
But, unfortunately, five of them came in a row during the Dodgers' half of the fifth inning. Four runs scored to erase a 2-0 St. Louis lead.
The good news is that the Redbirds answered the Los Angeles rally with four runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth. And they never were headed again, adding another run on a laser beam of a Matt Holliday home run to win 7-4 and take three of four games from the Dodgers.
In all, the Cardinals collected 18 hits. David Freese and Matt Carpenter each had three and Holliday, Allen Craig, Skip Schumaker and Tony Cruz chipped in two a piece to key the St. Louis offense.
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Schumaker pinch hit for Freese in the sixth inning. So the fifth spot in the batting order was 5-for-5 on the day. According to the Cardinals, Freese was suffering from leg cramps and his injury wasn't thought to be serious.
Westbrook, with the win, improved to 9-8 for the season with a 3.61 ERA. Jason Motte collected his 22nd save by striking out the side in the ninth.
The victory gave the Cardinals five wins in their last six games including a sweep of the Cubs at Busch Stadium. It would sure be nice if the Birds could repeat the feat this weekend in Chicago.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Freese had three hits in three at bats while scoring two runs and driving in a pair.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Holliday's home was just the icing on top of the cake. But it was something to see. Off the bat it looked like a line drive to the centerfielder. But it just kept rising and flew over the centerfield wall on a clothesline. Holliday has really been squaring up the ball lately.
Lowlight: Westbrook's bad inning was partially the fault of some shaky defense. Freese gave up on a ball between third and short, apparently convinced Rafael Furcal would make the play. But Freese was the only guy who had a shot. Later, the Birds had a Dodgers baserunner caught between third and home but threw the ball away to allow the rally to go on.
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