For the first time in franchise history, the Cardials hit a home run in each of the first five innings of a game Friday against the Cubs. And they rode the power surge to a 9-6 win in a wild game.
Matt Holliday hit his 18th homer in the first inning. It was a blast just to the left field side of the hitters' backdrop in center, about 15 rows deep. But the advantage didn't last long. The Cubs got a lead-off triple in the bottom of the first and then tied the game on a single. Before St. Louis starter Lance Lynn could catch his breath, Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run homer to give Chicago a 3-1 lead.
In the top of the second, the Cardinals got it all back -- and then some.
Lance Berkman singled to lead off. Then Yadier Molina cranked his 16th longball of the season to tie the game. The ball flew over the bleachers, over the street beyond the bleachers and nearly hit a building on the opposite side of the road. Matt Carpenter walked to keep the rally going. And Daniel Descalso tripled him home to put St. Louis back in front 4-3. Lynn helped himself with a sacrifice fly to make the score 5-3 before the third out was finally recorded.
Berkman homered in the third to put St. Louis ahead 6-3. But the Cubs recorded three tallies in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game back up and nearly send Lynn to the showers.
Carpenter got into the home run act in the top of the fourth and put St. Louis ahead 7-6 with a solo shot. It seemed precarious at the time. But the Cardinals lead, aided by a run in the fifth and a run in the seventh, stood up.
Lynn settled down and made it through five innings to record the win, improving to 13-4 with a 3.42 ERA. The Birds' lefty trio of Brian Fuentes, Barret Browning and Marc Rzepczynski chipped in 2 2/3 scoreless innings while Jason Motte allowed a single in an otherwise quiet ninth to close out the game and give the Cardinals a 54-46 record as they reach the century mark.
Cardinals Star of the game: Holliday was 3-for-5 with a run scored and two driven in. His hot streak has driven his batting average to .325 for the year.
Cardinals play of the Game: Jon Jay made an absolutely spectacular running catch in centerfield during the fifth inning. He turned his back and sprinted to the wall, twisting and turning to track the ball in the wind, before stabbing his arm up to grab the ball. Fitting he would make such a great catch on the anniversary of the day Colby Rasmus was sent to the American League.
Lowlight: Carlos Beltran sat on the bench for the second day in a row as he struggles to regain his swing.
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