St. Louis Cardinals

Cardinals’ bats bust loose in rout of Phillies

PHILADELPHIA Randal Grichuk homered and had three hits, and Kolten Wong and Yadier Molina also went deep as the St. Louis Cardinals set season highs for runs and hits in a 12-4 rout of the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night.

The Cardinals avoided their second three-game losing streak of the season while breaking out of the offensive funk that followed Tuesday’s news of a federal investigation into whether club officials illegally hacked into the Houston Astros’ player database.

The Cardinals batted .211 with five runs in the first three games after the story broke. If the investigation had any bearing on the lackluster offense, they certainly put it out of their minds against the Phillies.

St. Louis pounded out 16 hits, including six for extra bases. Jhonny Peralta doubled and had three RBIs, Mark Reynolds had a two-run double and 10 Cardinals got hits.

Ryan Howard homered for Philadelphia, which snapped a nine-game losing streak on Thursday. The last-place Phillies sank 23 games under .500.

Tyler Lyons (2-0) won his second straight game after going 13 consecutive starts without a win dating back to 2013. He earned a victory Saturday over the Royals and cruised to his latest one behind double-digit run support.

Lyons allowed three runs and seven hits in five innings with five strikeouts and one walk. He also helped himself with the bat, singling twice with an RBI and scoring three runs.

Phillippe Aumont (0-1) struggled in a spot start for injured Philadelphia ace Cole Hamels, allowing six runs and five hits in four innings.

It was the first career start for Aumont, who entered 1-5 with a 6.13 ERA in 45 big league relief appearances. He switched to a starting role this spring in an attempt to improve his command and had some success in the minors, going 3-4 with a 2.35 ERA in 14 outings (10 starts). But against the Cardinals, Aumont walked seven and threw a wild pitch. Forty-eight of his 104 pitches were balls.

Two-run homers by Wong and Molina highlighted a four-run second inning that gave the Cardinals a 4-0 lead. In the fourth, Peralta drove in Matt Carpenter and Lyons – both of whom walked – to put St. Louis up by six. And the Cardinals scored five runs on six hits against Justin De Fratus in the fifth.