Cheap Seats

April 11, Cardinals 8, Diamondbacks 2

The Cardinals tied a franchise record that stood since 1919 when they managed to score three runs or less in each of their first eight games.

But the return of Matt Holliday has apparently done wonders for the sagging offense. Since he's back they've scored six or more times TWO games in a row!

Uncoincidentally, they've also won two games in a row. The latest was an 8-2 spanking of the Diamondbacks in the Arizona desert.

While Holliday has contributed at the plate in both games since his appendix was evicted, he wasn't the offensive star of either contest. On Sunday David Freese and Allen Craig had the big sticks. On Monday it was Lance Berkman with his first two homers as a Cardinal and ... starting pitcher Kyle McClellan.

The pitcher named after my third-favorite Civil War general (1- Grant and 2-Sherman, for those of you scoring at home) was 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI double in the third and a single to push home a run in the fifth. He also contributed on the mound, allowing seven hits and four walks in 5 2/3 innings. But he only allowed one run to cross the plate to notch his first win as a Cardinals starter.

The win was the first for the Birds this year that didn't come in the last game of a series. And it gives the Cards a chance to win their first three-game set of the year with a win in one of the next two games.

Jon Jay also homered for the Cardinals. A solo shot in the eight was his first long ball of the year.

Cardinals Star of the Game: Berkman was 2-for-5 with three runs driven in and two scored as he notched a pair of opposite field homers to extend the St. Louis lead in the middle of the game and to break it open late.

Cardinals Play of the Game: In the third inning McClellan came to the plate with Yadier Molina on second and no outs, so the D-Backs probably thought he was going to bunt. He was able, instead, to drive the ball over the Arizona centerfielder's head to plate the Birds' first run of the night.

Lowlight: Albert Pujols hit into his seventh double play of the year, which is one more time that he has reached base via a hit, Monday night. he also popped up to right with the bases loaded and two out. But he did manage a hit in the top of the ninth which he drove straight up the middle instead of trying to pull it.