The Cardinals kept on hitting Thursday night, notching their fifth game in a row scoring six or more runs after starting the season with eight in a row during which they scored three times or less.
Starting pitcher Jaime Garcia didn't waste the effort. Although he struggled with his location in the first three innings, he held the Dodgers to two earned runs over five innings. It would have been nice if he could have gone deeper into the game. But his early struggles got him to 92 pitches quickly and its apparent, after Garcia wore down last year, that manager Tony La Russa doesn't want to over-tax him in 2011.
Mitchell Boggs bridged the gap with two scoreless, hitless innings in which he struck out three Dodgers and walked none. Fernando Salas gave up a pair of hits and a run in his first inning of the year. Ryan Franklin closed the game out with one inning in which he allowed a no doubter home run to James Loney but otherwise got through the frame with little trouble.
Matt Holliday led the offense with three hits in five at bats. He drove in three runs and scored two more. Ryan Theriot, Colby Rasmus, Lance Berkman and Yadier Molina all chipped in with two hits apiece. Albert Pujols only had one hit -- but it was a line drive solo homer.
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Cardinals Star of the Game: Holliday
Cardinals Play of the Game: In the eighth inning with two outs and two on Jon Jay laid out in right field to catch a ball near the foul line that would have surely cut the lead from 9-4 to 9-6. Jay slammed the door and the Cardinals were never again seriously challenged.
Lowlight: Skip Schumaker was unable to take advantage of lefty vulnerable Dodgers starter Hideki Kuroda. He was 1-for-5 with no runs or RBIs and stranded four runners on base.