The Cardinals whipped Bud Smith and the Astros 5-1 while the Pirates beat down the Reds 5-0. So why am I not dancing in the streets?
Because Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman both left the Wednesday night win with injures. And it's going to be rough if the Birds' number four and number five hitters are out for any length of time.
Both players apparently hurt themselves making great catches in the outfield. Holliday made a running catch just shy of the wall in the second inning. He batted in the bottom of the frame and then was replaced in left field when the Cardinals took the field in the top of the second. Later, Berkman laid out on a headlong diving catch and stayed on his knees for a couple of minutes before waiving off the trainer and finishing the inning. But he was unable to bat with what was described as discomfort in his wrist.
Yadier Molina led the offense with three hits to raise his batting average to .323 for the season. He led off the third with a single and then moved to second when Daniel Descalso walked. Both runners were pushed up by a Ryan Theriot single then Jon Jay drove Molina and Descalso home to give the Birds a lead they would never surrender. Albert Pujols added on with an RBI single and then, after Berkman was intentionally walked, Allen Craig drew a bases loaded walk to push home a fourth run.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
In the fifth inning Tyler Greene was hit by a pitch to get on base and then he stole second. Pete Kozma, making his major league debut laced a double inside the third base bag for an RBI double in his first plate appearance in the big leagues.
Kyle Lohse tossed eight innings, allowing six hits and one run to notch his fifth victory and Eduardo Sanchez threw a scoreless ninth inning to seal the victory.
Norris gave up five runs on seven hits and three walks in five innings.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Molina
Cardinals Play of the Game: Jon Jay has made the most of his opportunity to play in place of injured centerfielder Colby Ramus. In addition to his two hits, Jay contributed a great catch in the outfield that was reminiscent of Jim Edmonds catch against the Astros in the 2004 National League Championship Series. He dove to snag a ball after a long run toward left field. Then he popped up and threw the ball to the infield to double up the runner from first base who thought the ball was a sure hit.
Lowlight: The injuries to Holliday and Berkman.