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June 18: Cardinals 5, Royals 4

Our long Cardinal National nightmare is finally over.

Matt Holliday cranked a game-winning, two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth Saturday night against the Royals and the Redbirds put their seven-game losing streak to bed.

The poke bailed out starting pitcher Jake Westbrook who gave up four earned runs on eight hits through seven innings. He stood to be the loser after being burned with two outs twice -- most irritatingly when he gave up a two run triple in the second inning with the pitcher standing on deck. While Westbrook avoided the loss, it was reliever Jason Motte who earned the win with a scoreless inning of relief.

Speaking of scorless innings of relief... Cardinals closer Fernando Salas hurled a 1-2-3 ninth inning for only the second time since he took over duties as the last man out of the bullpen.

Ryan Theriot, back in the lineup after a couple games off with a knee problem, collected two hits and scored a run at the top of the order. Skip Schumaker, who led off in Theriot's absence Friday night, got the dubious job of being the proverbial "second leadoff man," batting ninth. Westbrook held down the eighth spot.

Cardinals Star of the Game: Holliday was 2-for-3 with a walk, a run scored and a pair of RBI.

Cardinals Play of the Game: Holliday's game winning, two-run homer.

Lowlight: Westbrook's two out trouble.