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July 5: Cardinals 8, Reds 1

Matt Holliday hit a pair of home runs -- and Lance Berkman hit one shot that seemed like it went as far as both of holliday's homers put together -- to lead the Cardinals to an 8-1 drubbing of the Reds.

Holliday hit a line drive homer with two outs in the first inning. Berkman then hit the next pitch from Cincinatti starter Edinson Volquez about half way to the Missisippi River, pulling it deep into the left field stands.

The lead was cut in half by the Reds in the fourth inning when former Redbirds third baseman Scott Rolen drove Brandon Phillips home with a sacrifice. But the Cardinals responded with three runs in the fifth inning and three more in the sixth to put the game out of reach.

In the fifth Ryan Theriot reached base with one out when Cincinnati shortstop Paul Janish couldn't handle his hard ground ball. Jon Jay hit an inside out single to left centerfield and the Holliday cranked his second homer of the night to make the game 5-1. The next inning Yadier Molina walked with one out and Skip Schumaker moved him to third with a ground rule double. Mark Hamilton, who won Monday's game with a scratch hit while pinch hitting for the pitcher, blooped a ball over shortstop while pinch hitting for Garcia on Tuesday and drove in two more runs to make the score 7-1. Theriot then doubled home Hamilton to put the Birds up 8-1.

The game wasn't without it's tense moments after that. Reliever Lance Lynn got himself into a jam with runners at second and third and only one out. But he struck out the next two hitters to strand the runners and preserve the seven run lead. In the ninth Mitchell Boggs got the first out before completely losing the strike zone and walking the bases full. But he, too recovered without allowing any damage.

The victory improved starting pitcher Jaime Garcia's record to 8-4 onthe season and made the Cardinals 30-15 when hosting Cincinnati at Busch Stadium III.

Garcia pitched six innings and allowed one run on two hits and three walks. He struck out four and lowered his ERA to 3.23 for the season including an 0.94 mark at home.

Cardinals Star of the Game: Berkman

Cardinals Play of the Game: Berkman's homer, which was hit back to back with Holliday in the first inning, traveled 452 feet and ranks as the longest homer in the history of the Birds' current ballpark. The blast was the 350th of Berkman's career and 23rd of the season.

Lowlight: Mitchell Boggs, with one out in the bottom of the ninth, walked the bases loaded on 12 pitches. Fortunately, he righted himself and struck out the last two men to end the game. But it was troubling to see a guy who the Birds are going to count on in the second half completely lose his stuff so quickly.

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