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Game 12: Cardinals 11, Reds 1

Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips might want to spend a little less time on Twitter and a little bit more time in batting practice.

After shooting his mouth off on the social networking site, yesterday referring to St. Louis as a "slum," he contributed mightily to Reds losses in the first two game of their series against St. Louis by hitting into three rally-killing double plays. On Thursday the Cardinals used two of the twin killings to help hold down Cincinnati in an 11-1 rout.

Of course, the Redbirds batsmen also bore a large amount of the responsibility fot the win. They scored three runs in the first when Lance Berkman hit an infield single to push Rafael Furcal -- who was 4-for-5 over the night -- and then David Freese doubled to drive in Carlos Beltran and Berkman.

In the second, Beltran made the score 5-0 when he homered off Cincinnati starter Mat Latos. The shot was his third homer off Latos in three at bats up to that point.

The Reds scored a run in the fifth to make the score 5-1 and they looked like they were ready to make a run in the sixth when Drew Stubbs singled to lead off the inning then Joey Votto walked to make it first and second with no one out. But Phillips came to the plate and hit into a 5-4-3 double play to take the starch out of the Cincinnati rally. And the Red legs never threatened again.

With two outs in the bottom of the sixth, St. Louis starting pitcher Jaime Garcia hit a triple to left field to push in two runs and Furcal singled to score his pitcher to make the score 8-1. Then in the eighth, Tyler Greene hit a two run homer and Furcal singled home another run to produce the final 11-1 result.

The Cardinals won their fourth consecutive three-game series to start the season -- including two tilts against the Reds. The Birds are an incredible 24-2 in their last 26 three-game sets with Cincy. Tweet that, Phillips.

Garcia, usually dominates the Reds but turned in a poor performance the last time the teams met. On Wednesday he pitched much better with only one run allowed on seven hits and three walks over six innings.

Cardinals Star of the Game: Furcal raised his batting average to .353 with his four-hit performance. He also scored a run and drove in two.

Cardinals Play of the Game: Garcia's triple.

Lowlight: St. Louis first baseman Lance Berkman left the game after aggravating his previously strained calf. One has to wonder why the Cardinals pushed Berkman back into the line-up when the guy who played first base in his stead was hitting .409.

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