Battle of birds goes way of Cards
Posted: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 5:18 pm
TORONTO (AP) — Matt Holliday extended his hitting binge into a brand new week.
The streaking slugger connected for one of St. Louis’ four home runs, and the Cardinals beat the Toronto Blue Jays 9-4 on Tuesday night.
Felipe Lopez, Yadier Molina and slumping Colby Rasmus also went deep for the Cardinals to back rookie left-hander Jaime Garcia (7-3).
Holliday got off to a slow start after signing a $120 million, seven-year contract in the offseason. But he was selected NL player of the week after batting .435 (10-for-23) with four homers and eight RBI from June 14-20.
He kept that streak going against the Blue Jays with a single in the first inning, a homer in the third and a double in the fifth. He finished 3-for-5 with two RBI.
“He’s done it for seven years,” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. “You’re going to have times when he goes on a binge and then he goes sluggish, but even when he goes sluggish he’s getting his knock. He’s just a very tough out, a proven hitter.”
Rasmus said Holliday’s track record means the outfielder must work hard to live up to past successes.
“He’s doing what everybody knows he can do, which is hard to do,” Rasmus said. “It’s definitely hard to keep that going. He’s hit .300 for six years, which is crazy.”
Jose Bautista hit two home runs for Toronto, giving him a major league-high 20.
Molina hit a solo shot in the second and Rasmus a two-run, pinch-hit drive in the eighth, snapping an 0-for-17 slide. Lopez capped the outburst with a solo homer in the ninth.
Garcia allowed three runs and six hits in six innings, the first time in 14 starts he’s allowed more than two earned runs. He walked none and struck out four.
“The whole game I felt like I was doing a pretty good job of keeping the ball down,” Garcia said.
Kyle McClellan pitched 11⁄3 innings of relief, Trever Miller got two outs and Mitchell Boggs worked the ninth.
Bautista hit a two-run drive in the second and a solo shot in the seventh. It was the fourth multihomer game of the season for Bautista, who had not gone deep since homering twice June 4 against the New York Yankees.
The Blue Jays lead the majors with 108 home runs.
Molina’s homer, his third, gave St. Louis a 1-0 lead, but Bautista replied with a two-run shot in the bottom half, just the third homer allowed by Garcia this season.
Holliday tied it with a one-out drive to left in the third, his 11th.
“What he’s been doing the last week is awesome,” third baseman David Freese said. “We’re all rooting for him.”
The Cardinals took the lead with a four-run fifth against left-hander Brett Cecil (7-4). Holliday and Ryan Ludwick hit RBI doubles and Freese followed with a two-run single.
Adam Lind hit an RBI grounder in the sixth and Bautista cracked his second homer, a solo drive off the facing of the third deck, against McClellan in the seventh.
Rasmus restored the four-run lead with a drive to right off Jason Frasor in the eighth, his 14th. It was the first pinch-hit homer of his career.
Lopez, a former Blue Jay, connected off left-hander David Purcey in the ninth, his fourth.
Cecil allowed six runs and eight hits in five innings, losing back-to-back starts for the first time this season. He walked one, intentional, and struck out four.
“Back to basics, two rough starts, time to start over,” Cecil said. “I’ve got to get back to work on keeping the ball down. The whole game I was missing up.”
NOTES: The Cardinals are 8-3 in interleague play. … Plate umpire Paul Nauert had to have his left wrist taped between innings after he was hit by a ball in the top of the eighth. … Blue Jays right-hander Dustin McGowan had surgery to repair a “significant tear” in his rotator cuff and improve range of motion in his pitching shoulder. He will not resume throwing for four to six months, general manager Alex Anthopoulos said. McGowan has not pitched in the majors since July 2008, when he had surgery to repair his labrum. … Former NBA star Charles Barkley attended the game.