Perhaps it was the presence of the
team, the Oakland Athletics, who traded him to the Cardinals last July. But, for
one of the few times in awhile, Matt Holliday looked the hitter he was for the
last two months of last season in
Holliday, driving in his first three runs in two weeks, hit a laser-beam two-run homer 414 feet and then singled twice, driving in another run with his third hit of the night. He had entered the game with 25 RBI for the season and had been a .189 hitter with men in scoring position.
"He's been battling and battling," said winning pitcher Chris Carpenter. He wants to be That Guy. And he wants to go out and hit homers every time up. He's That Guy.
"I know that he's had some situations where he hasn't come through the way that he'd like. He's a guy who takes that hard and he continues to work hard and he's going to continue to get better. It was nice to see him come up and hit the ball like that. That's Matt Holliday. That's who we know."
Manager Tony La Russa said it still was too early to tell if Holliday was prospering from hitting second in front of Albert Pujols rather than trying to deliver runs when hitting behind him, as Holliday had failed to do much of the season.
"He's a good hitter. And he's gonna hit," said La Russa. "Getting him up there in the first inning is a good feeling for us -- as opposed to hitting fourth. And with Mr. Scare hitting behind him, he should get some pitches to hit.
"It creates a lot of problems for the other side and that's what you try to do."
CARDINALS 6, A's 4: RHP Chris Carpenter allowed a season-high 10 hits, including five of them in a rugged four-run second inning. But he allowed only four singles in the last five scoreless frames and posted the 125th victory in 200 career decisions.
NOTES AND QUOTES
2B Skip Schumaker, getting a chance to win back his leadoff job, enjoyed his first three-hit game of the season and scored three runs in a game for just the second time. Schumaker is up to .249, the highest he has been since June 2.
RHP Chris Carpenter gave up double-figure hits (10) for the 27th time in 275 starts. But this was just the sixth time he had gained a victory when doing that.
RHP Ryan Franklin is
having just a good season as he did last year when he had 38 saves.
1B Albert Pujols is being passed intentionally just about as often as last year when he set a record for a right handed hitter at 44. He got his 19th intentional pass on Friday.
By the Numbers:
0-Number of victories for the Cardinals in games started by top pitchers Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright on a recent road trip.
Quote to Note:
"I'm a big believer that at the end of the year our numbers will be there and we'll be as a team right where we want to be."
-1B Albert Pujols on his and LF Matt Holliday's lack of productivity.
RHP Kyle Lohse (right forearm strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 23, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 5. He had surgery May 28 to alleviate muscle discomfort. He planned to begin playing catch June 21.
RHP Brad Penny (strained upper back) went on the 15-day disabled list May 22. He tossed from a mound June 9 but did not throw on a downward plane. He might be out until the All-Star break.