ST. LOUIS -- Jake Westbrook
gave St. Louis a second straight outstanding start on Wednesday. This time, he got plenty of run support.
Blasting two homers in the fifth and sixth innings, the Cardinals blew open a scoreless pitcher's duel and pounded Cincinnati 10-0 to win the first of six series this year between bitter National League Central rivals.
Westbrook (1-1) scattered five hits, walked four and struck out three in his first shutout since Aug. 9, 2006, when he pitched with Cleveland. He gave up one unearned run in his first start of the season on Friday at San Francisco but lost 1-0 to Barry Zito
It looked like Westbrook would have little margin for error again as Homer Bailey
(1-1) matched him pitch for pitch until St. Louis (5-4) suddenly exploded with two outs in the bottom of the fifth.
Jon Jay broke through with a homer just over the outstretched glove of center fielder Shin-soo Choo. Matt Carpenter
followed with a single, Matt Holliday
doubled him home and Carlos Beltran cracked a two-run homer into the Cardinals' bullpen in right center for a 4-0 advantage.
In the sixth, Matt Adams rifled a two-run blast into the right-center field bleachers and Carpenter belted a two-run shot off reliever Logan Ondrusek
to make it 8-0.
St. Louis touched reliever Alfredo Simon for two more runs in the seventh.
Westbrook had his sinker working early, inducing 11 ground-ball outs in the first five innings and needing just 51 pitches to get to the sixth. He finished the game with 17, including the final out on a dribbler back to the mound.
NOTES: Cincinnati placed left-handed reliever Sean Marshall on the disabled list with left shoulder tendinitis and recalled Ondrusek from the minors. It's Marshall's first DL stint since 2006, when he was pitching for the Cubs ... Tuesday night's 5-1 win over the Reds marked the first time since 1999 that St. Louis won after being held hitless through five innings ... The Cardinals entered Wednesday's game with a league-leading .400 average with runners in scoring position. They were 5 of 13 with RISP in the series finale.
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- Jake Westbrook