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Cardinals blast five homers in win

The SportsXchange

ST. LOUIS -- When you hit more than 2,000 feet worth of homers, you're probably going to win the game.

The St. Louis Cardinals did that before the bottom of the fifth inning was done Thursday night as they salvaged a split of their four-game series with Arizona in a 12-8 win at Busch Stadium.

Matt Holliday, Matt Adams, Daniel Descalso, winning pitcher Shelby Miller and Matt Carpenter all went deep for the Cardinals (39-21). It was the first time they'd clouted five homers in a home game since doing it against Pittsburgh on June 24, 2005.

"We just kept throwing out good at-bats," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said.

Miller (7-3) allowed six hits over six innings while yielding two runs, both earned. He struck out nine, including seven of the last eight men he faced.

But the real highlight of his evening might have been the 418-foot homer Miller belted off reliever Matt Reynolds to start the fifth. It was not just his first career blast, but his second hit of the game -- and the season. He was 0-for-22 with 16 strikeouts coming into the game.

"I'm not going to lie to you," Miller said of the homer. "I'm going to remember that one for a while."

Arizona starter Ian Kennedy (3-4) would like to forget this one as fast as possible. It was clear from the start that he lacked stuff and location. He gave back a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Holliday pulverized a 1-0 pitch 427 feet to left-center field for his ninth homer of the year with Yadier Molina aboard.

However, the real carnage didn't occur until the fourth, when St. Louis scored eight runs. Jon Jay snapped the 2-2 deadlock with an RBI single to right-center, setting the stage for a two-out explosion.

Kennedy could have minimized the damage, but he made a bad throw on Molina's one-hopper to the mound with men on first and second that forced shortstop Didi Gregorius off the bag at second, allowing Matt Carpenter to be safe. While Gregorius did make the throw to retire Molina at first, the Cardinals gained an extra out and took full advantage.

After Holliday walked, Allen Craig lashed a two-run single up the middle, followed by Adams' 422-foot three-run homer over the bullpen in right-center field. After David Freese walked, Descalso lined a 405-foot blast into the bullpen in right-center to cap the outburst.

"When you play good teams, you don't get a lot of extra opportunities," Matheny said. "We were relentless."

Kennedy departed after fanning Jay to end the inning, having allowed 13 hits and 10 runs over four innings. It was the most runs allowed by a Diamondback starter since Edwin Jackson gave up 10 at Colorado on April 27, 2010.

It turned out that the Cardinals needed most of those runs to hold off a late Arizona rally against their bullpen. After RBI singles from Cliff Pennington, pinch-hitter Wil Nieves and Gerardo Parra in a three-run seventh, the Diamondbacks made things interesting in the ninth.

They touched rookie Keith Butler for three more in the ninth, forcing Edward Mujica to pick up the last two outs for his 18th save.

"We've done that all year," first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said. "We don't quit."

While Arizona (34-26) finished its eight-game road trip with a 4-4 mark, St. Louis heads for a showdown series in Cincinnati with a three-game lead over the Reds in the NL Central.

"It can't hurt to go in there off a game like this," Molina said.

NOTES: St. Louis made another move in its bullpen Thursday, recalling lefty reliever Kevin Siegrist from Memphis (AAA) and optioning right-hander Maikel Cleto. Siegrist was 2-1, 1.95 in 27 2/3 innings, split between Springfield (AA) and Memphis. He made his big league debut in the seventh, retiring five of the six men he faced and whiffing four ... Arizona selected right-handed pitcher Braden Shipley from Nevada in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft Thursday night. Shipley boasts a 98-mile per hour fastball and went 7-3, 2.77 for the Wolfpack this spring ... St. Louis picked Gonzaga two-way player Marco Gonzales with the 19th overall selection. Gonzales, who will end up as a pitcher in the pros, went 7-3, 2.80 for the Bulldogs this season. The Cardinals then tabbed New Jersey high schooler Rob Kaminsky with the 28th overall pick, a compensatory selection after the loss of Kyle Lohse in free agency.

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