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Holliday powers Cards past Royals

Jun 19, 2011 - 3:08 AM St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Matt Holliday crushed a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning, a long blast to center that propelled the Cardinals to a 5-4 victory over the Royals and helped St. Louis snap its seven-game losing streak.

Albert Pujols hit an RBI double as the Cardinals avoided their first eight- game skid since 2007. They hadn't won since June 9 at Houston.

"You just keep battling and realize that it's a long season and every team goes through something similar," Holliday said.

Holliday's home run was his eighth of the season and second game-winning blast against the Royals. Back on May 21, his two-run shot in the eighth broke a scoreless tie and powered St. Louis to a 3-0 victory.

Alex Gordon and Matt Treanor homered for Kansas City, which won the opener to this three-game interleague series on Friday.

Gordon's homer put the Royals on top with two away in the seventh inning. He fouled off the first pitch from St. Louis starter Jake Westbrook, but took three consecutive balls to gain an advantage in the count.

Westbrook then threw a sinker in the zone and Gordon hammered it over the right field wall for a 4-3 edge. Westbrook finished the inning, and gave up eight total hits and one walk in his start.

Cardinals relievers Trever Miller and Jason Motte (3-1) threw a scoreless eighth to keep the game close, and Holliday delivered in the next inning.

Colby Rasmus led off with a single against Tim Collins, who had thrown a shutout seventh for Kansas City. Collins was then pulled in favor of Greg Holland (1-1), who retired Pujols on a groundout.

But he made a mistake against Holliday, throwing an 0-1 fastball down the heart of the plate. Holliday got all of the pitch, slugging it to the patch of grass beyond the center field wall.

"Make a bad pitch to a good hitter, that happens sometimes," Holland said. "Tried to get the ball in and it leaked back over the plate, and it was up, to boot. So, bad combination."

Fernando Salas worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his 12th save.

The Cardinals plated a run in the first inning, which Ryan Theriot began with a double. He moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Rasmus' sacrifice fly.

Singles by Treanor and Chris Getz in the second inning preceded Alcides Escobar's triple to the wall in left-center, which pushed the Royals in front. A sacrifice fly by Daniel Descalso in the bottom half evened the game.

The teams traded runs again. Skip Schumaker opened the bottom of the third with a single before crossing the plate on Pujols' double off the wall in left, and Treanor pulled a solo shot into the bullpen in left field in the top of the fourth.

Game Notes

Royals starter Vin Mazzaro allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks in six innings...Escobar finished 2-for-4, his seventh multi-hit performance during Kansas City's current nine-game road trip, which ends Sunday...The Cardinals optioned infielder Tyler Greene to Triple-A Memphis on Saturday as they tweaked their roster. St. Louis recalled middle infielder Pete Kozma from Memphis and pitcher Maikel Cleto from Double-A Springfield, and also optioned first baseman/outfielder Mark Hamilton to Memphis.