Looks like Matt Holliday can do some pretty big things when he’s not busy trying to catch line drives with his crotch. The Cardinals’ left fielder, whose ballsy defensive effort was the last straw in St. Louis’ sweep at the hands of the Dodgers in last year’s playoffs, had three hits — a single, a two-out RBI double and a solo homer — to lead his team to a 9-4 win in the series opener against the Jays last night at Rogers Centre. This wasn’t the start of it for Holliday either — he’s 11-for-17 with five homers and 10 RBIs in his last four games alone, plus zero attempted catches with his jock strap.
Brett Cecil wasn’t his normal fine self for Toronto, giving up four runs with two outs in the fifth before exiting after the inning with six total allowed on eight hits. A run in the sixth and another on Jose Bautista’s second home run of the game in the seventh pulled the Jays within two runs, but another ridiculous outing from the bullpen put it out of reach in the final two innings. Jason Frasor was the culprit again this time, giving up a two-run shot to Colby Rasmus in the eighth, and David Purcey followed suit by giving up St. Louis’ fourth homer — a solo rope by ex-Jay Felipe Lopez — in the ninth. Yadier Molina hit the Cards’ other homer, a solo off Cecil in the second.
On a positive note, Bautista’s two homers were his first in over two weeks and bump him past Miguel Cabrera for the Major League lead with 20. Bautista was 2-for-3 and walked a pair of times, and back-to-back multi-hit games seem to have snapped him out of a 2-for-41 slump, at least for the time being. I’m crossing my fingers that his offensive joyride of a season takes back off after a couple hot games.
The Jays and Cardinals are back at it tonight in the second of a three-gamer, with Ricky Romero (6-3, 3.08) on the hill against some guy named Chris Carpenter (8-1, 2.83).