What was shaping up as a pitchers' duel took a sharper turn than any Hollywood blockbuster.
The Cardinals broke open a scoreless game with a 12-run seventh inning in which they tied a major league record with seven doubles, going on to blank the Chicago Cubs, 12-0, Saturday night.
Carlos Beltran, David Freese, Jon Jay, Skip Schumaker and Matt Holliday all doubled while Allen Craig delivered a pair of two-baggers in the record-tying frame.
Jake Westbrook (8-8) received the win after tossing seven scoreless inning on three hits and two walks. Westbrook added five strikeouts for the Cardinals, who have won the first two of the three-game series.
Justin Germano (0-1) took the loss in his Cubs debut. Starter Matt Garza left after tossing three scoreless frames due to cramping in his right triceps and Germano came on to toss three-plus inning of solid relief. He gave up one run on four hits.
"Anything to do with your elbow area as a pitcher you get nervous," Garza said. "I'm still young, so I wanted to take the precaution and I said something."
The Cardinals did most of their damage against James Russell, who entered the game with a 2.45 earned run average. That number, however, ballooned to 3.63 after the left-hander allowed six runs in two-thirds of an inning.
Freese started the seventh with a base hit. After Jay was unable to lay down a bunt, Craig started the doubles barrage with a line drive into the left-field corner. Rafael Furcal shot a single past a drawn-in infield to give the Cardinals the lead before Schumaker broke the game open with a two-run triple off the base of the center-field fence. Holliday worked a walk before Beltran dropped a ground-rule double down the right-field line to make it 4-0.
After Lance Berkman popped up with the bases loaded for the second out of the inning, the game unraveled for Chicago. Freese, Jay and Craig strung together three straight doubles and, after Furcal walked, Schumaker and Holliday delivered two more to cap the scoring.
"I'm a firm believer that hitting is contagious," said Freese. "Obviously, innings like that don't come around very often, but when you can string hits together it keeps the train moving and a lot of the time that is how you get big innings."
In total, St. Louis sent 17 hitters to the plate, tied a franchise record with 12 runs in an inning and took a place next to the Boston Bees, who also ripped seven doubles in an inning on Aug. 25, 1936, against the Cardinals.
The Cardinals have won 12 of their last 16 against the Cubs at Busch Stadium...Freese is 11-for-26 since the All-Star break with four extra-base hits...Westbrook is 2-0 with a 2.39 ERA against the Cubs in three starts in 2012 (five earned runs in 19 innings)...St. Louis went 8-for-18 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base...Chicago went 0-for-3 with RISP while stranding six.