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Holliday powers Cardinals past Reds 8-2

Matt Holliday had four hits and four RBIs, Adam Wainwright won his fifth consecutive start and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Cincinnati Reds 8-2 on Sunday.

Allen Craig homered and drove in three runs as St. Louis handed the Reds just their second series loss in 13 sets since the All-Star break. The Cardinals have won five of six to move within six games of the NL Central-leading Reds.

St. Louis' 17 hits are the most allowed by Cincinnati in one game this season.

Wainwright (13-10) allowed two runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings while improving to 6-0 with a 1.80 ERA in his last seven starts overall. The 6-foot-7 right-hander, who missed all of last season because of elbow surgery, hasn't lost since July 18 at Milwaukee.

Reds right-hander Homer Bailey (10-9) gave up five runs in six innings while falling to 1-3 with a 6.04 ERA in five August starts. He also allowed a season-high nine hits for the sixth time.

The Cardinals strung together four consecutive ground-ball singles during a five-hit third inning that plated three runs. Skip Schumaker led off with a double to right-center, and Wainwright chipped in with a one-out single into left field. Schumaker scored on Jon Jay's base hit up the middle and Matt Carpenter singled to load the bases for Matt Holliday's two-run single to left.

St. Louis added two more runs in the sixth to make it 5-0. Holliday hit a leadoff triple before Craig drove a 1-2 pitch over the wall in left for his 20th homer.

Chris Heisey and Ryan Ludwick had RBI singles in the sixth for Cincinnati, which beat the Cardinals 8-2 on Saturday.

Holliday doubled in a run in the seventh and singled in Carpenter in the ninth.

NOTES: Reds 1B Joey Votto is scheduled to start a rehab assignment Tuesday at Single-A Dayton, perhaps the last step of his comeback from two minor surgical procedures related to a torn meniscus in his left knee. The Reds are 27-14 since Votto left the lineup. ... RHP Nick Masset was awaiting the results of an MRI on his right shoulder after soreness returned following his rehab appearance with Triple-A Louisville on Aug. 21. Masset has been on the disabled list since spring training. ... The Reds and Cardinals meet one more time this season, in the final series Oct. 1-3 in St. Louis.