The St. Louis Cardinals are showing no signs of slowing down, as they knocked around Cincinnati Reds ace Mat Latos and notched their ninth win in 11 games with a 6-1 victory on Tuesday at Busch Stadium.
The Cardinals banged out 11 hits -- nine of them off Latos (13-5) -- and received an RBI from five different players to stretch their NL Central lead to 1 1/2 games over the Pirates and 4 1/2 clear of the Reds.
Joe Kelly (6-3) worked through eight hits and three walks to allow just one run -- a solo homer by Shin-Soo Choo. Kelly is 6-0 in eight starts since joining the rotation on July 6.
"It's just hard to complain with what he did today," said St. Louis manager Mike Matheny. "He came out with a lot of confidence again."
Latos had allowed just three runs in 30 1/3 innings in August coming into the start, but the Cardinals tagged him for four runs over six-plus frames. The Reds are just 4-10 in meetings with St. Louis this season.
"This is just the way baseball goes," said Latos. "It is frustrating but they're a good team and things aren't falling for us as of late."
Matt Carpenter, Carlos Beltran and Holliday each singled to begin St. Louis' first turn at the plate, with Holliday's hit scoring Carpenter. Allen Craig then hit into a double play with runners at the corners, but a run came in to make it 2-0.
The Reds had their chances early, but only had Choo's homer to begin the fifth to show for it. They stranded eight men on base through those five frames, then never put a man on again the rest of the way.
Meanwhile, St. Louis slowly started building onto its advantage, plating a run apiece in the sixth and seventh before tacking on a pair in the eighth.
Craig ripped a double into left in the sixth to score Beltran and extend the Cardinals' edge to 3-1. Beltran had wisely tagged from first the at-bat prior on Holliday's fly ball toward the weak-armed Choo in center.
A double steal by Jon Jay and Daniel Descalso in the seventh led to another score, with Carpenter lifting a one-out sac fly for a 4-1 cushion.
The spread was five runs by the end of the eighth, with David Freese knocking a run in with a single and another coming home on Descalso's ground ball force out.
The Reds have played 30 series in St. Louis since 2003, amassing a poor 3-25-2 record in those sets ... Carpenter scored his 100th run of the season ... Choo hit his 100th career home run.