Cleveland, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Matt Holliday hit a three-run homer and drove in four and the St. Louis Cardinals opened a three-game series against the Cleveland Indians with an 8-3 win on Tuesday night.
Mark Reynolds had three hits, including a two-run single, and Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter returned after missing four games because of fatigue to contribute two hits, two runs scored and an RBI.
"Something that we have done well lately is keep pitching, keep scoring runs late in games," Holliday said.
St. Louis snapped a two-game losing streak and improved its MLB-best record to 23-9.
Lance Lynn (2-3) threw six shutout innings to pick up his first win since April 15. The only Cardinals starter with a losing record had nine strikeouts and gave up four hits and four walks on his 28th birthday.
Jason Kipnis had three hits for the Indians, who have dropped four of their last five.
Carlos Carrasco (4-3) had seven strikeouts but took the loss after giving up four runs and 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings.
"Sometimes you will struggle, but we are going to come back," Carrasco said. "What we need to do is keep working."
The Indians offense opened up against the Cardinals bullpen in the seventh inning, scoring three runs against three relievers to get within 4-2. Kipnis, Michael Brantley and Ryan Raburn each hit RBI doubles in the rally.
But the Cardinals responded with four runs in the eighth, extending their lead to 8-3 on Carpenter's RBI single and Holliday's three-run blast.
Earlier, Jhonny Peralta and Yadier Molina singled in the second inning and both scored on Reynolds' two-out hit, with Molina beating a throw home to make it 2-0 St. Louis.
Reynolds and Peter Bourjos started the fifth with back-to-back singles and Reynolds scored on Holliday's two-out hit to give the Cardinals a 3-0 lead.
Lynn walked two batters and gave up a single in the bottom of the fifth to load the bases, but also had three strikeouts in the inning, including two in a row to escape the jam.
St. Louis pushed its lead to 4-0 in the top of the seventh after Carpenter and Peralta doubled to chase Carrasco.
The Cardinals are just 7-14 against the Indians since interleague play began in 1997, including 3-6 in Cleveland. The Indians are the only remaining active MLB franchise the Cardinals haven't won a series against. St. Louis has never beaten the Indians in consecutive games against Houston in the first series of the season.