Three, first inning home runs led to a 4-0 lead and provided Jake Westbrook with more than enough offense as the Cardinals open their series in Cincinnati with a 7-1 win Monday night over the Reds.
Cincy starter Homer Bailey retired the first two Cardinal batters, then Matt Holliday homered, Lance Berkman walked and David Freese homered. Yadier Molina then homered on the next pitch.
The four-run cushion helped Westbrook, who was pitching for the first time in nine days. He walked four of the first ten Reds hitters, but didn’t allowed a hit until Brandon Phillips singled with two outs in the sixth. Phillips then scored, when Westbrook threw wildly into right field after tracking down a hot comebacker that rolled back to the first base line.
The Cardinals tacked on three runs in the eighth to seal the win. Molina finished with three RBI. Freese has reached base safely in all five of the Cardinals games this season.