Jim Edmonds hit a grand slam in the third inning to start the scoring. Ray Lankford homered on the next pitch, and the rout was on, giving the Cardinals the National League Central Divison crown. Lankford and Craig Paquette each homered twice as the Cardinals beat the Astros 11-6. The champagne was flowing in the Cardinal clubhouse, as the Cards celebrated their first division title since 1996. Rookie Rick Ankiel held the Astros to four hits and three runs in seven inning to get his tenth win. He says it wasn’t hard to get pumped up for the clincher. The back-to-back homers by Edmonds and Lankford marked the 15th time the Cards have done that, tying a National League record set by the 1956 Cincinnati Reds. The Cards also set team season records with their 228th homer, and their 11th grand slam.The Cards now turn their attention to shooting for home field advantage. They trail San Francisco by a game and a half for the league’s best overall record.
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