No tapping the shin guards of Yadi, but Brandon Phillips does point as he steps into the box. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Busch Stadium had the feeling of a playoff atmosphere and the Cardinals playing for their postseason lives came up with a 3-2 win Friday night to cut the Cincinnati Reds lead to seven games for the division lead. The Cardinals scored early and rookie Jaime Garcia held the Reds in check.

The Cardinals got to Bronson Arroyo early. In the first, Skip Schumaker led off with a single, then Jon Jay tripled in the right field corner and scored on a sac fly from Albert Pujols. In the second, Brendan Ryan singled and advanced to third when Garcia bounced a ball over a drawn in infield expecting a bunt to give the Cardinals runners on second and third. Ryan scored on a groundout from Schumaker. Arroyo was having issues keeping the ball down.

Cincinnati chipped away at the lead in the third on a solo homer from number eight hitter Paul Janish. In the fourth, Jonny Gomes drove in Scott Rolen with a double to make the score 3-2. The Reds threatened in the later innings getting runners on, but couldn’t do much.

The big side story was the return of Brandon Phillips who was booed every time he stepped up to the plate. The Cardinals faithful let him hear it when he stepped in the batter’s box, fielded a ball, ran out on to the field. Of course, he made the comments that he hated the Cardinals and thought they were cry babies. He went 0 for 4 in his return.