ST. LOUIS (AP) Matt Holliday was back in the groove Friday night.
The St. Louis outfielder homered twice and drove in four to pace a six-homer attack as the Cardinals beat the Cincinnati Reds 14-3.
Hollliday, who entered the game with a .188 average and without a home run, reached base four times and recorded his 20th career multi-homer game.
“The results haven’t been what I wanted, but you’ve just got to stick with it,” Holliday said. “I felt like I was getting good swings and tonight I finally got some results.”
Aledmys Diaz and Brandon Moss each added three-run homers to help the Cardinals to their sixth win in the last seven games. They have scored seven or more runs in all six wins and hit double-digits four times.
Moss was sure that Holliday would eventually bounce out of his funk.
“He’s been hitting the ball well,” Moss said. “He probably hasn’t gotten as many hits as he’d like, but he’s been squaring the ball.”
St. Louis manager Mike Matheny was glad to see Holliday break loose. Holliday had just four homers in 73 games during an injury-plagued campaign last season.
“It’s always nice to see Matt get on the board in the home run column,” Matheny said. “He hit the ball a couple times with authority to center and that’s tough to do.”
Holliday wasn’t the Cardinals only long-ball artist.
Carlos Martinez (2-0) allowed three runs and six hits over seven innings. He struck out six and walked one.
Martinez was pleased with his pitching performance, but wanted to join the home run parade as well.
“When Moss hit a homer, I wanted to hit a homer too,” Martinez said.
Rookie starter Tim Melville (0-1) gave up seven runs in three innings for the loss.
Joey Votto had a three-run homer for the Reds, who have lost eight of their last 10 at Busch Stadium.
Holliday drilled the 11th pitch from Melville over the wall in center to give his team a 3-0 lead. He added a solo shot in the sixth.
Melville began the game with nine successive balls.
“Obviously, he was having a hard time finding the strike zone,” Holliday said. “You just keep taking until you get a strike and then you get aggressive with him.”
Diaz pushed the lead to 7-3 with a line drive over the left-field wall in the third.
Melville, who went to high school in the St. Louis suburb of Wentzville, gave up six earned runs in his second major league start.
“I just wasn’t executing pitches,” Melville said. “It was tough, any loss is tough.”
The Reds injury-plagued pitching staff gave up 13 hits and walked four.
“It was kind of a blood-letting,” Cincinnati manager Bryan Price said. “It wasn’t a competitive effort.”
Reds: SS Zack Cozart returned to the lineup after missing five games with right quadriceps tightness. … LHP John Lambwill make a rehab start for Triple-A Louisville on Saturday against Toledo. He underwent disc surgery on Dec. 7, 2015, and did not pitch in spring training.
Cardinals: SS Ruben Tejada went 1 for 3 in a rehab start at Double-A Springfield on Thursday. He was placed on the disabled list prior to the season with a left quad strain and could return as soon as Sunday.
Reds: LHP Brandon Finnegan (0-0, 2.84) will go in the middle game of the three-game set on Saturday. He allowed two earned runs each in his first two starts of the season.
Cardinals: RHP Adam Wainwright (0-1, 6.55) will start for the Cardinals. He is 8-9 lifetime with a 4.18 ERA against the Reds, but has won his last three starts against them.