ST. LOUIS — Matt Holliday doesn’t get too technical about what he tries to do at the plate for the Cardinals.
Holliday hit his third home run in two games and broke an eighth-inning tie with a two-run single, rallying St. Louis past the Chicago Cubs 9-6 on Sunday.
“I just try to hit the ball to the middle of the field,” said Holliday, who has five homers against the Cubs this season and 20 in his career. “Trying to hit a single up the middle is a good approach.”
St. Louis second baseman Kolten Wong, a 2008 Kamehameha graduate, homered but left in the top of the eighth after falling backward when he tried to catch a popup in short right field. He appeared to hurt his head and shoulder, and was replaced by Pete Kozma.
Wong hit a leadoff homer, and Matt Carpenter’s RBI double glanced off the glove of center fielder Arismendy Alcantara at the warning track. Holliday’s run-scoring double off the left-field fence chased starter Travis Wood.
Wong said he was fighting the sun trying to catch the popup and fell. He underwent concussion tests.
“I felt really dizzy,” Wong said. “I’m not in any pain and I don’t have any headaches.”
Holliday finished with three hits and four RBIs for the Cardinals, who moved into a tie with Milwaukee for first place in the NL Central. The Brewers lost 15-5 in San Francisco.
St. Louis manager Mike Matheny was pleased with his team’s performance.
“I love it when guys do what they’ve always done and people seem to forget year after year,” Matheny said. “He’s an elite player. He continues to figure out ways to get it done no matter what. It was a big game and we needed it.”
Kozma, in his third stint with St. Louis this season, led off the bottom half with a double. It was his second hit in four at-bats this year.
After failing to get down two bunt attempts, Daniel Descalso got the third one down and beat Carlos Villanueva’s throw to first for a single. With the bases loaded and two outs, Holliday singled off Villanueva (5-7) to drive in two runs.
The ball appeared to hit Villanueva’s foot, but the reliever said it actually struck the rubber and caromed into short left field.
Jhonny Peralta’s third single scored the final run in a three-run eighth.
Pat Neshek (7-1) earned the win with one inning of work. Trevor Rosenthal got his 40th save.