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First, Hart bobbled Freese’s single in right field, allowing Holliday to reach third.

Holliday scored on the next play when third baseman Jerry Hairston Jr. committed two errors. First, he booted Molina’s grounder and then flipped the ball out of his glove through Weeks’ legs at second.

Pinch-hitter Adron Chambers’ sacrifice fly gave St. Louis an 11-5 lead in the fifth. In the bottom of the inning, Braun’s groundout cut the lead to 11-6, but the focus was on Pujols when he was slow to get up.

La Russa came out to check on his star, who gripped his right forearm and had a brief limp, but stayed in the game. He looked better, contributing a two-out RBI single in the eighth for the final margin.

Jackson allowed Hart and Weeks to lead off the first two innings with homers and Lucroy added a two-run shot to cut the lead to 5-4 after the second. St. Louis answered back with four more runs, keyed when Jackson was pulled for Craig, who delivered the two-run single.

Salas caught a break in the third when Jay made a leaping catch of Fielder’s drive at the wall in right-center. Jay added another spectacular grab, crashing into the padding in the ninth with Motte on the mound.

One out later, the celebration was on.