Bruce homers twice to lead Reds past Cardinals -

Bruce homers twice to lead Reds past Cardinals

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Jay Bruce homered twice and had a career-high five RBIs to help the Cincinnati Reds beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-2 on Tuesday night.

The Cardinals, who wrapped up the NL Central title with a 6-3 win at Colorado on Saturday, have lost four of five. Joel Pineiro (15-12) allowed seven runs and eight hits in six innings to fall to 1-3 in his last four starts.

Albert Pujols, who entered with NL record-tying five grand slams this season, just missed another one when he hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth that center fielder Willy Taveras caught just short of the warning track. The Cardinals slugger went 1 for 3, leaving him with a .328 batting average.

David Freese hit his first career homer for St. Louis in the ninth.

Homer Bailey pitched seven solid innings and Joey Votto also connected for the Reds, who have won seven of eight. Brandon Phillips added two hits.

Bailey (7-5) allowed one run and seven hits to earn his first career win against St. Louis. He also improved to 5-1 with a 1.89 ERA in his last eight starts.

Bruce got Cincinnati off to fast start in the second, hitting a 3-1 pitch into the visitors' bullpen in right for a three-run homer. Phillips led off the inning with an infield single and Scott Rolen followed with a walk.

It was Bruce's 21st homer and second in his last three at-bats. He went deep in the ninth inning Saturday in Houston and grounded out as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning on Sunday.

Votto hit his 24th homer in the third and the Reds added three more in the sixth to make it 6-1. Rolen hit an RBI single before Bruce hit a drive into the seats in right-center.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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