ST. LOUIS — Lance Lynn dug another early hole. The St. Louis Cardinals offense climbed right out of it.
Lynn gave up three first-inning runs for the second straight time against the Cincinnati Reds, but again came away a winner. When he’s on the mound, the other pitcher often suffers.
"There’s no secret that he gets good run production," manager Mike Matheny said after the Cardinals rallied for a 7-5 victory on Tuesday night. "It’s hard to explain with Lance. I think some guys just have a knack of being in the right place when we’ve got a lot of offensive support."
Matt Holliday hit a go-ahead two-run double in the sixth inning that glanced off right fielder Jay Bruce’s glove on the warning track.
"I just jumped a tad early," Bruce said. "Error or not, it’s a ball I should have caught and I expect to catch."
Yadier Molina homered and Peter Bourjos had three hits and an RBI to help the Cardinals clinch their 26th series win to go with three losses and two splits since 2003 at Busch Stadium against Cincinnati. They’re 4-1 against the Reds already this year, leaving a top division rival scuffling at 2-6 overall.
"There’s not a whole lot of blatantly one-sided games, it’s one or two mistakes here or there," Reds starter Homer Bailey said. "We can’t think about what we do here or what we do just against them.
"Across the board, we just need to get better."
Bruce had a two-run triple in the first, Billy Hamilton’s second hit of the season drove in a run and Ryan Ludwick had two RBIs for the Reds.
The Reds squandered a 4-0 second-inning lead by the bottom half of the inning. The Cardinals averaged 5.67 runs in Lynn’s starts last year, third-most in the National League, and have scored seven both outings this year.
"The offense was able to pick me up again," Lynn said. "That’s the beautiful thing about baseball, you can have a sub-par pitching performance and great offensive night."
Trevor Rosenthal finished for his third save in three chances.
Bruce appeared to have a bead on Holliday’s two-out drive with two on against Logan Ondrusek (0-1), but had to jump a bit at the last instant and the ball glanced off his glove as the Cardinals took a 6-5 lead. Bourjos added an RBI single in the seventh off J.J. Hoover.
Both starters scuffled, just as they did in the second game of the season in Cincinnati. Lynn has surrendered eight runs in 11 innings and Bailey has permitted eight runs on 16 hits and five walks in 9 1/3 innings.
"So far at the beginning of games I haven’t been able to get that rhythm that I would like," Lynn said. "I’ve had it later in games and I need to get a better rhythm out of the gate and I’ll be all right."
Lynn is 5-1 for his career against the Reds, including three wins last year. Bailey is 5-10 against the Cardinals.
"Tonight, I definitely feel like I deserve the loss," Bailey said. "I guess you can always say it’s still early but every single game counts."
Joey Votto and Bruce had one-out hits in the fifth ahead of Ludwick’s run-scoring groundout for a 5-4 lead.
Cardinals leadoff man Matt Carpenter had two hits, an RBI and was hit by a pitch against Bailey. He’s 13 for 22 against the right-hander.
Notes: It was 61 degrees for the first pitch, a 12-degree improvement over the home opener Monday. … The Cardinals received World Series rings in a pre-game ceremony. "I’m going to be wearing this one," manager Mike Matheny said. "My fingers have been busted up pretty bad, so they don’t hold rings real well. But I’m going to make sure this one stays with me for a while." … Shelby Miller (0-1, 8.44) opposes Mike Leake (0-1, 5.40) in the series finale Wednesday afternoon. Miller gave up three solo homers in his first start at Pittsburgh. Leake makes his ninth start against the Cardinals but just his second on the road. … Rehabbing Reds reliever Sean Marshall (shoulder) is scheduled to throw an inning at extended spring training Wednesday.