The St. Louis Cardinals used Colby Rasmus's ninth home run to top the Tampa Bay Rays Friday, continuing their interleague resurgence after a sweep of the Baltimore Orioles. Jake Westbrook pitched perhaps his strongest game of the season, throwing seven shutout innings with seven strikeouts, while Rasmus's three-run homer counteracted Matt Joyce's two-run shot an inning later.
Rasmus's home run was his third in four games after a miserable start to June; he was hitting .215/.260/.367 on the month before the binge began. Wade Davis was the hard-luck loser for the Rays, allowing just two runs in seven innings of work.
The Cardinals and the Rays will continue their weekend set at Tropicana Field on Saturday, when Jeff Niemann and Kyle McClellan face off at 6:10; Kyle Lohse and 24-year-old Jeremy Hellickson will finish the set on Sunday. The Cardinals improved to 45-38 on the year after their fourth straight win, an improbable full game atop the Milwaukee Brewers after stoppering a long slump in Baltimore.