Parched for the first seven games of their lengthy trip averaging just more than a run a game the Cardinals finally discovered water in the desert. And they drank. And they drank.

Coming a night after their 13-0 whitewash at Pittsburgh the Cardinals deluged the Cincinnati Reds for 12 runs in the first five innings and proceeded to a 13-3 win Friday night before a fireworks-induced full house of 39095 at Great American Ball Park.

The night was fruitful additionally because the Pirates lost to Colorado and the Cardinals are back to one-half game behind Pittsburgh in the National League Central Division race.

Three Cardinals drove in at least three runs with David Freese who had four RBIs starting the rout with a bases-loaded double in a four-run first inning against Bronson Arroyo making his 35th career start against the Cardinals.

“What do I have? Eight RBIs now?” quipped Freese who has a less modest total of 39 RBIs for the season.

Allen Craig and Jon Jay also had three runs batted in and yes the Cardinals hit three homers their second third and fourth in their last 15 games. Two of the home runs were solo shots by Daniel Descalso who had the first multi-homer game of his career and the other by Craig who hit his first since July 4.

Carlos Beltran had three hits and scored four runs. Only Matt Carpenter (nothing for six with three strikeouts) and Tony Cruz among the starters were blanked. Manager Mike Matheny said he was giving the struggling Carpenter two for 33 on the trip another game off tonight and hoped that the second-year player wouldn’t be at the park by noon working out.

Matheny said hitting coach John Mabry had been taking it personally when his offense had been struggling with its notable lack of power a target for criticism.

“But Danny hitting a couple of homers and Allen hitting one will maybe ease the dogs off on that” said Matheny. “We understand in this business that you’re going to have a target on you when things aren’t going well.

“John’s a pro. There are so many coaches and GMs who were joking — they were half-serious too — how they would love to steal our hitting coach from us to figure out how to do some of the things that we’re doing.”

Righthander Shelby Miller mixing his mid-90s fastball with an improved breaking ball and some changeups as called by catcher Cruz blanked the Reds on two hits for five innings before Joey Votto hastened his departure in the sixth with a three-run homer. Miller nonetheless scored his 11th victory striking out seven in the first three innings and finishing with eight.

“His fastball has that different life to it that not too many guys have” Matheny said.

Matheny seeing no one was readily available to warm up Miller after Cruz had made the last out of the top of the sixth caught Miller himself before the bottom of the inning. Miller suddenly then failed to retire any of the four hitters he faced in the sixth.