The Cincinnati Reds, batting .205 as a team, had six regulars hitting at that level or below Tuesday night when their three-game series with the Cardinals opened here. The Cardinals had only a couple, but one of those was third-place hitter Matt Holliday, who entered Wednesday's game with a .200 average but had had no fewer than six line-drive outs to the outfield in the last week, including a rocket that almost undressed Cincinnati left fielder Ryan Ludwick on Tuesday.

Holliday was one of the hottest hitters in baseball this spring, compiling a hitting streak of 14 games, which is incredibly rare inasmuch as players seldom get more than three at-bats in an exhibition game. He was hitting .400 then.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said Wednesday, "That ball he hit to left field yesterday, I guarantee, was one of the hardest hit balls in the major leagues this year. That ball was absolutely killed. Sometimes, the results are not a great indicator."