ST. LOUIS(AP) _ Tony Cruz hit a three-run homer and the St. Louis Cardinals connected three times, beating the Cincinnati Reds 8-4 on Saturday night and moving closer to their fourth straight playoff berth.
The Cardinals cut their magic number to one for clinching a postseason berth. The magic number is six for their second NL Central title in a row.
Kolten Wong and Randal Grichuk also homered as St. Louis won for the seventh time in eight games.
Cincinnati has lost six in row and been outscored 30-8 in that stretch.
Jason Motte (1-0) needed just three pitches and one out to earn the win.
Mike Leake (11-13) took the loss.