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LOUIS -- In jeopardy of wasting another stellar starting pitching performance, the Cardinals flipped the script on Saturday night, rewarding Jake Westbrook for his strong effort by bursting out for the most explosive inning in franchise history.
The Cardinals scored a dozen times in the seventh inning, en route to a 12-0 win over the Cubs in front of 43,424 at Busch Stadium. The frame lasted 37 minutes and prompted the need to delve into baseball's archives.
By the time the inning ended, 17 St. Louis hitters had come to the plate. The 12 runs scored in the inning shattered the team's previous season record of eight. It also tied the franchise-best mark, set back on Sept. 15, 1926, when the Cardinals scored 12 times in the third inning of a home game against Philadelphia.
The output was also the largest in the Majors this year. The last club to score a dozen in one inning was the Yankees, who did so in a July 30, 2011, win over Baltimore. Exactly one year before that, the Cubs allowed 12 runs in the eighth inning of a game in Colorado.
"Chaos," third baseman David Freese described it.
"It was crazy," added Allen Craig. "I don't think I've seen anything like that in the big leagues."
Craig's involvement in the inning was especially unique, too. Bothered by minor quad tightness, Craig was held out of Saturday's starting lineup. But with the game scoreless and a runner on base, Craig was the natural choice to pinch-hit with one out in the seventh.
He lined a double into the left-field corner. Nine batters later -- with the club then leading by eight -- Craig drove a double the other way. He became just the second Major League player to collect two doubles in an inning this season. The last Cardinal to accomplish the feat was Jerry Mumphrey, 35 years ago.
"I definitely didn't expect to hit twice in that inning, and I didn't expect there to be 12 runs," Craig said. "That's kind of what happens when you have good at-bats and feed off each other."
Craig's doubles were two of seven the Cardinals collected in the inning, a total that tied a Major League record for two-base hits in a single frame. The Boston Bees had that many in an Aug. 26, 1936, game against the Cardinals in St. Louis' Sportsman Park.
It was five years before that -- on July 12, 1931 -- that the Cardinals last hit nine doubles in a game, as they did on Saturday.
"You look at this offense and it's the kind of offense we have. They come in bundles," manager Mike Matheny said. "It's nice to see the guys, too, just keep putting up good at-bats no matter how many runs we have or maybe how many hits we've had already."
In all, the half-inning featured 10 hits, eight of which went for extra bases. Seven different players collected at least one RBI, and a run was scored from eight of the nine spots in the lineup. The Cardinals scored more runs that inning than they had in all but three games all season.
"We have a good lineup, and I thought we were going to break through at any time," said Skip Schumaker, who, like Craig, had two extra-base hits in the seventh. "Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come."