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Holliday providing power in pressure-packed spots

Slugger triples in third, scores Game 2's first run as Redbirds even World Series

BOSTON -- At a time when hits aren't plentiful, Cardinals slugger Matt Holliday is making the most of his.

Holliday's fourth-inning triple off Red Sox starter John Lackey led to the Cards getting on the board first in Game 2 of the World Series, an eventual 4-2 St. Louis victory at Fenway Park that tied the Fall Classic.

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Thursday night's hit came a night after his home run gave the Cards their only run in an 8-1 Game 1 defeat. Half of Holliday's 14 postseason hits have gone for extra bases. His jaw-dropping homer at Dodger Stadium gave the Cardinals major momentum in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series against the Dodgers, and he has continued to make his hits impactful against the Red Sox.

"It's just normal, just swinging to drive the ball, nothing different," said Holliday, who is hitting .264 with three homers and six RBIs in the postseason.

The Cards are hitting .210 (89-for-423) in 14 postseason contests, yet like the high-powered Red Sox, they're three wins from a World Series title.

St. Louis' three-run rally in the seventh, which included a double steal by a team that rarely runs and some uncharacteristically sloppy Boston defense, helped win the game. But having Holliday in a good place offensively could bode well.

The triple was significant in that it gave the Cards a lead. At no point did they lead Game 1. From a historical perspective, the Cardinals never led any of the games of the 2004 Series, a Sox sweep. Holliday was part of the 2007 Rockies who were swept by the Sox in that Series despite the fact he produced (.294, one homer, three RBIs).

Now he and the Cards return to Busch Stadium with the series tied for Game 3 (Saturday, 6:30 p.m. CT air time on FOX, 7:07 p.m. first pitch). The rough Series history against the Red Sox and the Game 1 loss are in the past. Holliday and the Cards have wrested home field.

"That's not who we are, and that's not how you get to the World Series," Holliday said. "We weren't worried about it.

"It helps to win. I wouldn't say it's an advantage. We've got to go home and play well. They're a great team. But going home 0-2, it would have been tough."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb.

St. Louis Cardinals, Matt Holliday