John Lackey powered back into the St. Louis postseason rotation picture with 7 2-3 dominant innings, and Randal Grichuk and Matt Holliday hit consecutive homers in the first inning of the Cardinals' 2-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night.

The NL Central leaders had only five hits but maintained a 2 1-2-game lead over the Pittsburgh Pirates with eight games remaining.

Their magic number is seven for clinching a second straight division title.