ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Joe Kelly tossed six strong innings and Matt Holliday drove in a run for a seventh straight game, lifting the St. Louis Cardinals to a 6-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.
St. Louis has won six of its last seven, including the first two games of this three-game set. The first-place Cardinals have won eight of their last 10 against the third-place Reds and lead them by 4 1/2 games in the NL Central.
The Cards also moved 1 1/2 games ahead of second-place Pittsburgh, which lost to Milwaukee.
Shin-soo Choo homered for Cincinnati, which lost for the fourth time in five games. The Cardinals retired the last 13 Cincinnati batters, dropping the Reds to 4-10 against St. Louis this season.
Kelly (6-3), who allowed one run on nine hits, improved to 6-0 in nine starts since rejoining the starting rotation on July 6. The Cardinals have won the last six games he has started. Kelly began the season in the bullpen.
Holliday, who went 2 for 3, keyed a two-run outburst in the first against Mat Latos (13-5), who gave up four runs on nine hits over six innings. He struck out four and did not walk a batter.
Arizona slugger Paul Goldschmidt had an eight-game RBI streak in early June - a season best in MLB.
The Cardinals needed just 14 pitches to take a 2-0 lead. Matt Carpenter and Carlos Beltran began the opening frame with singles. Holliday followed with a hit to right to bring in Carpenter, who scored his major league-leading 100th run. Allen Craig then hit into a double play, allowing Beltran to score from third.
Choo brought the Reds to 2-1 with a leadoff homer in the fifth, the 100th round-tripper of his career and 17th of the season.
The Cardinals answered with single runs in the sixth and seventh and scored twice in the eighth.
Craig pushed the lead to 3-1 with his team-leading 96th RBI on a run-scoring double in the sixth. Carpenter brought in Jon Jay with a sacrifice fly in the seventh. Jay and Daniel Descalso singled to start the inning.
Notes: Adam Wainwright (15-7, 2.58 ERA) faces Homer Bailey (8-10, 3.71) in the final of the three-game series Wednesday. Bailey is 0-5 with a 6.90 ERA in seven career starts at Busch Stadium. ... St. Louis INF Pete Kozma is mired in a 0-for-23 slump. ... The Cardinals are 34-22 against NL Central opponents this season with 22 divisional games remaining. ... The Reds have spent the past 127 days in second, third or fourth place.
The FDA said Tuesday that Taylor Farms de Mexico could resume operations after investigators found conditions there "in accordance with known food safety protocols." The firm shut down voluntarily after its salad mix served at Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants was linked to 242 cyclospora infections in Nebraska and Iowa. Similar illnesses in 20 other states were never definitively linked to the farm.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it is working with Texas to try and discover the source of more than 250 cyclospora infections there.
Q: What chemical weapon are we talking about?
A: It's not clear yet. But experts point to a class of chemical weapons called nerve agents because of the symptoms seen in the victims in Syria. Nerve agents commonly include sarin, soman, VX and taubun. They are called nerve agents because they block nerve cells from sending messages to each other.
Q: What are the symptoms reported and how does that tell us nerve agents were used?
A: The humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders reported seeing "large number of patients arriving with symptoms including convulsions, excessive saliva, pinpoint pupils, blurred vision and respiratory distress." Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior associate for the Center for Biosecurity at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, said what the group of doctors in Syria is reporting "is what a textbook would list to say nerve-agent poison." Symptoms like incredibly small pupils help indicate that it is not another chemical agent like mustard gas or chlorine gas.
Q: What's the difference between the various nerve agents?
A: Essentially the four nerve agents do the same things to the body. They kill the same way. And they are treated similarly. All are banned by the 1993 international convention signed by 189 countries, so there is no practical difference for the U.S. in planning a response if it was sarin or VX, Adjala said. Sarin, sometimes called GB, is the most volatile of the nerve agents and VX the most lethal.
Q: Why do I hear the name sarin associated with this attack more than the others?
A: Mostly it is based on the Syrian leadership's past likely use and storage of sarin, Adalja said.
Q: Will we ever know which nerve agent it is?
A: Maybe. Weapons inspectors can use relatively simple chemical analysis to determine which compound it was, based on body, soil and weapon samples, Adalja said. But he added that those samples degrade quickly and there's a chance we won't ever know. If they got good samples, we'll know in a day or two probably, he said. But in 1993, Physicians for Human Rights said that its doctors and a lab at Britain's Defense Ministry were able to determine the use of sarin in Iraq four years earlier because of residues of a chemical that had the unique fingerprint of sarin. Q: How do nerve agents kill?
A: They break down an enzyme that allows nerves to talk to each other, so victims become over-stimulated. In addition to other symptoms, there's chest tightening, rapid breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, headache, changes in heart rate, loss of consciousness, convulsions and paralysis. Eventually, and depending on dose levels it could only be a matter of minutes, you do die of respiratory failure, Adalja said.
Q: Is it painful?
A: "The seizure, being paralyzed, if you are still awake, that can almost be torturous," Adalja said.
Q: If it is sarin, can you see it or smell it?
A: No. As a liquid it is odorless, colorless and tasteless. It's often used in gas form but can kill with liquid content on the skin.
Q: Is it natural?
A: No. It is man-made, created in 1938 as a pesticide and similar to certain kinds of insecticides called organophosphates now used. However nerve agents are much more potent.
Q: Is there a treatment?
A: Yes, if doses are low enough and you catch it in time. There is a dual chemical injection shot that many people in the military carry with them and it must be used quickly. Also if you think you are exposed, you need to remove your clothes and wash thoroughly. The injection of the antidote is complicated. Atropine must be injected every 5 to 10 minutes until secretions stop and the other chemical, pralidoxime chloride only has to be injected a couple times, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Q: Has sarin been used much in the past?
A: The most famous sarin attack was a 1995 terror attack on the Tokyo subway that killed 13 people and injured about 6,000 people.
Q: How do you get rid of the stuff?
A: Experts say nerve gas has to be disposed of properly in locations with high temperatures and controls to keep gas from escaping to minimize the risk of accidentally gassing other people.
Q: So how can the U.S. military destroy Syria's nerve gas supplies?
A: "Several of the options that are being discussed for military intervention have downside risks," said Amy Smithson, a chemical weapons expert at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies. "Bombing the (weapons storage) site risks releasing the chemicals over nearby population." Making matters worse, Syrian President Bashar Assad has threatened to use the weapons if attacked, she said.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on sarin: HTTP://WWW.BT.CDC.GOV/AGENT/SARIN/BASICS/FACTS.ASP
Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (which implements the international chemical weapons convention): HTTP://WWW.OPCW.ORG/
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