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Cardinals hit 2 HRs, beat Reds 3-1

CINCINNATI — Carlos Beltran and David Freese homered again on Tuesday night, and Kyle Lohse provided another stingy performance, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 3-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

The defending World Series champions are 5-1 for the first time since 2008.

Beltran, counted on to help make up for the loss of Albert Pujols, hit his third homer off Mike Leake (0-1). Freese, the World Series MVP, added a two-run shot off Leake — also his third.

St. Louis came into the game leading the majors with nine homers.

Lohse (2-0) has made impressive starts in Florida's summery warmth and Cincinnati's April chill. The right-hander beat the Marlins 4-1 last Wednesday. He gave up four hits and Joey Votto's sacrifice fly in six innings on Tuesday.