PHOENIX -- Overall, there's no sugarcoating the Cardinals' hitting on their just-completed homestand. It wasn't very good. But those inclined to look for positive signs surely could find a few in Sunday's getaway game, providing some cause for optimism as the club began a six-game western swing.
The biggest is Matt Holliday, who snapped a career-long 0-for-16 slide with a big game on Sunday night. Holliday had three hits and a walk, coinciding with the beginning of a return to health. The slugger is still feeling somewhat less than his best after battling a flu-like illness for much of the last week, but he's been getting better for the past couple of days. It's likely no coincidence then that he has started hitting.
"I did some extra stuff in the cage and felt like I was able to take it out on the field," Holliday said on Sunday night.
Likewise, Colby Rasmus ended a lengthy 0-fer with a three-run homer on Sunday. And Brendan Ryan, who started the season 2-for-25, went 4-for-10 in the last two games of the homestand.
"It definitely helped me to sleep better at night," Ryan said. "Along with [the results], I've also felt better."