On July 11, 1931, with 4,000 spectators looking on, the Cardinals beat the Cincinnati Reds 8-2. The highlights of the contest included home runs by rightfielder George Watkins, and shortstop Jake Flowers. Watkins' homer off of Ray Kolp was a solo shot came with two out in the first to start the scoring for the day. The Cardinals hurler Syl Johnson watched his early lead evaporate in the second after a walk, a double, and single led to Cincy plating what proved to be their only two runs of the day. Johnson allowed another single during that second inning, then proceeded to shut the Reds down by not allowing a hit the rest of the day. His efforts along with the efforts of a 27-year-old rookie by the name of Pepper Martin would put the Cardinals in the win column.
The Cardinals on the other hand were just getting started. It took them awhile to do so, as the Reds carried the two run lead into the fifth, before Martin sparked a rally with a leadoff triple. Johnson then helped his own cause by doubling in Martin to tie it. Moments later, Flowers came to the dish and pounced on a Kolp pitch that landed in the left field bleachers and just like that it was 4-2 Redbirds.
The Cardinals kept flying in the sixth, as Kolp gave up a leadoff single to Ripper Collins, then a double to Chick Hafey. That ended the day for Kolp, as the Reds skipper Dan Howley called on Larry Benton to put the fire out. Benton retired the first man he seen, Frankie Firsch with a groundout, but then came the hot hitting Martin who ripped a double into left to score Collins and Hafey. The Cardinals scored their seventh run of the day in the seventh after catcher Jimmie Wilson doubled to leadoff the inning. Wilson moved over to third on a groundout, then made the most of an error at short and scored with two outs in the inning.
The final run of the day came in the bottom of the eighth. Biff Wysong came took over for Benton to start that inning, and he had a tough task at hand, with Pepper Martin leading things off. Martin, who ended the day 3 for 4, doubled off the reliever, making it his third extra base hit in a row. Moments later, third baseman Andy High singled into left to bring him around to score. High was picked off trying to take second, before Wysong could get back-to-back groundouts to end the inning. With that said, the damage was done. Johnson had spun a gem, and that gem would continue to spin to with a 1-2-3 ninth, that included Johnson's fifth strikeout of the day.
The win put the Cardinals five games up in the National League. They were the cream of the crop. The club had not trailed in the standings since May 29th, and would not trail in them the rest of that season, eventually finishing 13 games up, with 101 wins and the National League title. The Birds would go onto meet the Philadelphia Athletics in the World Series, and they were a familiar foe, as those same A's beat them in the 1930 Fall Classic. Coming off a 107 win season, the A's were going to be a tough nut to crack. However, with a heroic performance by Martin and the rest of that Cardinals squad they would get the job done in seven, bringing St. Louis its second World Series title in the process.
Check out the box score here: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SLN/SLN193107110.shtml