ST. LOUIS -- So much for the happy homecoming the St. Louis Cardinals might have envisioned.
The Chicago Cubs led 7-0 before the second inning was done Monday night, and they cruised to an 17-5 win over the Cardinals before a sellout crowd at Busch Stadium.
Cubs left fielder Junior Lake knocked in a career-high six runs, while center fielder Emilio Bonifacio rapped out four hits and scored a career-high five runs as Chicago (13-24) generated season highs in runs and hits (20) while winning for just the second time in nine games.
Left-hander Travis Wood (3-4) worked six innings to beat St. Louis (19-20) for the second time this month. He allowed five hits and five runs, four of which were earned, walked three and fanned four.
Lefty Tyler Lyons (0-3) was torched for nine runs on nine hits over four innings for the Cardinals, who opened a 10-game homestand after playing 26 of their first 38 games on the road. Lyons walked one and struck out two.
The Cubs topped off their biggest offensive explosion of the season with six runs in the ninth off reliever Randy Choate, forcing St. Louis manager Mike Matheny to call on utility man Daniel Descalso to record the final out.
Chicago led 4-0 after the game's first five batters. Bonifacio doubled, moved to third on a grounder and scored on a passed ball by catcher Yadier Molina.
First baseman Anthony Rizzo singled and scored on a triple down the right-field line by shortstop Starlin Castro as Allen Craig slipped and fell trying to corral the carom. Third baseman Mike Olt then launched a two-run homer just over the leaping Craig, his eighth of the year.
Lake upped the margin to 7-0 in the second, lining a three-run homer to left, his fourth of the season and third against St. Louis pitching.
The Cardinals got two runs back in their half of the second. Second baseman Mark Ellis' RBI single plated Molina and Lake overran the ball for a two-base error, allowing center fielder Peter Bourjos to score.
The Cubs countered those runs in the fourth. Lake ripped an RBI double to right-center and Bonifacio scored on Rizzo's grounder to short. Plate umpire Sean Barber called Bonifacio out, but a 90-second replay review showed that Molina never tagged Bonifacio.
Left fielder Matt Holliday stroked an RBI double in the bottom of the fifth, and Craig followed with a run-scoring infield out, cutting the Chicago lead to 9-4. Molina's two-out single plated Holliday with the inning's third run.
NOTES: St. Louis RHP Joe Kelly (hamstring) played long toss in the outfield Monday, but he is still behind schedule after going on the disabled list following an April 16 loss in Milwaukee. It is not known when Kelly will be able to start a rehab assignment. ... Chicago starting pitchers have notched 21 quality starts (six innings, three earned runs or fewer) in 37 games, but the team is only 7-14 in those contests. ... Cardinals LHP Jaime Garcia (shoulder) made a rehab start for Triple-A Memphis on Monday night against Round Rock. Garcia threw 74 pitches over five innings, allowing three hits and two runs while walking two and fanning five.