Yadier Molina had two hits, two RBI and a run scored as the St. Louis Cardinals downed the Chicago Cubs, 5-1, in the middle test of a three-game set.
Jon Jay added a home run while Lance Lynn (2-0) allowed one run on four hits and two walks through 5 1/3 innings for the Cardinals, who snapped a two-game slide.
Chris Volstad (0-1) gave up four runs -- three earned -- on six hits while striking out four to extend his winless streak to 13 games. He has not earned a win since July 10, 2011, recording six losses and seven no-decisions in that span.
Starlin Castro knocked in the lone run for Chicago, which had won its previous two.
St. Louis broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth inning after Matt Holliday reached first on a throwing error by Castro and moved to third two batters later on Matt Carpenter's double to right. Molina stepped up next and brought them both home with a base hit to left before rounding the bases on Daniel Descalso's triple.
Tyler Greene followed with a single that plated Descalso and gave the Cardinals a 4-0 lead.
The Cubs got on the board in the sixth when David DeJesus led off with a walk, moved to second on Darwin Barney's groundout to short and came home on a Castro base hit to center.
Alfonso Soriano then singled to place runners on the corners with one out, but Lynn was replaced on the mound by J.C. Romero, who struck out Ian Stewart and Bryan LaHair to keep it a 4-1 game.
The Cardinals increased their lead in the seventh inning on Jay's solo homer to right.
Chicago had a chance to cut into the lead in the eighth when the Cubs put runners on second and third with one out on DeJesus' single and a double by Castro, but Fernando Salas fanned Soriano before Marc Rzepczynski took the bump and induced a fly out to center by Stewart to end the threat.
Jason Motte tossed a perfect ninth inning to seal the win for the Cardinals.
The start of the game was delayed for two hours due to rain...Prior to the contest, the Cardinals received their 2011 World Series Championship rings during an on-field ceremony...St. Louis removed third baseman David Freese from the lineup before the game because of irritation to one of his fingers on his right hand. He is listed as day-to-day...Chicago went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and stranded seven men on base.