Lance Lynn continues to fill in nicely for the injured Chris Carpenter.
Lynn tossed eight strong innings and became the first MLB pitcher to register four wins this season as the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Chicago Cubs, 5-1, on Wednesday.
Lynn (4-0) fanned seven and allowed one run on six hits and two walks. The 24- year-old righty has a minuscule 1.33 earned run average with 24 strikeouts so far in four starts this year.
"During the spring he was just coming in to compete and hoping to be able to contribute somewhere," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Lynn. "And then all of a sudden to be one of the starting five and next thing you know having a good start. He's just going about it the right way."
David Freese smacked a two-run homer in a three-run sixth and added an RBI double in the eighth for St. Louis, which salvaged the finale of the three- game set.
Bryan LaHair belted a solo homer for Chicago, which won three of its previous four coming in to the game on the heels of a six-game losing skid.
Chris Volstad (0-3) gave up four runs on six hits in six innings.
The game was tied 1-1 after five, but St. Louis seized control with a three- run sixth.
Rafael Furcal led off with a single and moved to second on Matt Carpenter's ground out. Two batters later, Carlos Beltran drove an opposite-field double off the wall in left field to bring home Furcal. The hit snapped an 0-for-18 slump, the second longest drought of his career.
Freese stepped up next and launched a two-run homer to left field to make it 4-1.
"We had a tie going into the sixth inning and that's where I needed to keep it," Volstad said of the frame.
The Cardinals added an insurance run in the eighth. Beltran worked a two-out walk and scored on Freese's double into the gap in left-center field to extend the advantage to 5-1.
The Cardinals struck first with a run in the third. Daniel Descalso and Shane Robinson led off the frame with back-to-back singles. Two batters later, Carpenter brought home Descalso with a two-out single to right field.
LaHair knotted the contest at 1-1 with an opposite-field home run into the left-center field seats in the fourth.
The longest slump of Beltran's career came from May 8-14, 2000, when he went 22 at-bats without a base hit while with Kansas City Royals...Freese has hit all four of his home runs this season in the sixth inning...Beltran had two stolen bases, giving him five for the year...The Cubs were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left five men on base.