Carlos Beltran provided all the offense the Cardinals needed Tuesday, crushing a two-run homer and a grand slam in the first two innings of a 6-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks in the middle tilt of a three-game set at Chase Field.
Matt Holliday and Skip Schumaker had two hits apiece and Jon Jay added a triple for the Cardinals, who have won three straight.
Jake Westbrook (4-2) was superb on the mound as he gave up just four hits and two walks while whiffing eight in seven scoreless frames. Kyle McClellan tossed a perfect eighth and Mitchell Boggs gave up a run in the ninth, but closed it out to secure the win for the Cards.
"You could see the movement on the ball from the side, and when you see a sinker moving that much, you know they're going to have a hard time up there trying to put good wood on it," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Westbrook's outing. "You knew right from the start when he was giving the infield some work that his stuff was working right."
Miguel Montero knocked in the only run of the game for the D-Backs with a double, while Aaron Hill added three hits.
Ian Kennedy (3-2) allowed six runs on six hits and a pair of walks while striking out six over seven innings for Arizona, which has lost four straight and six of its last seven.
The Cards jumped on top in their first at-bat when Jay led off the game by ripping a triple and Beltran followed by smoking a hanging curveball from Kennedy over the wall in right field for a 2-0 advantage.
The Diamondbacks put two runners on in the home half of the first when Hill slapped a single up the middle and Montero walked two batters later, but Westbrook got Paul Goldschmidt to ground out to end the threat.
St. Louis struck again in its next at-bat. Schumaker clubbed a one-out double and Westbrook walked and Jay was plunked to load the bags with two outs. Beltran then cracked his second homer of the game, blasting a fastball over the right field wall for a grand slam and a 6-0 advantage.
Arizona finally cracked the scoreboard in the ninth when Justin Upton slapped a single back through the box and came around to score on Montero's shot into the left-center field gap.
"We have a lot of character on the ball club, we're going to be fine," Upton said. "We just have to find it, find enough to pick ourselves up and get a little streak going."
The Cardinals continued their torrid hitting in the first inning of games. They now scored in the first inning in each of their last eight games and in 15 of their first 30 contests this year...the Cardinals have out-scored the opposition 29-16 in the opening inning this season...It was Beltran's fifth career six-RBI game...Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina left the game in the ninth inning...St. Louis went 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position and stranded three.