Matt Carpenter went 3-for-4 with two doubles and sparked a three-run sixth inning to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 4-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds to take two of three from their division rivals at Busch Stadium.
Allen Craig and Yadier Molina reached on a walk and single, respectively, with one away in the decisive sixth frame, which brought Carpenter to the plate for the go-ahead poke to right center field. Pete Kozma and Daniel Descalso followed with RBI-singles, chasing Reds starter Homer Bailey from the game. J.J. Hoover took over and retired the two batters he faced, but the damage had been done.
Lance Lynn (5-0) was sharp in seven innings of work for St. Louis, allowing just a run on five hits while striking out five en route to his tenth straight win dating back to last season. Carlos Beltran homered for the Cardinals while Edward Mujica picked up his sixth save in as many tries this season.
"To be able to go out there and pitch like that and win games, that's what it's all about," said Lynn. "It feels good. I just have to keep trying to improve everyday, and that's what I'm going to do."
Brandon Phillips picked up both Cincinnati RBI, including a solo home run off Mujica to lead off the ninth.
Homer Bailey (1-3) tossed 5 1/3 innings, surrendering all four Cardinals runs on nine hits.
"These guys are just my achilles heel right now," said Bailey. "They're a good hitting team and they have my number right now. I made a mistake on Beltran, but as for the sixth inning, what do you do? I made some good pitches, they just found the holes."
Beltran opened the scoring with a solo shot to right field off Bailey in the fourth inning for his seventh home run of the season.
Following a Joey Votto walk, Phillips tied the game with an RBI double to right-center in the top of the sixth. Lynn then fanned Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier, setting up the Cardinals big bottom half.
Phillips' homer off Mujica, who had allowed just one run on the season to this point, rounded out the scoring as Mujica retired the next three batters he faced in order.
"I think it says a lot to win these tight games," said Matheny. "These things build a team's character and their fight. This was a tough homestand all together with the way we played against Pittsburgh and with Cincinnati, but we ended on a good note."
Beltran now has 15 career home runs against 10 major league teams ... Lynn, who had struck out in his last five at-bats entering the game, singled in the fifth inning for his first hit of the year ... Cincinnati hit 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left five on base ... Logan Ondrusek pitched two scoreless innings in relief for the Reds.