Jon Jay's tie-breaking RBI single in the eighth inning proved to be the difference in the St. Louis Cardinals' 5-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs in the finale of a two-game series at Wrigley Field.
Carlos Beltran had three hits and drove in two runs and Jay also finished with two RBI for the Cardinals, winners in seven of their last eight.
Seth Maness (2-0) picked up the win with 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of starter Jake Westbrook, allowing just one hit while forcing two inning- ending double plays in the victory.
Westbrook tossed 5 1/3 innings and allowed four runs -- three earned -- on nine hits.
Nate Schierholtz plated two runs for the Cubs, while James Russell blew the save in the seventh after allowing Beltran to tie the game at 4-4 with an RBI single. Michael Bowden (1-2) gave up a run on two hits, including Jay's eventual game-winner, to absorb the loss.
"We can't seem to shut anybody down in the sixth, seventh inning," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "We can't make a pitch when we have to."
Chicago's Carlos Villanueva, who was looking to avoid losing three straight starts for the first time in his eight-year career, earned a no-decision after yielding three runs and three walks over 6 2/3 innings.
Maness induced double plays to get out of jams in the sixth and seventh innings, respectively, and St. Louis move in front versus Bowden in the eighth.
Yadier Molina hit a one-out single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Jay then came through with a poke up the middle that scored Molina to give the Cards a 5-4 lead.
Randy Choate continued St. Louis' pitching trend in the bottom of the eighth, as he forced Schierholtz into another double play that ended the inning after Luis Valbuena threatened by getting to third with one out. Edward Mujica then tossed a perfect ninth for his ninth save of the year
"Different guys picked us up," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "I love those wins."
Westbrook showed signs of fatigue in the fourth, when the Cubs plated three of their runs. Valbuena led off with a walk and Anthony Rizzo singled behind him before Schierholtz drove in both runners with a double to right that gave the Cubs a 3-2 lead.
Later in the inning, Ryan Sweeney grounded out to Westbrook, but Schierholtz alertly advanced to third on the play and it paid off later. Dioner Navarro followed with a groundout to second, plating Schierholtz to make it a 4-2 game.
Beltran closed the Cardinals' deficit to one run with an RBI single in the fifth. He also helped the Cardinals tie the game in the seventh.
Matt Carpenter tripled down the right-field line off Russell in the seventh before Beltran lined a shot into right to knot the contest at 4-4.
Matt Holliday's first-inning double-play groundout scored Carpenter to give the Cards an early 1-0 lead. The Cubs tied it in the bottom of the frame, when Rizzo's double scored Valbuena.
Jay hit a sacrifice fly to center in the fourth to give St. Louis a 2-1 lead.
The Cubs had won four of their last six meetings against the Cardinals at home coming in ... Westbrook entered the game having yielded one run in 12 innings over his last two starts ... St. Louis improved to 14-7 on the road this season.