Carlos Beltran went 3-for-5 with a two-run homer and three RBI to back a stellar start from Lance Lynn, as the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks, 7-1, Monday in the opener of a four-game series at Busch Stadium.
Lynn (8-1) struck out six and limited the visitors to just one run on five hits over seven strong innings to earn the victory.
"When it's all said and done, it doesn't matter what your numbers are," Lynn said. "If the team wins, even if you do good or bad, that's the only point of going out there."
Beltran homered in the sixth, while Yadier Molina scorched a solo shot in the fifth and finished with two RBI and two runs scored. Molina received a one- game suspension Monday and an undisclosed fine for an on-field tirade during Sunday's setback against San Francisco, but elected to file an appeal.
David Freese and Allen Craig each had two hits and an RBI, while Matt Carpenter collected three hits and three runs scored for the Cards, who have won seven of their last nine games.
Paul Goldschmidt knocked in Arizona's lone run, while starter Trevor Cahill (3-6) was tagged for five runs on nine hits and three walks over five frames to absorb the loss.
"Really didn't have good command," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said of Cahill. "His ball-to-strike ratio wasn't good and just made some pitches out over the plate."
St. Louis jumped on Cahill in the first, as Carpenter smacked a leadoff single and Matt Holliday worked a one-out walk before Craig singled to center to score Carpenter for a 1-0 lead.
The Cards tacked on two more runs in the third when Holliday walked with one out, moved to second on a groundout, and scored on Molina's single to left.
Molina moved to second on the throw to the plate and then found third on Cahill's wild pitch before scoring on Freese's base hit to third to push the lead to 3-0.
St. Louis continued adding to the lead in the fourth, as Carpenter clubbed a two-out double and scored on Beltran's single to right to make it 4-0.
Molina then led off the fifth with a homer to left to push the margin to 5-0.
Arizona got on the board in the fifth on Goldschmidt's RBI groundout, but the Cards countered in the bottom half when Carpenter laced a one-out single and Beltran followed with a shot into the right-field seats for a 7-1 lead.
Freese extended his hitting streak to a career-best 13 games, while Carpenter pushed his hitting streak to a career-high tying 12 games ... Arizona went 0- for-6 with runners in scoring position and left six runners on base ... St. Louis went 4-for-8 with RISP and stranded eight baserunners.