St. Louis, MO – Yadier Molina hit a two-run homer in the sixth to back seven solid innings from Jake Westbrook, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs, 4-1, in the third test of a four-game series.
Pete Kozma and Allen Craig added an RBI apiece for the Cardinals, who saw Westbrook (3-2) give up one unearned run on two hits.
"I think once again, it's just like anybody else, when they feel good, they find that rhythm, they find that release point, and he had it," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said of his starter.
Darwin Barney knocked in the lone run for the Cubs, who fell to 3-3 on a seven-game road trip.
Chicago starter Edwin Jackson (3-9) allowed four runs on six hits over 5 1/3 innings. He fell to 1-4 lifetime against St. Louis.
The Cardinals got on the board in the first inning. Matt Carpenter led off with a single, moved to second on a Carlos Beltran walk and raced home on Craig's single to left-center field.
The Cubs got the run right back in the second. After Anthony Rizzo hit a one- out single, Ryan Sweeney hit a grounder to second baseman Carpenter. His throw to second sailed into left field, which allowed the runners to move to second and third. Welington Castillo walked to load the bases. Barney's sacrifice fly made it a 1-1 game.
St. Louis went back in front with a three-run sixth. Craig reached base on a fielder's choice and scored on Molina's blast to left. Jon Jay was hit by a pitch before Carlos Villanueva took over for Jackson. Daniel Descalso followed with a base hit to put men on the corners. Kozma's RBI single to left-center field made it a 4-1 contest.
"I thought it was a pretty good pitch but either he was looking for it or he guessed right. It was right in his zone," Jackson said of Molina's homer.
Trevor Rosenthal and Edward Mujica tossed a scoreless eighth and ninth, respectively, to secure the victory. Mujica picked up his 21st save of the season.
Jackson played for the Cardinals back in 2011 ... Westbrook improved to 6-2 lifetime against the Cubs ... The Cardinals signed pitcher Marco Gonzales, their first pick (19th player overall) in the 2013 draft ... Molina's .365 batting average leads the majors.