St. Louis, MO – Matt Carpenter finished 4-for-4 with five runs batted in and a run scored to lift the Cardinals to a 10-3 victory over the Cubs in the finale of a three-game set at Busch Stadium on Sunday.
Carpenter finished a double shy of the cycle, while Yadier Molina added a three-run home run for the Cardinals. Starter Jake Westbrook (2-0) was impressive, tossing seven innings of four-hit ball and allowing just two runs -- one earned -- while striking out two.
The Cardinals dropped the first game of the series, but took the final two to earn the series victory.
Paul Maholm (0-2) lasted just four innings for the Cubs, yielding six runs on six hits to take the loss. Reed Johnson recorded two hits, an RBI and two runs scored and Starlin Castro also knocked in a run. Chicago has now dropped each of its three series to open the season.
Maholm plunked Carlos Beltran to start the bottom of the second and then walked Molina on five pitches. Carpenter followed with a single to score Beltran before Molina crossed the plate on Shane Robinson's fielder's choice to give the Cardinals an early 2-0 lead.
The Cardinals added four in the third as Rafael Furcal led off with a double and came around to score two batters later on a Matt Holiday single. Beltran followed with a single before Molina belted a 3-2 fastball over the left-field fence, pressing the margin to 6-0.
The Cubs got the first two runners on in the fourth, but Westbrook got Castro to line out and Jeff Baker to ground out for the first two outs. Chicago, however, got on the board as Westbrook hurled a wild pitch to Ian Stewart, scoring Johnson from third.
Chicago cut into the lead again in the fifth as Geovany Soto led off with a double and Marlon Byrd reached on Tyler Greene's error at second base to put runners on the corners. Soto then scored two batters later on a ground out from Johnson to pull the Cubs within 6-2.
St. Louis answered in the bottom half as Beltran worked a one-out walk and stole second. After Molina struck out, Carpenter belted a two-run shot over the wall in center field to give the Cardinals an 8-2 lead.
The Cardinals tallied two more in the seventh as Erik Komatsu and Molina hit consecutive one-out singles before Carpenter lifted a triple to left field to make it 10-2 in favor of the home team.
Chicago added a run in the eighth, as Johnson ripped a one-out double to center field and came around to score two batters later on a single off the bat of Castro to account for the final margin.
On this the 65th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier Major League Baseball is commemorating this special occasion by having all players and on-field personnel once again wear the Hall of Famer's No. 42 in addition to other pregame festivities...Chicago will head to Miami for a three-game set with the Marlins starting on Tuesday, while St. Louis will host a three-game series with the Reds beginning on Tuesday...St. Louis left six men on base and went 5-for-15 with runners in scoring position. The cubs left four on base and went 1-for-9 with RISP.