Cards follow Lackey to fourth straight win
PHOENIX -- Needing a win to maintain their 4 1/2-game lead over the Pirates in the National League Central, the Cardinals extended their winning streak to four with a 3-1 win over the D-backs in front of 17,572 at Chase Field on Wednesday night.
After the two teams traded home runs, St. Louis buried Arizona with a two-run seventh, capped by run-scoring hits from Kolten Wong and Matt Carpenter. With Stephen Piscotty in motion on a hit-and-run, Wong laced an RBI double off David Hernandez into the left-field corner to give the Cardinals their first lead of the night. Carpenter, who had struck out in his first three at-bats, padded the lead with a two-out RBI single to right off Andrew Chafin.
"It was nice to see Kolten come through and drive the ball, but also the top of the order, with Carp having three at-bats where he really struggled," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "He looked like he was fighting a little bit, but then comes into a big situation and gets a big two-out hit."
The support came in time to earn John Lackey his 11th win. Facing Arizona for the first time since 2010, Lackey allowed one run -- a monstrous homer by Paul Goldschmidt -- over seven innings. D-backs starter Patrick Corbin was nearly as good, limiting the Cardinals to one run in his six-inning start.
The loss dropped the D-backs to 7 1/2 games back of the first-place Dodgers in the NL West. Arizona has lost three straight for the first time since being swept in series bookending the All-Star break.
"[Lackey] obviously got us out, but we hit the ball extremely hard tonight," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "Our outs were loud. I felt like we swung the bats well. We swung the bats well enough to win tonight, we just couldn't find any holes."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Dazzling D: The Cardinals played stellar defense behind Lackey to help the veteran right-hander avoid more damage from a number of hard-hit balls. Tommy Pham made a diving catch to rob Aaron Hill of a leadoff hit to center field in the fourth inning. Behind Lackey, the club also turned three double plays, two of which featured terrific feeds by second baseman Wong. The Cardinals have turned eight double plays over the first three games of the series.
"Unbelievable," first baseman Mark Reynolds said. "It's been a great defensive series for us, and that's probably why we've won three games." More >
Goldschmidt's blast: Goldschmidt's homer in the first inning hit one of girders to the left of the scoreboard. According to Statcast™, the homer left the bat at 111 mph and was projected to land 471 feet away from home plate. It was the 25th homer of the year for Goldschmidt, who also has 20 stolen bases.
"That was a long one," Hale said. "That was good to see. He got that one good." More >
On the Mark: Reynolds, who ranks fourth on Arizona's all-time home run list, tied the game against his former team with a line-drive shot to left in the fifth inning. The homer, Reynolds' 11th this season, was the Cardinals' fifth during this four-game winning streak.
"We watch him in BP, and he loses about $4,000 worth of balls every day," Matheny said. "He's knocking signs over up in the concourse. We're hoping to watch him do it in the game, and he came through for us today."
Corbin bounces back: After struggling against the Reds in his last start, Corbin pitched well and deserved a better fate. The lone run he allowed came on Reynolds' homer. Corbin, who was making his 10th start since coming back from Tommy John surgery, threw 82 pitches.
"One of those outings where you wished you had gotten him some run support and let him cruise," D-backs catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said. "His slider was working early in the counts for strikes, and he was able to put them away with it. He was able to make some pitches with his fastball and get some ground balls. Just unfortunate we couldn't put some runs up for him."
"It's a very cool accomplishment and something I try not to think about too much in the season. I know I'll appreciate it more one day. I try to keep my focus right now on the team and trying to get wins." -- Trevor Rosenthal, on joining Lee Smith as the only closers in franchise history with multiple 40-save seasons More >
Cardinals: The Cardinals will go for a four-game sweep of the D-backs behind Carlos Martinez on Thursday at 8:40 p.m. CT game. The right-hander pitched seven shutout innings against Arizona May. St. Louis is 18-5 in games he starts.
D-backs: The D-backs wrap up the four-game series with the Cardinals on Thursday night at 6:40 MST. Rubby De La Rosa, who is 5-0 with a 2.54 ERA in his last seven starts, will get the ball.
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