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Godley, J.D. star in D-backs' shutout of Cards

MLB.com

ST. LOUIS -- Behind seven strong innings from Zack Godley and a grand slam by the lineup's newest addition, the D-backs powered past the Cardinals, 4-0, to open a four-game series at Busch Stadium on Thursday.

Arizona's win snapped the Cardinals' three-game winning streak, foiled their attempt to inch back to .500 for the first time since June 2 and dropped St. Louis 4 1/2 games back of the Cubs in the National League Central. The D-backs, in contrast, padded their NL Wild Card cushion to 1 1/2 games over the Rockies with a third victory in four days.

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ST. LOUIS -- Behind seven strong innings from Zack Godley and a grand slam by the lineup's newest addition, the D-backs powered past the Cardinals, 4-0, to open a four-game series at Busch Stadium on Thursday.

Arizona's win snapped the Cardinals' three-game winning streak, foiled their attempt to inch back to .500 for the first time since June 2 and dropped St. Louis 4 1/2 games back of the Cubs in the National League Central. The D-backs, in contrast, padded their NL Wild Card cushion to 1 1/2 games over the Rockies with a third victory in four days.

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"He definitely had good command of his sinker and he was throwing that curveball at will," Arizona catcher Chris Iannetta said of Godley. "His slider was a really big pitch for us tonight -- being able to throw it for strikes and throw it for chase."

Godley earned his first win since June 22 as he finished seven innings for the fifth time this season. Godley scattered four hits -- all singles -- and faced little pressure by preventing the Cardinals from advancing a runner as far as third until the sixth. The victory was Godley's first in two career starts versus St. Louis.

"Godley had everything working," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "[He had] probably one of the hardest, sharpest breaking balls that we've seen all year. And the curveball was coming out of his hand hot. He had every pitch today and controlled counts."

Video: ARI@STL: Matheny on Weaver's start in loss to D-backs

Arizona's offense provided all the necessary support for Godley in the fourth, which J.D. Martinez capped with his fourth career grand slam. Luke Weaver, making a spot start for St. Louis, got himself into a mess by allowing a leadoff double to A.J. Pollock and issuing two walks to fill the bases with no outs. Martinez followed with his fourth home run in six games with his new club.

Video: ARI@STL: Martinez cranks an opposite-field grand slam

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
In grand fashion: After falling behind, 0-2, against Weaver, Martinez snuck a 95-mph fastball just inside the right-field foul pole for his third homer in two days. According to Statcast™, the homer -- which traveled 364 feet with an exit velocity of 99.3 mph and a 35-degree launch angle -- had a 33-percent hit probability. Just as troubling to Weaver were the back-to-back walks that preceded the homer. Both came on full-count pitches. More >

"It wasn't a terrible pitch, but it wasn't a great pitch," Weaver said of the fastball to Martinez. "To a guy like that, you have to make great pitch. Obviously, I kick myself in the butt thinking about what I should have done differently, but in that moment, I have to execute the pitch called." More >

Settling in: After rain delayed his start by 62 minutes, Godley found himself immediately vulnerable when the Cardinals tallied a pair of hits with one out in the first. But Godley squashed the threat by inducing a double play off the bat of Randal Grichuk, who entered the night having gone 11-for-24 with four homers over a six-game hitting streak. In 14 starts this season, Godley has been tagged for just two first-inning runs.

Video: ARI@STL: Lamb handles a sharp grounder to turn two

"I think you walk into a pretty tough environment against a team that's been playing very, very well and you're looking for some little push moments," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "And I think Zack Godley allowed us to kind of get grounded and the big grand slam by J.D. was the key moment for us."

CATCHING IT
With one out in the fourth, Grichuk popped a ball down the third-base line toward the seats and third baseman Jake Lamb caught it as he tumbled into the first row. Lamb bobbled the ball as he was falling, but secured it with his bare hand and held it up for the umpire.

Lamb takes tumble on great grab

Video: Must C Catch: Lamb falls into stands for grab

"The fans did a good job of catching me," Lamb said. "They said, 'Nice catch.' They were nice."

WHAT'S NEXT
D-backs: Robbie Ray will get the start for the D-backs on Friday at 5:15 p.m. MT against the Cardinals. Ray has been outstanding on the road this year, going 5-1 with a 1.51 ERA in nine starts.

Cardinals: Yadier Molina and Jedd Gyorko are expected back in the Cardinals' lineup Friday after getting a breather in the opener. First pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. CT. Michael Wacha, who is 4-1 with a 2.20 ERA over his past five starts, will start for St. Louis.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, and Facebook.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Zack Godley, J.D. Martinez, Luke Weaver