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Cardinals hold on to down Diamondbacks

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

(Photo)
Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran celebrates his solo home run against the Diamondbacks during the third inning Monday in Phoenix.
(AP Photo/Matt York)
PHOENIX -- Lance Lynn wasn't at his best Monday night -- just good enough for five scoreless innings and another victory.

The big, young St. Louis right-hander gave up three hits to become the majors' first six-game winner, and the Cardinals held on for a 9-6 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Rafael Furcal hit the 30th leadoff home run of his career for St. Louis. It was the first of five homers for the Cardinals in the game. Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday hit consecutive homers to open the third off Joe Saunders (2-2). Allen Craig and David Freese homered to start the seventh after Arizona had scored six times in the sixth to cut the Cardinals' lead to 7-6.

"It was nice for them to come out swinging the bats right from the top," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "A pretty good display of some power. Then obviously the ones we got later were a lot more valuable than what we thought they would be."

Lynn (6-0), the first St. Louis pitcher to start the season with six wins since Bob Tewksbury in 1994, left with a 7-0 lead. Cody Ransom hit a two-run homer in the Diamondbacks' rally.

"We're winning games while I'm on the mound," Lynn said. "That's all that matters."

Jason Motte gave up a pair of singles but no runs in the ninth for his fifth save in six tries.

Lynn struck out seven and walked four. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound 24-year-old has allowed six earned runs over six starts. It was his shortest outing of the season, and he acknowledged he had problems with his command.

"Tonight was a struggle," Lynn said. "You know you're not going to have your best stuff every time out. Tonight I was able to battle through it."

Saunders, who entered the game with a 1.24 ERA, allowed seven runs, six earned, on nine hits over 3 1/3 innings.

"I just didn't have it," he said, "plain and simple."

The Diamondbacks, back from a 5-5 road trip, have lost three in a row and five of six. They have dropped eight of their last 10 at home.

"We haven't played the way we're capable of recently," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "If we're going to beat this team, we're going to have to play a lot better."

Furcal put St. Louis ahead to stay with a leadoff shot that traveled an estimated 441 feet onto the porch in left-center, just above the 413-foot sign. After two outs, Allen Craig singled, then scored on Freese's double into the left-field corner. The Cardinals made it 3-0 when Yadier Molina singled to right field. Justin Upton's throw to the plate was high, and Freese slid under catcher Miguel Montero's tag.

Beltran's eighth home run, which led off the third, followed by Holliday's sixth homer of the season, put the Cardinals up 5-0.

They made it 7-0 with help of an unearned run in the fourth. Tyler Greene singled, then Montero threw the ball away on Lynn's sacrifice bunt try. Furcal followed with an RBI single, then Holliday walked to load the bases. Reliever Brad Ziegler walked home the seventh run on four pitches.

Arizona broke through against reliever J.C. Romero, who faced five batters without recording an out in the sixth inning.


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