Beltran drives in six runs in Cardinals' 6-1 win

Wednesday, May 9, 2012
The Cardinals’ Carlos Beltran is congratulated by third base coach Jose Qquendo after hitting a home against the Diamondbacks during the first inning of Tuesday’s game in Phoenix. Beltran also hit a grand slam during the second inning. (Matt York ~ Associated Press)

The Cardinals outfielder blasted a grand slam against the Diamondbacks

PHOENIX -- Carlos Beltran homered in his first two at-bats, including a grand slam, matching his career high with six RBIs, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat Arizona 6-1 on Tuesday night, handing the Diamondbacks their fourth consecutive loss.

Beltran, who had one of the Cardinals' five homers in their 9-6 series-opening win Monday, hit a two-run homer off Ian Kennedy in the first, then cleared the bases with a shot into the swimming pool area in right-center in the second, his 10th career grand slam.

He has 10 home runs this season.

Jake Westbrook (4-2) blanked the Diamondbacks on four hits through seven innings.

Kennedy (3-2) threw five scoreless innings after Beltran's slam, but the Diamondbacks lost for the sixth time in seven games. They have dropped nine of their past 11 at home.

The Cardinals won their third consecutive game and can complete a three-game sweep tonight.

St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina left the game in the ninth inning after being hit in the back of his gloved hand trying to snag a pitch by reliever Mitchell Boggs.

Westbrook struck out eight and walked two. Only one Arizona base runner reached second against the sinker-throwing St. Louis right-hander. Aaron Hill singled three times off Westbrook, two of them infield hits.

Jon Jay opened the game with a triple past diving center fielder Gerardo Parra, then Beltran hit Kennedy's 1-0 pitch deep into the right field seats to make it 2-0.

The Cardinals took a 6-0 lead in the second as Kennedy struggled with his control. Skip Schumaker doubled with one out, then Westbrook drew a two-out walk. Jay was hit by a pitch to load the bases and bring up Beltran, who hit a 2-1 pitch for the 32nd multi-home run game of his career.

Kennedy retired the last 13 batters he faced. He struck out Beltran twice, but the damage was done.

The Arizona ace, who went 21-4 last season, lost consecutive starts for the first time since September 2010. He was beaten 2-1 at Washington last Wednesday, ending his nine-game winning streak. The six runs were the most he has allowed in his past 23 outings.

Kennedy struck out six, walked two and hit a batter.

The Diamondbacks averted a shutout when Justin Upton led off the ninth with a single and scored on Miguel Montero's double.

Notes: St. Louis has scored in the first inning for eight games in a row. ... The Cardinals' five homers in Monday night's game were their most since hitting six on July 5, 2007, against Pittsburgh. ... Beltran needs two stolen bases to become the eighth player in major league history with at least 300 steals and 300 homers. ... Beltran had his second multi-homer game of the season. ... Kennedy hadn't allowed this many runs since giving up seven at Oakland last July 3. ... The Cardinals go with Kyle Lohse (4-1, 2.11 ERA) while Arizona sends left-handed rookie Wade Miley (3-0, 2.33) to the mound in the series finale. ... Arizona failed to score in 12 innings against St. Louis' starters in the first two games of the series. ... The Diamondbacks' Cody Ransom struck out four times, giving him seven in two games.

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