St. Louis at Chicago

Scoreboard
St. Louis (56-35) «200000100370
Chi. Cubs (41-50)001000010250

Beltran homer shy of cycle; Cardinals edge Cubs

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Carlos Beltran had a forgettable 2,000th game in the majors on Thursday. His 2,001st might stay with him for a while.

After going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts one day earlier at Wrigley Field, Beltran bounced back Friday with three hits -- falling a home run short of the cycle -- and an RBI to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 3-2 win over the Chicago Cubs.

"Yesterday wasn't a good one and today was better, for sure," said Beltran, who had a run-scoring triple, double and single. "That's baseball. Some days you feel like you come to the ballpark and you try and nothing works out your way, and today it seems like everything worked out my way."

Beltran's offense bolstered a second straight spot start for reliever-turned-starter Joe Kelly (1-3), who won his first game of the season.

"I just attacked with everything -- slider, curve ball, change-up, four-seam, two-seam [fastball]," Kelly said. "When you throw a couple of those for strikes, you make it easier on yourself. If you're throwing some off-speed and command both sides of the plate with the heater, it makes for a little better time out there."

It was the second straight start for Kelly, who had a no-decision against Miami last Saturday. He's unsure if he'll get another start soon or will head back to the bullpen.

"I don't look too far ahead about anything," said Kelly, who allowed three hits and a run in 5 1/3 innings, struck out four and walked two. "I go out there and when they tell me to pitch, I pitch. That's what's good about being versatile, and I'm just still happy to be here."

Edward Mujica pitched the ninth for his 26th save in 27 opportunities.

Thursday's 3-0 loss snapped a five-game winning streak for the Cardinals.

An added bonus was a seventh inning pinch-hit triple by Rob Johnson, whose contract was purchased Tuesday from Triple-A Memphis. Johnson then scored on Matt Carpenter's go-ahead double.

"We needed it," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Johnson's clutch hit. "It's a feel-good for a guy who's been doing a lot of things right for us in our system. In a situation, he helped us produce and we wound up getting a run out of it."

St. Louis jumped on Cubs starter Carlos Villanueva (2-5) for two runs in the top of the first inning. Carpenter singled and scored on Beltran's triple, followed by Allen Craig's RBI single.

The Cubs cut St. Louis' lead to 2-1 in the third. Luis Valbuena walked, went to second when Starlin Castro was hit by a pitch, Anthony Rizzo hit into a fielder's choice that pushed Valbuena to third and then Alfonso Soriano's single scored Valbuena.

After Carpenter's double scored Johnson in the seventh to make it 3-1, Castro closed the score to 3-2 with a leadoff homer in the eighth -- but the Cubs would get no closer, stranding seven runners in the game.

Even with Villanueva's shaky first inning, Cubs manager Dale Sveum still liked what he saw from his starter.

"Six innings, 90 pitches, obviously settled down after the first inning," Sveum said. "Everything got much sharper and he did a great job."

The Cubs are 12-8 in their last 20 games, and are 3-5 against St. Louis this season. They faced the best team in baseball for the second straight week. Last weekend, they took two of three from Pittsburgh, which had the best record in the majors at the time.

Notes

  • Cardinals LF Matt Holliday was held out Friday with right hamstring tightness and is day-to-day.
  • In addition to signing first round draft pick Kris Bryant, the Cubs also inked 12th round RHP Trevor Clifton and 19th round C Will Remillard.
  • Saturday's pitchers will be the Cardinals' Lance Lynn (11-3, 3.67 ERA) and Matt Garza (5-1, 3.22). Garza has been the subject of trade rumors in recent days. "He's obviously throwing extremely well and he's very healthy and there are teams out there looking for pitching who are going to call and try to acquire him," Cubs president Theo Epstein said before Friday's game. "He's helping us win games right now, there's a chance to possibly retain him beyond this year, so we'll just balance all that out and do what's best for the organization."
  • The Cubs have used 42 players this season, a pre-All-Star break team record.
  • The Cubs came into Friday's game leading the National League with 293 extra-base hits.
 
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Carlos Beltran tallies three hits and drives in a run as the Cardinals bounce back at Wrigley.  (USATSI)
Carlos Beltran tallies three hits and drives in a run as the Cardinals bounce back at Wrigley. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

C. Beltran
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
Chicago

S. Castro
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Matt Carpenter, 2B4121100 .320
Jon Jay, CF4000013 .240
Carlos Beltran, RF4131000 .310
Allen Craig, LF4011012 .328
Yadier Molina, C3000112 .335
Matt Adams, 1B3000113 .309
David Freese, 3B4000014 .270
Pete Kozma, SS4000010 .229
Joe Kelly, P2000010 .125
   a-Rob Johnson, PH11100001.000
   Daniel Descalso, 3B1000000 .273
Totals3437337  
a-tripled for Choate in the 7th
Batting
2B - Matt Carpenter (28, Guerrier), Carlos Beltran (12, Strop)
3B - Carlos Beltran (2, Villanueva), Rob Johnson (1, Guerrier)
RBI - Matt Carpenter (43), Carlos Beltran (53), Allen Craig (72)
2-OUT RBI - Matt Carpenter (22)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - M. Carpenter-Kozma-Adams
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Joe Kelly (W,1-3) 5.1311240 3.88
Randy Choate (H,9) 0.2000100 2.29
Seth Maness (H,6) 0.1100010 2.70
Kevin Siegrist (H,2) 1111031 0.69
Trevor Rosenthal (H,21) 0.2000010 1.85
Edward Mujica (S,26) 1000000 2.27
HBP - Castro (by Joe Kelly)
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Kelly 73-41, Randy Choate 5-1, Seth Maness 7-5, Kevin Siegrist 20-12, Trevor Rosenthal 6-5, Edward Mujica 6-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Kelly 9-3, Randy Choate 1-0, Trevor Rosenthal 1-0, Edward Mujica 3-0
Batters Faced - Joe Kelly 22, Randy Choate 2, Seth Maness 2, Kevin Siegrist 4, Trevor Rosenthal 2, Edward Mujica 3
Chicago (N.L.) Cubs
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Luis Valbuena, 3B3100111 .233
Starlin Castro, SS3121000 .241
Anthony Rizzo, 1B4010022 .246
Alfonso Soriano, LF3011101 .261
Nate Schierholtz, RF3000124 .269
Brian Bogusevic, CF4000001 .256
Darwin Barney, 2B4000010 .211
Welington Castillo, C3010020 .266
   a-Dioner Navarro, PH1000000 .288
Carlos Villanueva, P2000000 .200
   b-Julio Borbon, PH1000011 .189
Totals3125239  
a-grounded out for Castillo in the 9th
b-struck out for Guerrier in the 7th
Batting
2B - Anthony Rizzo (27, Kelly)
HR - Starlin Castro (6, Siegrist)
RBI - Starlin Castro (28), Alfonso Soriano (48)
2-OUT RBI - Alfonso Soriano (24)
Team LOB - 6
Chicago (N.L.) Cubs
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Carlos Villanueva (L,2-5) 6422240 3.59
Matt Guerrier 1211000 4.21
Pedro Strop 1100130 5.79
Michael Bowden 0.1000000 3.71
James Russell 0.2000000 2.86
Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Villanueva 90-60, Matt Guerrier 19-12, Pedro Strop 29-17, Michael Bowden 4-3, James Russell 9-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Villanueva 6-8, Matt Guerrier 2-1, Michael Bowden 1-0
Batters Faced - Carlos Villanueva 24, Matt Guerrier 5, Pedro Strop 5, Michael Bowden 1, James Russell 2
Game Information
Attendance - 37322
Game Time - 2:58
Temperature - 77
Umpires - Home - Mike DiMuro, First Base - Wally Bell, Second Base - Alfonso Marquez, Third Base - Dan Bellino