ST. LOUIS -- An early-inning battle of offensive firepower turned into a defensive struggle that fell St. Louis' way, as the Cardinals held on for a 6-4 win over Arizona before 41,107 at Busch Stadium on Tuesday night. The victory made St. Louis the first National League team to reach 30 wins this season.
In his second start of the year, Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia allowed six hits and four runs (three earned) to the D-backs over the first three innings before settling in to shut them out during his final three frames.
"It probably wasn't my best, but I was out there competing and trying to keep us in the ballgame and give us a chance to win, which is the goal every time you go out there," said Garcia, who earned his first win since June 15.
D-backs third baseman Yasmany Tomas continued his red-hot stretch by driving in three, but he fell victim to a bases-loaded strikeout in the seventh and bounced out with two runners on to end the game.
Arizona's bullpen subdued the Cardinals' offense over the final 4 1/3 innings, but an early barrage, which included a four-run first inning against D-backs starter Archie Bradley, and two RBIs from Randal Grichuk helped the Cardinals improve to 7-10 in games where they've been outhit by opponents.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Early explosion:The Cardinals recovered from Arizona's two-run first inning by scoring four in their half. Back-to-back walks led to a Matt Holliday RBI single, a Jhonny Peralta two-RBI double and an RBI groundout by Yadier Molina that gave the Cardinals a lead they never relinquished.
"To come right back after they drop two on us ... even just getting the one when Holliday gets the good base hit and we get on the board at all, that's always real positive and puts us right back into it with some momentum," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. "And they just kept adding on. It's fun to watch them go when they get some momentum."
Struggles continue for Archie: Bradley remains winless since serving a stint on the disabled list after getting struck in the head by a line drive. In three starts since coming off the DL, Bradley has allowed 14 runs in 10 2/3 innings. More >
"I know I'm better than that," Bradley said. "I know I'm a better pitcher than that, and it's frustrating for me to put this team in the situations I've been putting them in."
A St. Louis sigh of relief : With the Cardinals nursing a two-run lead in the sixth, Garcia induced an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play after Arizona put runners on the corners with one out due to a throwing error from first baseman Mark Reynolds. More >
Can't cash in: Down by two, the D-backs had a chance to do some damage in the seventh inning when they loaded the bases with two outs against reliever Matt Belisle. However, Tomas, who extended his hitting streak to 10 games and had driven in three runs, struck out swinging to end the threat. In the ninth, the D-backs put runners on second and third with two outs before Seth Maness came in and got Tomas to bounce out.
"He's been great with guys in scoring position," D-backs manager Chip Hale said of Tomas. "We had two shots with him out there. We felt pretty good about it. He hit the ball hard that last time, just right at the second baseman."
"That was a great grind. That was one of those games where you look up and know that the last at-bat, it's going to come down to it. It was fun to be a part of. I just love contributing." -- Belisle, who pitched a season-high 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief before Maness entered to record the final out
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Holliday tied a franchise record by reaching base safely for the 42nd straight game to start the season when he ripped an RBI single up the middle in the first inning. Albert Pujols set the record in 2008. More >
Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams left the game with a strained right quad after hitting a double in the fifth inning. As he rounded first, Adams reached at his upper right leg and limped toward second. Once he reached the base safely, a trainer came out to inspect Adams, and Reynolds entered to replace him. Adams is scheduled to have an MRI on Wednesday, though the Cardinals are already anticipating that he'll need to be placed on the disabled list. More >
WHAT'S NEXT D-backs:Josh Collmenter will take the ball for Arizona in the series finale Wednesday (5:15 p.m. MST). The right-hander is 2-1 with a 0.96 ERA in four career games (one start) against the Cardinals.
Cardinals: The stretch of 36 games in 37 days draws to a close as Lance Lynn (3-4, 3.46 ERA) is slated to become the first St. Louis pitcher this season to make 10 starts in a 7:15 p.m. CT game at Busch Stadium.
David Cobb is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.