D-backs fall victim to Cardinals' power display

Associated Press Published: May 8, 2012

PHOENIX (AP) — After he watched five balls sail off the bats of St. Louis hitters for home runs, Arizona manager Kirk Gibson had a simple description.

"They whopped 'em," he said.

The Diamondbacks rallied from a seven-run deficit to cut it to one but eventually fell to the Cardinals 9-6 on Monday night in the opener of a three-game series.

Lance Lynn gave up three hits through five scoreless innings 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, the first of five homers for the Cardinals on the night. 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.

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.

Jason Motte gave up a pair of singles in the ninth but no runs 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 in 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 in 3 1-3 innings.

"I just didn't have it," he said, "plain and simple. Some nights you have it, some nights you don't. Tonight I didn't have it."

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," Gibson said. "If we're going to beat this team we're going to have to play a lot better."

Justin Upton went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts before being lifted in a double switch for Arizona. Gibson said it was simply a numbers game and he "had no choice." Upton batted in the No. 2 spot for the first time since September of 2010.

Furcal put St. Louis ahead to stay with a leadoff shot 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. Upton's throw to the plate was high and Freese slid under catcher Miguel Montero's tag.

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