Beltran leads Cardinals over Diamondbacks

Tuesday, May 8, 2012 | 11:32 p.m. CDT; updated 10:46 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, May 9, 2012
The Cardinals' Carlos Beltran crosses home plate after hitting a grand slam, his second home run of the game, against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the second inning Tuesday in Phoenix.

PHOENIX — Carlos Beltran hit home runs 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 loss in a row.

Beltran, who had one of the Cardinals' five home runs in their 9-6 series-opening win on Monday, hit a two-run shot off Ian Kennedy in the first inning, then cleared the bases with a shot into the swimming pool area in right-center in the second inning, 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 straight and can complete a three-game sweep in the desert on Wednesday night.

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 in a hurry.

The Cardinals, who led 3-0 after one and 7-0 after five on Monday night, 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 lofted a 2-1 pitch into the swimming pool area in right field for the 32nd multi-home run game of his career.

Kennedy settled down after that, retiring the last 13 batters he faced, 15 of the last 16. 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.

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