Right fielder Carlos Beltran finished today with three hits including an RBI triple in the first inning, helping the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 3-2. The Cardinals are now 56-35 on the season, leading the surprising Pittsburgh Pirates by 1.5 games in the National League Central. The Cubs fell to 41-50.
Allen Craig also delivered an RBI in the first inning for the Cardinals, but the Cubs would not go away easily. Alfonso Soriano drove in Luis Valbuena in the third inning with an RBI single. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Soriano is hitting .438 with six home runs against right-handed pitchers in his past 12 games.
The Cubs could only manage one more run, though: a solo homer from shortstop Starlin Castro in the eighth inning. By then the Cardinals had also added another run thanks to a Matt Carpenter double in the seventh inning. The Cubs stranded seven runners on base in the game.
Joe Kelly was the winning pitcher for the Cardinals, allowing three hits in 5 1/3 innings of work. He is now 1-3 on the year.