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Diamondbacks top Cardinals, 10-3

The SportsXchange

ST. LOUIS -- Arizona's strategy Wednesday night was simple: Get the starting pitcher out of there and feast on the back end of a shorthanded St. Louis bullpen.

The Diamondbacks broke open a tie game after spot starter Joe Kelly departed with two outs in the top of the sixth inning, scoring five runs in the seventh and three more in the eighth to secure a 10-3 win at rainy Busch Stadium.

Paul Goldschmidt's seventh-inning grand slam gave Arizona (34-25) a 7-1 lead as it beat St. Louis for the second straight evening. It was the first time since April 27-29 that the Cardinals (38-21) have lost consecutive games.

"It was an all-around good game for us," winning pitcher Wade Miley said. "The Cardinals are a great team, no doubt, but we're a pretty good team too. It's two good teams going out fighting."

St. Louis used its bullpen for 9 1/3 innings Tuesday night in a 7-6, 14-inning loss to the Diamondbacks. Its top three relievers -- closer Edward Mujica, setup man Trevor Rosenthal and seventh inning man Seth Maness -- combined for 7 1/3 frames. Rookie callup Keith Butler chipped in two innings as well.

When Kelly, making his first start after 16 relief appearances, departed after 5 2/3 innings and 80 pitches, Arizona pounced on Randy Choate and Maikel Cleto.

Choate gave up the first three runs in the seventh and Cleto coughed up the last two, including Goldschmidt's second grand slam of the Diamondbacks' eight-game road trip. Cleto, who was called up from Triple-A Memphis on Wednesday to give the Cardinals a fresh arm, hacked up three more runs in the eighth.

St. Louis manager Mike Matheny let Cleto hit for himself with two out and none on in the eighth so that he could finish up the game and give the bullpen some rest.

"You have to tip your hat to Cleto for staying out there and throwing innings," Matheny said. "You hate to see someone get beat around like that, but we didn't have the ability to get him out."

Miley (4-5) won his first game since May 8, scattering 11 hits over 6 2/3 innings and taking some pressure off a bullpen which worked 8 1/3 innings the night before.

"That was vintage Wade," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "He threw the ball very well and let the defense play behind him. He kept the ball down and threw to both sides of the plate. It's what we needed."

Miley had struggled in his last four starts, going 0-3 with a 9.14 ERA, but he kept St. Louis off the board until the fourth. Shane Robinson touched him for an RBI single that scored Matt Holliday to even the game at 1.

Kelly mowed down 11 consecutive hitters after giving up a run-producing hit to Didi Gregorius in the second. He departed after 80 effective pitches, drawing a warm ovation from the crowd of 40,792.

"I was just trying to go out there and see how far I could go, especially (after) yesterday's game," Kelly said.

But things turned shortly after Choate induced a fly ball to left field from his first batter, Jason Kubel. Holliday ran near the warning track and reached for the ball, but it hit off the heel of his glove and fell to the turf for an error that allowed Willie Bloomquist to score all the way from first.

It was just the 20th error this season for the Cardinals, which entered Wednesday night as the major league leaders in fielding percentage.

Gifted that run, the Diamondbacks went back to work an inning later. Wil Nieves' RBI single off Choate made it 3-1 and Goldschmidt rocketed Cleto's 2-2 fastball into the seats in left-center for his second slam of the team's eight-game road trip.

"I tried to put something in play," said Goldschmidt, who owns a National League-best 53 RBIs. "I was fortunate to get a good pitch to hit, and I hit it good and got it out of there. You just try to have a good at-bat."

NOTES: The game was delayed 46 minutes at the start due to rain, and a steady drizzle fell throughout the night ... Arizona RHP Daniel Hudson departed his first rehab start Tuesday night at Double-A Mobile with stiffness in his surgically repaired right elbow. Hudson threw 48 pitches, allowing two hits and a run. He will have his elbow examined by team physician Michael Lee. ... Cardinals C Yadier Molina dropped the appeal of his one-game suspension and sat out Wednesday's game. Manager Mike Matheny was planning to rest him after Tuesday's 4-hour, 53-minute contest. ... To make room for Cleto on the roster, the Cardinals optioned RHP Victor Marte, the loser in Tuesday night's marathon game, to Memphis.
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