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(Updated: 15 to 17 in GAME NOTEBOOK)
Cardinals 9, Padres 6: Jake Westbrook went 3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored while pitching into the seventh inning as host St. Louis defeated struggling San Diego.
Matt Carpenter had three hits and three RBIs, National League batting leader Yadier Molina delivered a two-run double and Carlos Beltran hit two sacrifice flies for the Cardinals, who increased their lead in the NL Central to two games over Pittsburgh. Westbrook (6-4) allowed two runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Everth Cabrera drove in two runs for the Padres, who have lost 21 of their last 27 contests and fell to 6-19 at the new Busch Stadium. Jason Marquis (9-5) allowed six runs, eight hits and three walks - increasing his major league-high total to 68 - in 5 1/3 innings.
The Cardinals took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when Westbrook led off with a single and scored three batters later on Beltran's sacrifice fly. St. Louis made it 3-0 in the fifth after Westbrook led off with a double and scored on Carpenter's two-base hit and Beltran delivered a sacrifice fly two batters later.
St. Louis blew the game open with three runs in the sixth inning as Westbrook capped his first career multi-hit game with an RBI single and Carpenter followed with a two-run single. Cabrera chased Westbrook with a two-run single just over the head of shortstop Pete Kozma with the bases loaded in the seventh, and the Padres trimmed the lead to three in the ninth before Edward Mujica came on to nail down his 27th save.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Westbrook raised his career average 17 points to .133 (21-for-158). He has 12 RBIs, eight runs scored and six doubles. ... Molina is hitting .340, six points ahead of teammate Allen Craig. ... The Padres scored three runs in the ninth inning against Carlos Martinez, with Chase Headley, Carlos Quentin and Yonder Alonso driving in runs. Alexi Amarista had an RBI for San Diego in the eighth while Kozma knocked in St. Louis' final run in the seventh.