The Cardinals scored early and often Sunday to subdue the Cubs and win their third straight National League Central division series.
They cruised to a 10-3 final to improve their record to 7-3.
Jake Westbrook was fantastic, scattering four hits over seven innings while walking one and whiffing one. He allowed two runs -- one of them earned -- but neither should have scored.
The first came when Rafael Furcal made a bad throw on a pretty easy double play chance. The second run eventually scored after Tyler Greene kicked one of the most basic ground ball opportunities that a player will ever get.
But the offense was able to come up with more than enough runs to make up for the miscues.
In the second inning the Birds plated two when Carlos Beltran was hit by a pitch and he moved to second when Yadier Molina walked. Matt Carpenter singled to put one run on the board and then Shane Robinson hit into a fielders choice that retired Carpenter at second while Molina scored.
Furcal doubled to lead off the third inning. Greene popped out while trying to bunt. But Matt Holliday was able to pick him up, driving home the third run with a grounder up the middle. Beltran singled to make it first and second with one out and Molina cracked a ball just over the left field wall for a three-run homer to break the game open 6-0.
The Cubs got a run in the fourth and another in the fifth to cut the St. Louis advantage to 6-2. But Beltran reached on another walk in the sixth and then scored on a two-run homer to the approximate landing spot of David Freese's walk-off shot in the sixth game of the 2011 World Series to restore the six-run lead.
In the bottom of the seventh Erik Komatsu and Molina both singled with one out Carpenter tripled them both home to make the score 10-2. The Wee Bears scored a run in the eight against Kyle McClellan but that as close as they could get as Victor Marte worked a 1-2-3 ninth.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Westbrook would deserve it any other day. But Carpenter collected four hits and drove in five runs while scoring another. So he gets the nod on this day.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Molina's three-run homer
Lowlight: Tyler Greene was shaky in the field and at the plate. I have had high hopes that he would become a valuable infielder -- either as a starter or as a utility player. But he seemes to be snake bitten. Skip Schumaker started his rehab assignment today and it sure doesn't seem like Carpenter will be the odd man out amongst Cardinals infielders.