Zack Greinke felt as if he was becoming a little too predictable. So the Arizona right-hander decided to mix things up on Sunday.
“I even threw my curve more than I usually do,” Greinke said.
Greinke’s new approach led to a strong eight-inning performance as the Diamondbacks rolled to a 7-2 win over the Cardinals.
Paul Goldschmidt drove in a pair of runs and Michael Bourn added three hits for Arizona, which has won four of six.
The Diamondbacks won a series in St. Louis for the first time since April 18-20, 2003.
“I felt like I was mixing things up (well), making better pitches,” Greinke said.
Brandon Moss homered for the Cardinals, who fell to 3-3 on their nine-game homestand.
Greinke (5-3), who has won five of his past six starts, allowed five hits and one run. He struck out seven and walked one. Greinke used his fastball and changeup effectively as well. That balance kept the St. Louis hitters guessing all game.
The reigning NL ERA champion improved to 11-4 against St. Louis. He also drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the third.
“He’s a tough pitcher to beat when he gets run support like that,” Bourn said. “We kept adding on and making it a little easier for him.”
Arizona scored three runs in the first off Jaime Garcia (3-4), who gave up five runs and 10 hits in 2 1/3 innings. Garcia failed to complete three innings for just the third time in 126 starts.
“I guess it was just one of those days, no excuse,” Garcia said. “I just didn’t have my stuff.”
St. Louis manager Mike Matheny agreed.
“It was an outing he’d like to forget, right from the get go,” he said.
Yasmany Tomas and Brandon Drury had run-scoring hits in the first. Goldschmidt pushed the lead to 4-0 with an RBI hit in the second.
Bourn, who has five hits over his past two games, singled in each of the first two innings. Arizona had 13 hits – 11 singles.
The Diamondbacks, who had lost 11 of their previous 14 games at Busch Stadium, were pleased to get out of St. Louis with their first series win in 13 years.
“Year-in, year-out, they’ve got a great team and that makes this even better,” Bourn said. ‘We came to play today and I think it showed.”
Moss hit his eighth homer of the season in the fourth inning.
Garcia threw 54 pitches and recorded only one swing and miss. That came on his 46th pitch.
Cardinals: Jhonny Peralta went 0-for-2 in a rehab assignment with Class A Peoria on Saturday. Peralta is recovering from thumb surgery in March.
Diamondbacks: RHP Shelby Miller (1-5, 6.64) will face LHP Francisco Liriano (3-3, 4.63) in the first of a three-game series at Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Miller has allowed three earned runs or fewer in six of his past seven starts.
Cardinals: RHP Adam Wainwright (4-3, 5.92) takes on John Lackey (4-2, 3.31) in the first game of a three-game set on Monday. Wainwright has not allowed a run to the Cubs in his past three starts covering 20 innings.