PHOENIX (AP) — Paul Goldschmidt struck out his first two at-bats against Jack Flaherty, once on a slider. With two on in the fifth inning, Goldschmidt fell behind against the St. Louis right-hander and laid off two sliders like the one he chased earlier.
Another slider found too much of the plate and the reigning NL player of the month sent it over the wall in right.
Goldschmidt hit a three-run homer, Zack Greinke pitched effectively into the seventh inning and the Arizona Diamondbacks ended a four-game losing streak with a 4-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.
"Paul's gifted," Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. "You can't make mistakes like that. He's going to make you pay."
Greinke (9-5) gave up two runs in the second inning to end his 13-inning scoreless streak but was otherwise sharp in winning his fourth straight game. Yoshihisa Hirano needed one pitch to get a groundout with the bases loaded in the seventh and extend his team record with a 26th straight scoreless appearance.
Brad Boxberger worked around a walk in the ninth for his 20th save in 24 chances.
Goldschmidt had the big blow, following a four-hit night Monday with a three-run homer off Flaherty (3-4) in the fifth inning. The NL player of the month for June, Goldschmidt is hitting .413 with 11 homers and 28 RBIs his past 26 games.
"It wasn't the best slider I had thrown all night and you get a guy like that, who is red hot like that, he put a good swing on it," Flaherty said.
Greinke entered Tuesday's game with the 13-inning scoreless streak after tossing seven scoreless innings against Miami his last start. His streak lasted one more inning; the Cardinals scored two runs in the second inning on Yairo Munoz's single and Kolten Wong's sacrifice fly.
Greinke shook off the shaky second by mixing his pitches well, keeping the Cardinals off-balance with low-90s fastballs and looping curves that dipped to 63 mph. He was lifted with two outs in the seventh inning after giving up consecutive hits, allowing two runs on seven hits and four strikeouts.
"I felt good, there was good defense behind me and we scored some runs," Greinke said.
Flaherty allowed four runs on six hits in six innings in a loss to Cleveland his last start. He was sharp after giving up David Peralta's run-scoring single in the first inning, retiring 10 straight batters.
Flaherty ran into trouble in the fifth inning, giving up a double and hitting a batter before Goldschmidt lifted a three-run homer just over the wall in right to put Arizona up 4-2. Flaherty allowed four runs on four hits and struck out seven in six innings.
"He threw the ball well," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "(He) got into a tough situation with a good hitter, got to two strikes, the guy got the best of that matchup, but overall his stuff was very good today."