ST. LOUIS (AP) — Kwang Hyun Kim won for the first time in 11 starts, pitching five solid innings and helping himself with a two-run double as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-4 Wednesday for a three-game sweep.
Kim (2-5) had lost five straight decisions since his last win on April 23. He stranded six runners through his first four innings, giving up just an RBI single to Asdrúbal Cabrera.
“Today I tried to focus each batter and I think that was something that I got lucky and I got the win today,” Kim said through an interpreter.
Kim retired his last five batters. He struck out five, walked three and allowed three hits as the Cardinals won for the fourth time in their last five games.
“Thought his whole day was really positive, a pitch maker, did a great job,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said.
Alex Reyes earned his 20th save in as many opportunities. Arizona lost its fourth in a row.
Kim’s opposite-field double to left in the second scored Yadier Molina and Edmundo Sosa to give the Cardinals a 2-0 lead. The two RBIs were Kim’s first in the majors, and it was also the first extra-base hit for the 32-year-old lefty — he was 1 for 15 in the big leagues before that.
“I changed my bat to a lighter one and practiced with it,” Kim said. “I was lucky today.”
Paul Goldschmidt and Tyler O’Neill each doubled twice and singled, and Molina had a pair of hits. All three players drove in a run.
“I think we just talked about having good at-bats, you know, taking what the pitcher gives you,” Goldschmidt said. “You can still have good at bats, just not get the results. So, I think the focus has definitely been processed driven … if you do that then you know you’re going to eventually get those results like we did today.”
The Diamondbacks scored three in the eighth on just one hit. Two runs scored on a walk and a wild pitch by Ryan Helsley after he inherited a bases-loaded, one-out situation from Roel Ramirez, who was making his season debut. It is the 20th bases loaded walk allowed by Cardinals pitching this season.
Riley Smith (1-4) gave up four runs over three innings in his first start since May 14. The Diamondbacks were swept for the 13th time this season.
“To not keep my team in the ballgame, and to not make quality pitches at the time that I needed to, I’m very disappointed myself,” Smith said.
Arizona lost its fourth straight on the road since winning Saturday at San Diego to end a record 24-game road losing streak. The Diamondbacks are a major league-worst 22-60, including 10-36 away from home.
“Fundamentally, we just got to execute at a better level,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “We do a lot right and again, when we do two or three things wrong, it costs us the ballgame and those stick out.”
With his run scored in the second, Molina moved past Ted Simmons for most by a Cardinals catcher in franchise history with 737.
Diamondbacks: OF Kole Calhoun (strained left hamstring) hit two home runs in three plate appearances at Triple-A Reno in the Aces’ 6-5 win on Tuesday night.
Cardinals: OF Harrison Bader (fractured rib) returned to St. Louis for evaluation after his rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Memphis and will accompany the team on its road trip.
Diamondback: RHP Merrill Kelly (4-7, 4.73 ERA) starts a seven-game homestand with the first of four against the San Francisco Giants and RHP Johnny Cueto (6-3, 3.63 ERA) on Thursday night. Kelly pitched six scoreless innings in a win against the San Diego Padres in his last start on June 26.
Cardinals: RHP Adam Wainwright (6-5, 3.59 ERA) gets the start of a four-game series at the Colorado Rockies and RHP Antonio Senzatela on Thursday night. Wainwright has five straight quality starts and went 4-1 in June.