ST. LOUIS (AP) - Jake Westbrook pitched eight crisp innings and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the San Diego Padres 4-0 on Thursday night in the opener of a key 4-game series.
Albert Pujols hit a run-scoring double in the Cardinals' four-run sixth inning, snapping an 0 for 9 skid, and Yadier Molina added a two-run single.
St. Louis moved within seven games of NL Central-leading Cincinnati, which lost 3-1 to Arizona. The Cardinals have 17 games left on their schedule.
San Diego lost its second consecutive game and dropped into a tie for the NL West lead, pending San Francisco's late game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.