ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Justin Upton hit a two-run homer and Joe Saunders threw five scoreless innings to lead the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 4-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night.
St. Louis, which lost for the fourth time in six games, fell into the first-place tie with Milwaukee in the NL Central.
Saunders (6-7) allowed one hit, struck out one and walked four. He was removed from the game after a 50-minute rain delay in the sixth inning.
Upton hit his 15th homer of the season off Kyle McClellan (6-6), who has not won since May 19, covering his last six starts. McClellan returned after the delay and gave up the homer to Upton on his sixth pitch following the layoff.
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McClellan gave up four runs, three earned, and six hits in seven innings.
Ryan Roberts drew a walk to lead off the sixth before rain halted play. Stephen Drew flied out before Upton launched a drive over the wall in left-center for a 3-0 lead.
St. Louis climbed within 3-1 on a run-scoring double by Matt Holliday in the sixth. Reliever Micah Owings, who came into the game after the stoppage, then struck out Lance Berkman and got Yadier Molina to fly out.
Roberts added an RBI single in the seventh to make it 4-1.
David Hernandez pitched the ninth and picked up his sixth save in seven opportunities. Alberto Castillo, Yhency Brazoban and Owings followed Saunders to the mound. The five pitchers combined to allow three hits.
Arizona pushed across an unearned run in the second. Chris Young led off with a single and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Sean Burroughs. Young, moved to third on a throwing error when third baseman David Freese tossed a grounder wide at second base in an effort to get Young on a one-out grounder by Xavier Nady. Young has hit safely in nine of his last 11 road games.
Saunders ran into trouble in the first. Ryan Theriot led off with a double and Freese walked. Saunders got Albert Pujols to fly out before inducing Holliday to ground into a double play. Theriot entered the game 5 for 7 against Saunders.
Pujols, the three-time league MVP, was 0 for 3 in his second game since returning from the disabled list with a fractured left wrist. He is 1 for 9 over the two games.
The start of the game was delayed 66 minutes by rain.
NOTES: Pujols grounded into his NL-leading 19th double play in the fourth inning. ... Theriot committed his 15th error of the season in the third inning booting a ground ball by Saunders. ... Berkman has four homers and 10 RBIs in four games against Arizona this season, the most RBIs by any player against the Diamondbacks. ... Arizona has had 70 games decided by four runs or less this season. They are 39-31 in those games. ... The Diamondbacks are 4-7 in their last 11 games in St. Louis.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)