CHICAGO -- Adam Wainwright was in a familiar spot on Tuesday, struggling with command but with enough to still earn a victory.
"That's the way I've been my entire career," said the St. Louis Cardinals right-hander following a 4-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs. "When you don't have your best stuff you find a way to get the job done."
Wainwright (6-4) was hit for three early runs and then shut down Chicago for his first win in more than three weeks. He gave up single runs in the first, third and fourth innings but held the Cubs scoreless through the balance of his 6 2/3-inning outing.
"I had decent stuff but my command was off," Wainwright said. "My fastball was a little erratic and my cutter was not very good. But luckily my curve ball was there and we made it work.
"They scrimped a couple runs across a few times. But our offense did a good enough job out there against a tough pitcher to let us win this game."
The victory was the second straight for the Cardinals (37-33) in a series that wraps up Wednesday. The Cubs (47-22) saw their still formidable National League Central lead over St. Louis slip to 10 1/2 games.
It was the second straight one-run game in the series.
"It was kind of like Groundhog Day, the same game as last night," said Cubs manager Joe Maddon. "Well-played on both sides, we just couldn't get a hit when we needed to.
"If you're a baseball fan, you saw good baseball. They scored one more run than we did, give them credit."
Wainwright allowed three earned runs on six hits, walked three and struck out four. Reliever Jonathan Broxton escaped a jam unscathed despite runners at first and third after Wainwright left.
Cubs starter Jason Hammel (7-3) suffered his second loss in June after giving up four runs on six hits, walking one and striking out three.
Right-hander Trevor Rosenthal faced five batters in the ninth and picked up his 14th save and second in as many days.
Hammel departed with two outs in the sixth and with a runner on. He was replaced by right-hander Gerardo Concepcion, activated earlier Tuesday and making his major league debut.
Concepcion struck out Brandon Moss on five pitches to end the inning and also worked a scoreless seventh.
Hammel allowed four earned runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings. He walked one, struck out three and gave up two home runs.
"Jason settled in well, the bullpen was outstanding, we played defense again," said Maddon. "If we keep playing (that kind) of game I'll be very pleased. ... That's how you become a consistent winner."
The Cubs jumped ahead 1-0 in the first when Anthony Rizzo's one-out sacrifice fly scored lead-off batter Chris Coghlan from third. Coghlan reached on a single and moved to second on a walk to Jason Heyward. He moved to third on Kris Bryant's fly ball to center.
Stephen Piscotty doubled to open the Cardinals' second and scored on Moss' two-out single to right to even the score.
The Cardinals hit two home runs and added three more runs in the third inning. Matt Carpenter's solo shot -- his 11th of the season -- came on a 3-2 pitch from Hammel.
Aledmys Diaz followed with a single to shallow left and Matt Holliday then sent a 1-1 pitch over the wall in center for two more runs and a 4-1 Cardinals advantage.
Chicago got one run back after Coghlan walked to lead off the third and Heyward drove him home with a double to deep center. The Cubs made it 4-3 in the fourth when Willson Contreras scored from third as Albert Almora Jr. grounded into a double play.
NOTES: St. Louis starters have worked six or more innings in 11 consecutive games dating to June 9, going 4-2. ... Catcher Yadier Molina has started 63 of the Cardinals' 70 games this season. Matt Holiday and Matt Carpenter are next with 62 and 61 starts, respectively. ... RHP Adam Wainwright's 236th career start Tuesday moved him past Gerry Staley (1947-54) for 15th all-time in St. Louis history. ... Cubs LHP Clayton Richard was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a blister on his left middle finger prior to Tuesday's game while RHP Adam Warren was optioned to Triple-A Iowa. The Cubs also selected the contract of LHP Gerardo Concepcion and recalled RHP Spencer Patton from Triple-A Iowa. ... The Cardinals sent RHP Michael Wacha (2-7, 4.56 ERA) against Cubs ace Jake Arrieta (11-1, 1.74 ERA) in a series finale at 1:20 p.m. on Wednesday.