ST. LOUIS -- Matt Carpenter lashed a ground-rule double. Tommy Pham laced a single to right center. Paul DeJong lined a single up the middle to score Carpenter.
Three batters into Saturday night's game, Arizona Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke appeared to be on the ropes. The largest crowd in Busch Stadium III history was ready to explode for a big inning by their St. Louis Cardinals.
"All of a sudden, my pitches started going where I wanted them to go," Greinke said.
The crowd of 48,052 and their team's bats were struck silent for the game's remainder.
Greinke gave up just one hit after a shaky beginning to the first inning and led Arizona to a 7-1 victory.
In upping his record to 13-4, Greinke finished with a walk and nine strikeouts, improving his career mark against St. Louis to 12-4. No other active pitcher owns more than eight wins against the Cardinals.
Greinke's ability to keep the first inning from being a crooked number shaped the game's remainder. After Jedd Gyorko flied out to left, Greinke tossed a wild pitch with Yadier Molina at the plate to move Pham to third and DeJong to second.
With the infield playing back and conceding a run on any grounder to second or short, Greinke slipped a called third strike by Molina and then fanned Kolten Wong on an off-speed pitch off the outside corner.
"This guy tonight, we knew we had to take advantage of any little opportunity against him," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. "We knew if we didn't, he would probably get going, and that's what he did."
Beginning with Gyorko's fly ball, Greinke retired the next 12 men he faced, seven via strikeout. Four were on a called third strike as the Cardinals hitters, who were aggressive in the first inning, simply couldn't pull the trigger.
By the time Randal Grichuk doubled to start the fifth, the Diamondbacks led for good at 3-1. Greinke wasn't about to let St. Louis (51-53) regain any life, getting out of a two-on, none-out jam in the fifth by fanning pinch-hitter Luke Voit and inducing a 4-6-3 double play out of Carpenter.
"Any time you make a mistake against him, he hammers it," Greinke said of Carpenter. "You can't get away with any mistakes against him. I just had to make good pitches."
Even when his defense required him to get four outs in the sixth, it was no problem for Greinke. Pham reached second when second baseman Daniel Descalso dropped his pop fly to start the inning. Three groundouts to the left side later, Greinke still led by two.
It was the type of performance a team needs from its ace after a loss such as Friday night's 1-0 defeat to the Cardinals. Greinke is now 7-1 in starts after Arizona setbacks.
"Zack set the tone," Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. "I know he understands the importance of each start. I said a few starts ago he goes out there with the weight of 24 guys on his shoulders."
Arizona (60-44) cracked the code on Mike Leake (7-9) in the fourth. Paul Goldschmidt lofted his 22nd homer of the year just over the right field wall after Jake Lamb was plunked by Leake. The homer was reviewed for nearly 90 seconds by replay umpires in New York before it was allowed to stand.
No such review was required for J.D. Martinez's 466-foot rocket halfway up the left-center field bleachers two pitches later. It was his 21st homer of the year and his fifth since Detroit traded him July 18.
Ketel Marte drilled a two-run homer that kick-started a four-run eighth, his fourth of the year. A.J. Pollock was credited with an RBI double on a bouncing ball that both DeJong and Gyorko pulled up on to avoid a collision between third and short, and Goldschmidt's sacrifice fly finished the scoring.
Leake yielded four hits and three runs in five innings, walking two and whiffing four. Seven St. Louis pitchers combined for seven walks and three hit batters. NOTES: Arizona placed LHP Robbie Ray on the seven-day concussion DL after he was struck by a Luke Voit line drive in the head during the second inning on Friday night. To replace Ray, it recalled RHP Silvino Bracho from Triple-A Reno. ... St. Louis RHP Adam Wainwright (back) will throw off flat ground Sunday and is scheduled to take a bullpen session Monday when the team is idle. He could possibly be activated off the 10-day DL to start Wednesday night in Milwaukee. ... Diamondbacks 3B Jake Lamb was back in the starting lineupt. Lamb was scratched Friday night after noting general soreness following his tumble into the seats behind third base to catch a foul pop on Thursday night.