PHOENIX (AP) Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a three-run homer, Ryne Nelson threw six solid innings and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 on Saturday night.

Gurriel's big blow came in the sixth, giving Arizona a 4-1 lead. The left fielder lined a low fastball from Kyle Gibson into the left-field seats, barely clearing the wall. The 30-year-old is off to a hot start this season with a .317 batting average and four homers after re-signing with the NL champions on a $42 million, three-year deal during the offseason.

Nelson (1-2) had easily his best outing of the season after entering the game with an 8.22 ERA. The right-hander gave up one run on seven hits and a walk, pitching into the seventh before giving up a leadoff single to Masyn Winn.

Nelson struck out four. He got out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth, striking out Jordan Walker with a fastball for the third out.

“The cutter was working really well, played off the fastball,” Nelson said. “Good execution today, good defense behind me."

The teams have split the first two games of the series heading into Sunday's finale.

Lars Nootbaar's RBI single cut the Diamondbacks' lead to 4-2 in the eighth. Kevin Ginkel worked the ninth for his third save, retiring the side in order, all on flyouts to center fielder Corbin Carroll.

“This was a great night for our starting pitcher,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “Ryne Nelson went out there and executed a really good game plan, pitched into the seventh inning - it couldn’t have been any better. Wiggled out of some jams. Just really kept pressing the zone with his fastball and working off that.

“He was in total command all game long.”

The Diamondbacks took a 1-0 lead in the first on Joc Pederson's sacrifice fly. Arizona has scored in the first inning in 10 of its 15 games this season, which leads the majors.

Ketel Marte had two doubles for Arizona, and Gurriel also had two hits.

The Cardinals tied it in the fifth on Winn's RBI single that got past a diving Jace Peterson. The hit scored Walker, who reached on a triple down the left-field line.

Gibson (1-2) gave up four runs on six hits and three walks over six innings, striking out two. The Cardinals lost despite outhitting the Diamondbacks 11-6.

St. Louis also made a couple of baserunning mistakes that helped kill potential rallies. The most costly came in the sixth, when the Cardinals had runners on second and third with no outs before Paul Goldschmidt got caught in a rundown between third and home on a grounder to third baseman Eugenio Suárez.

“We had a lot of opportunities, that was probably the most frustrating part of tonight's game," Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “We created some opportunities to get going offensively and we just didn't come up with the big knocks. Made some mistakes on the bases that cost us as well, so the combination of those two things is frustrating."


The Diamondbacks send RHP Zac Gallen (2-0, 2.25 ERA) to the mound for the series finale while the Cardinals counter with RHP Miles Mikolas (1-1, 4.76).



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