Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Allen Craig stood on first base expressionless, squinting into a sharp sunshine as he unstrapped elbow and shin pads, just like Carlos Beltran had done at third base moments earlier.
Neither of the unphased St. Louis Cardinals knew it at the time, but their back-to-back hits in the first inning were the difference in a 3-2 win over the Chicago Cubs in the second of a four-game series.
Beltran knocked in a run with a triple and scored on Craig's base hit. Beltran also added a double later in the game and finished with three hits.
Joe Kelly (1-3) held the early lead and gave up one run on three hits in 5 1/3 innings in his third start of the season after working out of the bullpen at the start of the season. He also struck out four for St. Louis, which won for the sixth time in seven games.
Carlos Villanueva (2-5), who has also spent time in the bullpen this year, gave up two runs on four hits in six innings as a hard-luck loser. He retired the last 12 Cardinals he faced.
Starlin Castro slammed his sixth home run for the Cubs, who had won five of six coming into Friday.