Joc Pederson, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and David Bote each had two RBIs to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 12-3 victory over the host St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night in the first meeting of the season between the longtime rivals.
The Cubs have won six of their past eight games and the Cardinals have dropped four of their last six.
Chicago sent 11 batters to the plate during an eight-run eighth inning, which broke open a close game as the Cardinals’ bullpen imploded following a quality start from Carlos Martinez in his return from the injured list with a right ankle sprain.
Ian Happ, who went 3-for-4, had a single and a double in that inning while Eric Sogard started the onslaught with a pinch-hit RBI single.
Cardinals relievers Tyler Webb and Seth Elledge each issued walks with the bases loaded, Rizzo followed with a two-run double, Javier Baez then hit an RBI single, and Bote drove in two more with a single.
Martinez pitched for the first time since May 8. He threw six innings, allowing two runs on four hits while striking out two and walking one on 80 pitches.
Pederson hit the first pitch of the game — a 90 mph cutter from Martinez — 409 feet to right field for a solo homer and his second of the season. Martinez settled down and worked his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth.
But the Cubs took the lead when Nico Hoerner (2-for-5) led off the top of the seventh with a single off Cardinals reliever Ryan Helsley (3-2). Hoerner came around to score following a sacrifice bunt by Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks, a wild pitch, and then an errant throw to third by Yadier Molina.
Hendricks (4-4) threw 6 2/3 innings and allowed three runs (one earned) on seven hits with four strikeouts and one walk on 83 pitches.
Edmundo Sosa went 3-for-4 and Dylan Carlson went 2-for-4 with an RBI to lead the Cardinals at the plate.
–Field Level Media