Tyler O’Neill and Lars Nootbaar drove in three runs each to drive the visiting St. Louis Cardinals past the Chicago Cubs 12-4 Friday for their 14th consecutive victory.
The Cardinals (85-69) completed a doubleheader sweep of the Cubs while tying their 1935 team for the longest winning streak in franchise history. They increased their lead over the Philadelphia Phillies to five games for the second wild-card spot.
The Cubs (67-87), who dropped the first game of the doubleheader 8-5, have lost 11 of their last 13 games.
Cardinals starting pitcher Jack Flaherty retired just one batter and allowed two runs in his comeback from shoulder soreness.
Reliever Dakota Hudson (1-0) stepped up in his return from Tommy John surgery to pitch 3 2/3 innings. Hudson allowed two runs on four hits in his first game since last Sept. 17.
Losing pitcher Zach Davies (6-12) allowed six runs on seven hits and two walks in two innings.
The Cardinals took a 3-0 first-inning lead. Paul Goldschmidt and O’Neill hit singles, Nolan Arenado walked, Yadier Molina hit his 400th career double to drive in two runs, and Harrison Bader followed with an RBI single.
The Cubs cut the lead to 3-2 in their half of the inning. Frank Schwindel hit a one-out single and Patrick Wisdom followed with a two-run homer.
When Flaherty walked Ian Happ, Hudson came in to get the Cardinals out of the inning.
In the second inning, Hudson and Goldschmidt hit singles and O’Neill followed with a three-run homer to put the Cardinals up 6-2.
Nootbaar and Paul DeJong hit solo homers to make it 8-2 in the third inning. Happ countered with an RBI groundout in the bottom of the inning.
Nootbaar’s RBI single in the fifth inning made it 9-3. Happ’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning cut the margin to 9-4.
Solo homers by Bader and Nootbaar and an RBI double by Goldschmidt in the ninth pushed the lead back to 12-4.
–Field Level Media