Paul Goldschmidt hit a home run and drove in three runs to power the visiting St. Louis Cardinals to yet another victory, getting the best of the Chicago Cubs 8-5 on Friday afternoon to win their 13th consecutive game.
The victory gave St. Louis its second-longest winning streak since 1901, after a 14-game run in 1935.
Tyler O’Neill and Jose Rondon also hit two-run home runs for the Cardinals (84-69) in the opening game of a doubleheader. St. Louis continued to solidify its standing as the second wild card in the National League with a five-game lead over the closest pursuer.
Sergio Alcantara hit a two-run homer for the Cubs and Austin Romine hit a two-run double as Chicago (67-86) lost for the 10th time in its past 12 games.
Cardinals starting pitcher J.A. Happ delivered four scoreless innings while working around four walks and two hits. Alex Reyes (10-8) took over in the fifth inning to earn the victory and Giovanny Gallegos closed out the seventh inning for his 13th save.
Cubs left-hander Justin Steele (3-4) allowed six runs on seven hits in five innings with two walks.
Happ helped his own cause with a one-out walk in the third inning. After Tommy Edman hit into a force out, Goldschmidt hit his 30th homer to put the Cardinals up 2-0.
The Cardinals escaped major trouble in the fourth inning. Happ walked Patrick Wisdom with one out, allowed Matt Duffy’s single then walked Nico Hoerner on four pitches to load the bases. But he struck out David Bote and Trayce Thompson to end the threat.
The Cardinals pushed their lead to 6-0 in the fifth inning. Harrison Bader hit a leadoff double and scored on Rondon’s pinch-hit blast, his second home run of the season.
Edman followed Rondon’s home run with a single, setting the stage for O’Neill’s 30th homer two batters later.
Cubs reliever Tommy Nance hit Edmundo Sosa on the right wrist leading off the sixth inning, with Sosa leaving the game immediately. Sixth-inning singles by Bader, Edman and Goldschmidt produced two more runs gave the Cardinals an 8-0 lead.
The Cubs staged a two-out comeback in the bottom of sixth as Duffy walked, Alcantara hit a home run to cut the deficit to 8-2. Bote followed with a single and Thompson walked before Romine and Willson Contreras hit RBI doubles to cut the deficit to 8-5.
–Field Level Media