Photo is credited to Getty Images.
After taking two of three from the Cardinals in April, the Cubs came back to St. Louis and did it again, winning the final two games of the three-game set to put eight games between them and the Cardinals in the National League Central standings.
Game One: Cardinals 4, Cubs 3 — WP: Trevor Rosenthal (2-1) LP: Adam Warren (3-1)
The first walk-off home run of Randal Grichuk’s career lifted the Cardinals over the Cubs in the first game of the series on Monday night.
The Cardinals sent Adam Wainwright to the mound to start the game. With a pitch count of 108, Wainwright was lifted after completing the sixth inning and allowing three runs. His counterpart, John Lackey, surrendered one run on two hits through six, and his only real trouble of the night came in the seventh inning
Matt Adams came off the bench to pinch-hit for Wainwright with a runner on first and delivered the team’s ninth home run off the bench this season, tying the score at three.
Adam Warren pitched a scoreless eighth inning for Chicago and recorded the first two outs of the bottom of the ninth quickly. On a 2-2 count, Grichuk parked Warren’s delivery in the right-field bullpen for an opposite-field, game-winning shot.
–Including the two-run homer in the seventh, Matt Adams is hitting .360 in his last two seasons as a pinch-hitter with nineteen RBIs.
Game Two: Cubs 12, Cardinals 3 — WP: Jason Hammel (6-1) LP: Michael Wacha (2-5)
With a brilliant outing from Jason Hammel and a six-run first inning, the Cubs took the second game of the series on Tuesday night.
The Cubs knocked St. Louis starter Michael Wacha around for six runs in the game’s opening frame, four of the runs coming on a two-run doubles from David Ross and Hammel. Chicago had Wacha knocked out of the game by the end of the fourth inning, and their starter was cruising about that time.
Hammel held the Cardinals pretty quiet through his 7 1/3 innings of work, allowing just one run. He was replaced by Justin Grimm, who bridged the game to the ninth for Clayton Richard. Richard was in a bases-loaded situation three batters into the ninth with two base hits and a runner reaching on an error. Richard allowed two runs and recorded two outs before being replaced by Trevor Cahill, who punched out Eric Fryer to end the game.
–With his splendid outing on Tuesday, Jason Hammel lowered his earned run average to 2.17.
Game Three: Cubs 9, Cardinals 8 — WP: Jake Arrieta (9-0) LP: Carlos Martinez (4-5)
Though their starting pitcher was not pitching at his greatest quality, the Cubs’ six runs in the second and three-run homer in the sixth was enough to secure a 9-8, nail-biting victory in the rubber game over the Cardinals on Wednesday.
Runs driven in by Addison Russell, Dexter Fowler, Jason Heyward, and Ben Zobrist against Carlos Martinez in the top of the second gave the Cubs and Jake Arrieta a 6-1 lead to tool with.
The Cardinals put up a run in the second on Randal Grichuk’s seventh homer of the season and two in the fourth before Kris Bryant unloaded on a breaking ball from Seung Hwan Oh with a pair of runners on base in the sixth.
Matt Holliday responded with a three-run shot of his own against Adam Warren in the Cardinals’ half of the sixth, shortening the Cubs’ lead to 9-7. Matt Adams homered in the seventh off of lefty Travis Wood to pull the Cardinals within one run of a tied score, but that was as close as they would get. Despite two hits to lead off the bottom of the ninth against Cubs closer Hector Rondon, the Cardinals could not push across the game’s tying run.
–Backed by the vast run support his teammates provided him with, Jake Arrieta won his twentieth straight decision on Wednesday.
Cubs: The Cubs will commute back home to Chicago to take on the Philadelphia Phillies over the weekend following an off day on Thursday.
Cardinals: The Cardinals will travel to Washington D.C. to play the Washington Nationals for four games beginning Thursday evening.