The win was the Cubs’ fifth straight since being swept in a three-game series against the Cardinals last weekend, and gives them a chance to sweep the Cardinals at Wrigley Field for the second time this season.
Jon Lester, who gave up four runs in the first inning, ended up going six innings in his start, scattering five hits and giving his team a chance to come back and win.
Kyle Schwarber had a big night at the plate, hitting his 12th home run of the season and driving in a pair of runs. Javier Báez also had a pair of RBI and stroked a run-scoring triple in the game, and Victor Caratini unloaded the bases in the sixth inning with a pinch-hit double of his own to help pace the Cubs’ offense.
Marcel Ozuna blasted a three-run home run in the first inning, and Harrison Bader followed suit with a solo shot, but the Cardinals’ offense sputtered after that as they lost their second straight game to open the three-game set at the Friendly Confines.
After that disastrous first inning for Lester and the Cubs, the team’s offense slowly began to chip away at the St. Louis lead. Báez grounded into an RBI fielder’s choice for the game’s first run, and Willson Contreras rapped an RBI single into center field to make it a 4-2 game.
As Lester continued to hold St. Louis at bay on the mound, Báez hit an RBI triple in the third inning to make it 4-3, and Schwarber cracked a solo home run in the fourth inning to knot things up at 4-4.
In the sixth, the Cubs’ offense exploded for four runs to take the lead, with Caratini scoring the big blow with a bases loaded RBI double that scored three runs and gave the Cubs a 7-4 advantage. Schwarber followed that up with a double to right field to score Caratini and extend the lead to four runs.
From there, the Cubs’ bullpen took care of business, as Kyle Ryan, Brandon Kintzler, and Tyler Chatwood combined to keep the Cardinals off the board for the remaining three innings of the contest.
The Cubs will go for the series sweep on Sunday night when they face Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals. Kyle Hendricks will take the ball for the nationally televised game, which will start at 6 p.m. on ESPN.