Cole Hamels had another dominant outing and Javier Báez hit his 16th home run of the season as the Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field on Friday afternoon.
Báez drove in a pair of runs in the victory, and Victor Caratini socked an RBI double as the Cubs won for the fourth time in their last five games.
Hamels, one start removed from a strong outing in St. Louis, was even better this time around against the Cardinals, giving up zero earned runs and striking out 10 batters in eight innings of work, bringing his ERA for the season down to 3.24.
Paul DeJong did hit a solo home run in the ninth inning, but it wasn’t enough for the Cardinals as they fell to their division rivals.
Miles Mikolas struggled to find his command in the game, giving up three runs and four hits in four innings while striking out four batters. The Cardinals’ bullpen picked up the slack, but it wasn’t enough as they lost their fourth straight game at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs wasted no time getting on the board early in the game, as Báez blasted an opposite field home run in the first inning to score Rizzo and give Chicago a 2-0 lead.
Later in the fourth inning, the Cubs struck again, as Caratini launched an RBI double to left field, scoring Jason Heyward and extending the Chicago lead to 3-0.
Pedro Strop came into the game in the ninth inning to nail down the save, and aside from a home run to DeJong he was able to keep the Cardinals at bay, giving the Cubs the win and a narrow lead in their division.
The two teams will battle again Saturday at Wrigley Field, with Jon Lester taking the ball for the Cubs. First pitch is set for 6:15 p.m.