For the second time in three days, the Chicago Cubs played a doubleheader against the St. Louis Cardinals, and for the second time in three days the North Siders split the two games, dropping the first contest and winning the second game at Wrigley Field.
In the first game, the Cardinals jumped out to an early lead after Matt Carpenter hit a grand slam off of Alec Mills, and from there the Redbirds cruised to victory to even up the five game series at two victories apiece.
In the nightcap, the Cubs got a late RBI single from David Bote, and Craig Kimbrel earned his first save of the year as Chicago took down the series win over their divisional rivals.
In the first game of the twinbill, the Cardinals loaded the bases with nobody out in the first inning, then Carpenter quickly unloaded them when he launched a grand slam over the center field wall, putting St. Louis ahead 4-0 right off the bat.
Ian Happ continued his hot hitting for the Cubs in the bottom half of the inning by stroking a home run to right field, but the Cardinals continued to pound away at Cubs pitching. Tommy Edman collected a pair of RBI’s in the game with two run-scoring singles, and Paul Goldschmidt knocked in a run in the fourth inning.
Josh Phegley hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning for the Cubs, but it wasn’t enough as they dropped the first contest of the day.
The second game got off to a much better start for the Cubs, as Victor Caratini smacked an RBI single to center field to score a pair of runs in the second inning.
Adbert Alzolay, called up by the Cubs to start the nightcap, pitched five innings and allowed just one unearned run in the contest, but ended up having to settle for the no-decision after Jeremy Jeffress gave up an RBI single to Brad Miller in the sixth inning, which tied the game at 2-2.
In the top of the seventh, David Bote played the role of hero again for the Cubs, lacing an RBI single to center field to score Albert Almora Jr. and Willson Contreras, giving the Cubs a 4-2 edge.
Kimbrel then came in to pitch the seventh inning for the Cubs, and after picking up two quick strikeouts he hit Edman in the knee with a pitch to bring the tying run to the plate. Fortunately for the Cubs, Kimbrel continued his strong form of late, freezing Kolten Wong on an excellent inside fastball to finish off the game and to give the Cubs the victory.
After the five-game series, the Cubs maintained a four and a half game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers and the Cardinals for the top spot in the National League Central Division.
Following a day off Thursday, the Cubs will take on the Chicago White Sox at Wrigley Field beginning on Friday night. Jon Lester will pitch for the Cubs, while Dallas Keuchel is currently lined up to make the start for the White Sox in the first game of a three-game crosstown series.