Starlin Castro matched his career high with six RBIs, hitting a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the fifth and a three-run drive in the sixth to lead the Chicago Cubs over the St. Louis Cardinals 8-3 Friday for their fourth straight win.
Castro went 3 for 3 with a walk in the third multihomer game of his career. He put the Cubs ahead 5-3 in the fifth with his drive off Seth Maness (4-2), then connected off Steve Cishek in the sixth for his 10th homer this season. Castro also had six RBIs against Cincinnati on May 7, 2010.
Chicago began the day two games behind Pittsburgh for the NL's top wild-card berth. The Cubs closed within six games of the NL Central-leading Cardinals.
Tommy Hunter (2-0), the second of six Chicago relievers, got one out in the fifth, and Justin Grimm, Pedro Strop, Fernando Rodney and Neil Ramirez combined for four scoreless innings of two-hit relief.
Cardinals starter Lance Lynn lasted 3 1/3 innings and threw 83 pitches, allowing three runs, four hits and six walks. He is 0-2 with a 9.26 ERA in his last three starts, giving up 12 runs, 15 hits and 11 walks in 11 2/3 innings. Matheny and a trained went to the mound to speak with Lynn with one out in the fourth. Lynn walked Dexter Fowler and was replaced by Tyler Lyons.
Chicago starter Dan Haren gave up three runs — one earned — and three walks in 4 1/3 innings.
St. Louis manager Mike Matheny and Matt Belisle, the sixth St. Louis reliever, were ejected in the seventh after Belisle hit Anthony Rizzo with a pitch.
Plate umpire Dan Bellino had issued a warning after St. Louis pinch hitter Matt Holliday was struck on the back of the helmet by a pitch from Haren in the fifth. After walking to first, Holliday was replaced by pinch-runner Pete Kozma.
Holliday was activated from the disabled list on Tuesday after missing 41 games with a right quadriceps strain. In his only previous plate appearance since his return, he struck out Thursday in Milwaukee.