The Chicago Cubs finally snapped their loser streak with an 8-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night.
Kyle Schwarber hit a two-out double off of Cardinals starter Dakota Hudson but was not able to score, as Willson Contreras struck out swinging for the third out (the first came on a Tony Kemp strikeout and a groundout to second from Ben Zobrist).
Alec Mills had a successful bottom of the first for the Cubs. Dexter Fowler had a strikeout in the leadoff spot, followed by a single from Tommy Edman. After striking out Paul Goldschmidt he gave up a walk to Marcell Ozuna, but Yaider Molina flew out to center field and Albert Almora Jr made an excellent catch to end the inning.
The Cubs had a chance to score in the third, with the bases loaded with two outs after consecutive walks to Kemp, Zobrist, and Schwarber, but Contreras struck out to end the threat.
Matt Carpenter put the Cardinals on the board 1-0 in the fourth inning with a solo home run.
Giovanny Gallegos replaced Hudson in the six inning and gave up a leadoff home run to Ian Happ to tie it at 1-1. Almora grounded into a forceout and advanced to first but appeared to pull something in his knee on the play. Javier Báez came in to pinch run for him. Kemp grounded out back to the pitcher to end the inning.
Defensive switches for the Cubs in the bottom of the sixth included Kemp moving from right to center field, Zobrist moving from second to right field, Robel García remaning in the game at second after pinch hitting, and Steve Cishek relieving Mills. Mills went five innings with five hits, one run (earned), two walks, and nine strikeouts.
Cishek faced Molina first, who lined out to center field. Carpenter followed with a walk, but Paul DeJong grounded into a forceout with Carpenter out at second. After walking Harrison Bader, Cishek was pulled and replaced by Brad Wieck. Wieck got a swinging strikeout from pinch hitter José Martínez for out three.
The Cubs broke it open in the seventh. Zobrist got it going with a walk from new pitcher Andrew Miller. Contreras then singled, and Happ doubled to score Zobrist. Contreras then scored on a wild pitch from Miller and the Cubs were ahead 3-0. Victor Caratini was hit by a pitch and Miller was then replaced by Ryan Helsley. Nico Hoerner singled to score Happ, and after a flyout from pinch hitter Jonathan Lucroy, García homered to put the Cubs ahead 7-1. Kemp doubled, and in his second at-bat of the inning, Zobrist singled to score Kemp. Now down 8-1, Helsley was pulled and Genesis Cabrera came in to pitch and finally recorded the third out on a flyout to center from Schwarber.
Kyle Ryan took the mound in the bottom of the seventh for the Cubs, Kemp moved from center to right field, Happ moved from third base to center field, and David Bote replaced Lucroy, playing third base. Ryan got Fowler to ground out to first base for the first out but then walked Edman and gave up a single to Ozuna after a flyout from Goldschmidt. Rowan Wick took over on the mound after the Ozuna single and gave up an RBI single to Molina to bring the score to 8-2. Wick then hit Carpenter with a pitch but got DeJong to fly out to center to end the inning.
Mike Mayers replaced Cabrera in the top of the eighth and got flyouts from Contreras and Happ and a called strikeout from Caratini.
Pedro Strop had a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth, with a groundout from Bader, a strikeout from pinch hitter Rangel Ravelo, and a flyout from Fowler.
The Cardinals sent Junior Fernández to the mound for the ninth. He got a groundout to short from Hoerner but followed by hitting Bote with a pitch. García grounded into a forceout with Bote out at second for the second out, and the Cubs half of the inning ended on a strikeout from Kemp.
Addison Russell entered the game at second base and Brandon Kintzler took over pitching. He got two quick outs, with a lineout to right from Edman and a strikeout from Goldschmidt. Bote made a diving stop to snag a ball in play from Ozuna, but Caratini was unable to recover the ball at first and Ozuna was on board with a single. Molina singled in the next at-bat, but Carpenter flew out to center to end the game.