The Chicago Cubs clinched something on Saturday night, and that was the series win versus the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cubs hit four home runs in the 8-6 victory.
Kyle Schwarber gave the Cubs an early 1-0 lead with a two-out solo home run off of Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright. Ian Happ followed with a single, but Jonathan Lucroy struck out for out three.
Cubs starter Cole Hamels got a groundout from leadoff man Dexter Fowler, followed by a strikeout to Tommy Edman, a single from Paul Goldschmidt, and a strikeout from Marcell Ozuna.
Things got a little heated, but not really, in the second when Yadier Molina was grazed by a pitch. Molina had some words for Hamels and Hamels chipped back, resulting in the benches clearing. Nothing else happened, though.
Nico Hoerner led off the third with a single and was brought home on a one-out homer from Happ to put the Cubs ahead 3-0.
The Cubs added some insurance in the fifth, with Happ hitting his second home run of the night after a leadoff single from Schwarber. Lucroy lined out to left for the first out, but Victor Caratini then hit a monster home run to right to bring the score to 6-0. After a single from Addison Russell, Dominic Leone entered the game in relief of Wainwright. He got David Bote to line out to right field and pinch hitting David Descalso to strike out to end the inning.
Kyle Ryan took over pitching for the Cubs in the bottom of the fifth. Hamels went four innings with two hits, no runs, no walks, and eight strikeouts. Ryan got a strikeout from Paul DeJong but then gave up a home run to Harrison Bader to put the Cardinals on the board at 6-1. He then walked pinch hitter Tyler O’Neill and Fowler and was pulled in favor of David Phelps. Edman hit a triple off of Phelps to score O’Neill and Fowler, and the inning would end with the score at 6-3.
The Cardinals sent Tyler Webb to the mound in the sixth and he worked a 1-2-3 inning, with a pop out to the catcher from Tony Kemp, a lineout to center from Hoerner, and a strikeout from Schwarber.
Brad Wieck replaced Phelps for the bottom of the seventh and hit Bader with a pitch, who advanced to second on a wild pitch with pinch hitter Rangel Ravelo at the plate. Ravelo walked, and with the tying run now at the plate, Wieck walked Fowler to load the bases and was pulled from the mound. Steve Cishek took over and gave up a single to Edman. Goldschmidt then grounded into a double play, scoring Ravelo and bringing the Cardinals within one run at 6-5. Ozuna recorded another walk, and Molina flew out to center to finally end the inning.
Russell led off the eighth with a single off of new Cardinals pitcher John Brebbia and Bote then walked. Pinch hitter Albert Almora Jr bunt popped back to Brebbia, and Brebbia was then pulled and replaced by Andrew Miller. Miller gave up a single to Kemp, scoring Russell. The Cubs added more insurance from a single by Hoerner and were now leading 8-5.
Cardinals hitters faced new Cubs pitcher Pedro Strop for the bottom of the eighth. Defensive moves included Kemp moving from right to left field, Happ moving from center to right, and Almora remaining in the game at center. Strop got Carpenter to strike out for the fourth time in the game, but DeJong followed with a solo home run to put the Cards behind by two at 8-6. Bader walked and advanced to second on an error, but Strop was able to limit the damage with strikeouts from pinch hitter José Martínez and Fowler.
Carlos Martínez pitched the top of the ninth for the Cardinals and faced Happ at leadoff. Happ grounded out and Lucroy lined out for two quick outs. Caratini and Russell followed with singles, but Bote was called out on strikes to end the inning.
The bottom of the ninth began with Edman being hit by a pitch from new Cubs pitcher Brandon Kintzler. Luckily it wouldn’t matter, as Goldschmidt flew out to center, Ozuna grounded into a forceout with Edman out at second, and Molina flew out to center to end the game.