Cubs overcome early deficit to down Cards

by - Senior Writer -
Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward crushed a two-run bomb against his old club. (Photo Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports)
Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward crushed a two-run bomb against his old club. (Photo Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports)

ST. LOUIS — Overcoming an early 2-0 deficit, the Chicago Cubs experienced their second straight lucrative evening at the plate against the rival St. Louis Cardinals to come away with a win. Amassing 10 hits and eight walks, the Cubs won 6-3 as part of a two-homer performance. Through two games in the three-game set against St. Louis, Chicago has hit five home runs.

For the second consecutive night, Cardinals outfielder Marcell Ozuna hit a home run. This time around, he smacked a first-inning dinger to score Tommy Pham and put the Cards up 2-0. Boasting an opening-inning ERA of over 6.00, Cubs starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks has struggled with allowing early home runs all season long, and Saturday was no exception.

The Cubs caught a break in the top of the third, as a hard-hit ball by Willson Contreras ricocheted off Cardinals first baseman Matt Carpenter's glove. Originally ruled an error, the play was changed in the scorebook to a single. Ben Zobrist scored from third base on the hit.

Cubs shortstop Addison Russell led off the fourth with a solo blast to tie the game at 2-2. The lined shot to center was Russell's third homer of the season.

Hendricks lost the lead in the bottom half of the inning on a two-out hit to right by Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez. Despite giving up three runs on seven hits and four walks in a shaky six innings of work, Hendricks received the win to become 5-6.

Schwarber tied the game at 3-3 with an RBI single to center in the fifth. Kris Bryant scored from second on the hit up the middle. Contreras put Bryant in scoring position with a gutsy bunt single in the previous at-bat. Martinez left the ballgame after the fifth, having given up three runs on seven hits and six walks.

In the seventh, Ian Happ put Hendricks in line for the win with an RBI double to right that brought home Anthony Rizzo. Happ went 2-4 at the dish.

Former Cardinal Jason Heyward provided the Cubs with some breathing room in the eighth on a two-run blast that scored Zobrist. The Cubs right fielder blasted his fourth homer of the season for his only hit of the night on a no-doubter to right. The dinger came on a 99.1-mile-per-hour fastball from fireballer Jordan Hicks, which was the fastest pitch that Heyward has ever hit out.

Cubs closer Brandon Morrow escaped a jam in the ninth after allowing runners to reach second and third with just one out. Not helping matters for Morrow was Bryant dropping a pop-up in foul territory that could have served as the second out. However, Morrow struck Carpenter and Pham out swinging to end the game.

Defeating the Cardinals (36-32) 6-3, the Cubs (40-27) set up a chance to sweep the Cards on the road tomorrow night. Three different Cubs middle relievers earned holds, and Morrow tallied his 16th save. Sam Tuivailala, who gave up the winning run on the double by Happ in the seventh, received the loss to fall to 1-2.

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