Schwarber hits go-ahead homer for series win vs. Cardinals
Jerry Lai - USA Today Sports

Schwarber hits go-ahead homer for series win vs. Cardinals

by - Senior Editor -

ST. LOUIS -- The Chicago Cubs (2-1) defeated the St. Louis Cardinals (1-2) 6-4 on Thursday afternoon to win the rivalry three-game set at Busch Stadium. The game was a makeup of Wednesday's rainout, and the Cubs will play 15 of their next 18 games against opponents from the National League Central division.

The Cardinals started off fast with three runs in the first inning which was aided by an error by second basemen Ben Zobrist on a sure double play to end the inning.

Veteran pitcher John Lackey was on the mound for the Cubs, and he is one of just 17 pitchers to have at least one victory against all 30 major league teams. His start was his second regular season outing lifetime against St. Louis and pitched six innings giving up six hits, three earned runs, two walks, and seven strikeouts. It was a typical John Lackey pitching performance for the last decade.

In 2016, Lackey was 11-8 with 3.35 ERA in 29 starts.

Speaking of Lackey, the veteran pitcher got the first Cubs hit of the day with a sharp single up the middle in the third inning and also had a single in the fourth inning on a first pitch fastball.

Cardinals righty Lance Lynn pitched impressively against the Cubs as it was his first start since Oct. 4, 2015, as he has battled back from Tommy John surgery.

However, in the fourth inning, the Cubs had three hits (former Cardinals Lackey, Heyward, Jay) in the inning as outfielder Jon Jay drove in the first Cubs run with a single. Kris Bryant came up with the bases loaded but hit a flyball to Dexter Fowler to end the inning. After that at-bat, Bryant was a shocking 0-for-12 with six strikeouts.

Lynn ended up going 5.1 innings giving up five hits, two runs, a walk, and four strikeouts.

The Cubs rebounded when slugger Kyle Schwarber smacked a three-run homer that traveled 404 feet to put the Cubs up 5-4 in the seventh inning. It was his first regular-season home run since 9/12/2015 and his third career homer off of a left-handed pitcher. Addison Russell added an insurance run with a RBI groundout to score Kris Bryant to put the Cubs up 6-4.

Cubs reliever Hector Rondon had a quick 1-2-3 inning in the seventh. Pedro Strop left the game after putting two men on in the eight inning, but flamethrower C.J. Edwards bailed him out with back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat.

Close Wade Davis gave up a leadoff double in the ninth inning but got the final three outs for his second save of the season. The Cubs are now on pace for 108 wins for the regular season.

Cubs' lefty Brett Anderson will make his team debut when he faces off against Brewers' Jimmy Nelson on Friday night at 7:10 CT in Milwaukee.

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