CHICAGO – The surging St. Louis Cardinals soared to their 13th straight win Friday, using homers by Paul Goldschmidt and Tyler O’Neill to top the Chicago Cubs 8-5 in the opener of a doubleheader.
It's the longest win streak for St. Louis since it set a team record with 14 in a row in 1935. It also has rocketed the Cards into control of the second NL wild card, leading Philadelphia by 4 1/2 games heading into Friday's action.
St. Louis also got a pinch-hit homer from José Rondón, and Tommy Edman finished with three hits. Alex Reyes (10-8) got five outs for the win, and Giovanny Gallegos tossed a perfect seventh for his 13th save.
Sergio Alcántara homered for Chicago, which lost for the seventh time in eight games. Austin Romine doubled home two runs, and Willson Contreras also had an RBI double.
The Cubs scored five times in the sixth after Reyes struck out the first two batters. But T.J. McFarland got Frank Schwindel to line out, ending the inning.
Goldschmidt hit his 30th homer in the third, a two-run shot to left off Justin Steele (3-4). The slugging first baseman has four homers and eight RBIs in his last three games.
Rondón and O’Neill each connected for a two-run shot in the fifth. Rondón got the rally rolling when he hit for starter J.A. Happ after Harrison Bader doubled for his 300th career hit. O'Neill's 30th homer of the season reached Waveland Avenue.
Steele was charged with six runs and seven hits in five innings. He struck out five and walked two in his eighth career start.
Happ allowed two hits in four innings The veteran left-hander struck out six, but walked four.
LESTER RETURNS, AGAIN
Veteran left-hander Jon Lester is slated to start Saturday against the Cubs, one of his former teams, for the first time since he was traded to the Cardinals.
Lester, who helped anchor Chicago’s rotation from 2015 through 2020, earned his 200th career win on Monday at Milwaukee. The Cubs recognized Lester’s milestone on the videoboard in left before the second inning and he doffed his cap from the dugout.
Lester began the season with Washington, and he lost at Wrigley Field on May 17 in his return to the ballpark. He is 3-0 with a 2.27 ERA in his last six starts.
Cardinals: Added RHP Dakota Hudson as the 29th man for the doubleheader. He is coming back from Tommy John a year ago. ... SS Edmundo Sosa was hit by a pitch in the sixth and replaced by Paul DeJong.
Cubs: Placed C Robinson Chirinos on the 10-day injured list with a left oblique strain and recalled outfielder Greg Deichmann from Triple-A Iowa. Ross said Chirinos will miss the remainder of the season. RHP Jason Adam was promoted from Iowa to serve as the 29th man for the doubleheader.
Cardinals RHP Jack Flaherty (9-2, 3.08 ERA), out since Aug. 25 with a right shoulder strain, was reinstated from the injury list and will start the second game against Zach Davies (6-11, 5.49 ERA).