Game One Hundred Forty-Nine – Cubs 3, Cardinals 4
WP – Carlos Martinez (14-7) LP – Jon Lester (10-11) Save – Trevor Rosenthal (46)
The Cubs ended up a run short for the second straight series with the Cardinals from completing a sweep. Jon Lester gave up three runs in the first inning on a pair of home runs and another run in the third. The Cubs cut the Cardinals lead in half with an Anthony Rizzo two-out, two-run single in the third. And the Cubs made it a 4-3 game in the eighth on a bases loaded walk by Tommy La Stella.
Anthony Rizzo was thrown out at the plate on a perfect throw by Jason Heyward trying to score the tying run on a fly out to right in the eighth. After Starlin Castro singled to start the ninth, pinch-runner Quintin Berry was thrown out at second base ending the threat. And the Cubs lost the series finale to the Cardinals on Sunday afternoon.
Jon Lester had a shaky first inning. The Cardinals scored three runs on two home runs and jumped out to an early lead. Before the offense woke up and Lester collected the Cubs’ first hit, the Cardinals scored four runs off Lester in three innings.
Jon Lester settled down after the third inning and did not allow the Cardinals to tack on. But the first inning deficit was too much for the Cubs to overcome Sunday. Lester picked off his second runner from first base Sunday. Lester stepped off, threw from the mound to Rizzo and Jhonny Peralta was tagged out to end the third inning after Rizzo threw to La Stella for the out.
Jon Lester allowed four runs on six hits (two home runs) with three walks and seven strikeouts. Lester made 110 pitches, 67 for strikes, in six innings.
Tommy Hunter pitched a clean, 1-2-3 seventh inning. Hunter recorded three outs on 12 pitches, nine for strikes.
Neil Ramirez was effective in the eighth and Hector Rondon pitched around a Tommy La Stella error in the ninth to keep it a one-run game.
The Cubs offense managed only six hits, four off Carlos Martinez in the first seven innings. Anthony Rizzo (1-for-3 with a walk and two RBI) drove in Jon Lester (1-for-2 with a run scored) and Dexter Fowler (1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) with a two-out single to center in the third. The Cubs patience paid off in the eighth. The Cubs worked three walks, the third by Tommy La Stella (1-for-3 with a walk and a RBI) forced in Chris Coghlan (1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) and made it a 4-3 game.
The Cubs put themselves in position to win the game and forced the Cardinals to make plays. Jason Heyward and Tony Cruz, subbing for an injured Yadier Molina, did and recorded two of the final six outs on the bases.
With Sunday’s loss (14-11 on Sunday in 2015), the Cubs slipped to 87-62 on the season.
Sunday’s game started with Jon Lester striking out Matt Carpenter swinging on a 2-2 pitch. Tommy Pham gave the Cardinals a 1-0 lead with a long homer to left. Jason Heyward reached on an infield single to the hole at short. Russell got to the ball, but his throw skipped past Rizzo. Jhonny Peralta rolled a 0-1 pitch to third. Bryant went to second to start the double play. Heyward was forced at second as he took out La Stella with a late slide. Peralta took over at first and helped enhance the Cardinals lead when Stephen Piscotty drilled a 2-2 pitch into the bleachers in left … 3-0 Cardinals. Lester caught Kolten Wong looking at a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.
Jon Lester made 25 pitches, 16 for strikes, in the first inning.
The Cubs managed a one-out walk from Kyle Schwarber in the first inning, but that was all. Carlos Martinez struck out two of the four batters he faced and made only 16 pitches in the first inning, 12 for strikes.
The Cubs trailed 3-0 after one inning.
Matt Carpenter led off the third inning with a bloop double to right. Lester struck out Pham (2-2 pitch, swinging) and Heyward (3-2 pitch, swinging). Jhonny Peralta poked a 2-1 pitch past a diving Addison Russell and into left. Carpenter scored, 4-0 Cardinals. Peralta got too big of a lead at first base before a 0-2 pitch to Piscotty and Lester picked him off first base to end the inning. Lester made 59 pitches, 39 for strikes, in three innings.
After David Ross led off the third with a routine grounder to Carpenter, Jon Lester singled to center (3-1 pitch) … the Cubs first hit of the game. Dexter Fowler walked. Kyle Schwarber flied out to right center (0-1 pitch) for the second out. Chris Coghlan worked a walk and loaded the bases.
Anthony Rizzo drove a 3-1 pitch back up the middle and off a diving Peralta’s glove into center. Lester and Fowler scored, 4-2 Cardinals. With Coghlan at third, Kris Bryant struck out swinging (0-2 pitch) to end the inning. Martinez made 55 pitches, 34 for strikes, in three innings.
After three complete, the Cardinals had a 4-2 lead.
Jon Lester settled in after the third inning. But the Cubs could not string anything together against Carlos Martinez. The game went to the eighth with the Cardinals leading 4-2.
Neil Ramirez struck out two of the three batters he faced in the eighth. Ramirez struck out Carpenter and Pham and retired Heyward on a grounder to second base.
Kevin Siegrist started the eighth after he came on in the seventh with runners on the corners and two outs to face Kyle Schwarber. Siegrist got out of the jam in the seventh when Schwarber rolled out to second base.
Chris Coghlan singled to center and Anthony Rizzo walked to start the eighth. Matheny went to his pen and switched out Siegrist with Jonathan Broxton. Kris Bryant walked and loaded the bases with no outs. Tommy La Stella also walked and his free pass forced in Chris Coghlan, 4-3 Cardinals. With the bags juiced and no outs, Mike Matheny went back to his pen and Seth Maness replaced Broxton.
Addison Russell lifted a 1-0 pitch into right. Jason Heyward caught the ball in right center and made a perfect throw to the plate. Rizzo was tagged out.
Mike Matheny made another trip to the mound. Matheny brought in Trevor Rosenthal to face Montero with runners on the corners and two outs. Miguel Montero struck out swinging (3-2 pitch) to end the inning.
The Cardinals led 4-3 after eight innings.
Hector Rondon got the ball for the ninth inning. Peralta reached on an error by Tommy La Stella. Rondon struck out Piscotty swinging for the first out. Schwarber made a nice running catch into foul ground before hitting the side wall to retire Wong. Matt Adams hit for Molina and struck out swinging.
The game went to the bottom of the ninth with the Cubs down by one run.
Starlin Castro led off with a single to center off Trevor Rosenthal (3-2 pitch). Maddon sent in Quintin Berry to run for Castro. Berry took off for second on a 1-2 pitch to pinch-hitter Jorge Soler. Berry was thrown out for the first time on the bases in the majors (25-for-26 in stolen bases). Soler struck out swinging. Kyle Schwarber grounded a 1-1 pitch to short to end the game.
The Cubs open a three-game series with the Brewers on Monday night (7:05pm CDT). Jason Hammel is scheduled to face Wily Peralta.