Saturday’s Game Report: Cubs 9, Cardinals 4

Saturday’s Game Report: Cubs 9, Cardinals 4

The start of Saturday night’s game could not have gone much better for the Cardinals, who took a 4-0 lead before Jack Flaherty threw his first pitch.

It was the rest of the game that was bad.

The Cardinals did not hit a ball out of the infield after the first inning and the Cubs scored nine unanswered runs in dropping the Cardinals to 0-5 this season at Wrigley Field.

The loss also dropped the Cardinals back to .500 (31-31) for the season.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: The Cardinals built the early lead on a three-run homer by Marcell Ozuna and a solo homer by Harrison Bader. It was Ozuna’s 17th homer of the year and increased his RBI total to 54 … After Kolten Wong’s single with two outs in the first, the only other batters to reach base the rest of the game for the Cardinals were Paul DeJong with an infield single in the second, Paul Goldschmidt with a walk in the second, Jose Martinez on an error in the third and a wild pitch on strike three to Wong with two outs in the ninth … The Cubs retired 19 consecutive batters from the third through the ninth innings … In the first two games of the series the Cardinals have a combined three at-bats with a runner in scoring position.

On the mound: Flaherty needed 96 pitches to record 11 outs. He gave up two runs in the first and one run in the third before Kyle Schwarber tied the game with a home run in the fourth, ending Flaherty’s night. It was the first time in Flaherty’s 46 career starts that he failed to strike out a batter … The Cubs broke the tie with four runs in the sixth against John Brebbia and John Gant, with the big blow a bases loaded pinch-hit double by Victor Caratini off Gant, who had allowed only two runs in his previous 15 2/3 innings over 15 appearances … Tyler Webb allowed the final Cubs run in the seventh.

Key stat:  According to Stats Inc., the last time the Cubs allowed four or more runs in the top of the first inning and then shut out their opponent for the rest of the game, while scoring nine or more runs, was on April 15, 1921. That game also was against the Cardinals.

Worth noting: Ozuna’s homer was the first three-run homer by the Cardinals’ cleanup hitter in the first inning of a game at Wrigley Field since Albert Pujols hit one on Aug. 30, 2002 … The Cardinals purchased the contract of infielder Tommy Edman from Memphis on Saturday and placed Jedd Gyorko on the 10-day injured list because of a lower back strain. Edman is the first player signed by scout Zach Mortimer to reach the major leagues. He got in the game as a pinch-hitter leading off the ninth but struck out on a foul tip. To make room for Edman on the 40-man roster RHP Merandy Gonzalez, who was at Double A Springfield, was designated for assignment.

Looking ahead: Adam Wainwright will get the start in the series finale on Sunday night. Kyle Hendricks will start for the Cubs. In his last start against the Cardinals on May 3 he threw an 81-pitch shutout.

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