Monday’s Game Report: Cardinals 3, Cubs 1

Monday’s Game Report: Cardinals 3, Cubs 1

By Rob Rains

After a couple of disconcerting days, all it took to put a smile on his face was Willson Contreras returning to Wrigley Field.

That smile spread to the rest of the Cardinals after they finally won the first game of a series for the first time in 12 tries this year with the victory on Monday night over the Cubs.

It also was the first time since April 11-12 that the Cardinals were able to celebrate winning consecutive games.

Contreras, in his new role as the Cardinals’ DH instead of catching, turned the pre-game cheers that welcomed him back to Chicago into boos as he had a single and double, drove in two runs and scored a run.

Here is how Monday night’s game broke down:

At the plate: Contreras led off the second with a single and later scored on a single by Dylan Carlson. In the sixth his two-out double drove in Lars Nootbaar, who had walked, and then in the eighth he was able to beat out a potential double-play grounder that brought in the Cardinals’ third run … Nootbaar scored on that play after walking for the second time … The Cardinals had only three other hits, a single by Brendan Donovan in the second, a leadoff double by Paul DeJong, who was stranded there, in the seventh and a single by Nolan Gorman in the eighth.

On the mound: Miles Mikolas could not get through the fifth inning, when he issued consecutive walks before a one-out double by Dansby Swanson drove in a run and knocked him out of the game. Mikolas allowed four hits and struck out seven … Genesis Cabrera walked the first batter he faced after relieving Mikolas to load the bases but he got out of the inning when Cody Bellinger flied out to left and Donovan threw out the runner from third at the plate … Jordan Hicks worked two scoreless innings, pitching around one walk, before Ryan Helsley got the final four outs to earn the Cardinals’ first save since April 14 … The Cardinals combined to issued six walks but only one of them came around to score.

Key stat: This is only the third time this season the Cardinals have won two games in a row. They did it on April 1-2 at home against Toronto and the wins on April 11-12 came at Colorado.

Worth noting: Nolan Arenado was a late scratch before the game because of neck stiffness. The team described it as a precautionary move … With Arenado out of the lineup, Contreras moved up from fifth to fourth in the batting order … Taylor Motter, who had been designated for assignment on Saturday for the second time this season, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Memphis … The game-time temperature at Wrigley Field was 48 degrees.

Looking ahead: Jack Flaherty, who have up a career-high 10 runs in his last start, will get the start on Tuesday night in the second game of the series.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

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