Friday’s Game Report: Cubs 3, Cardinals 2

Friday’s Game Report: Cubs 3, Cardinals 2

By Rob Rains

Alec Burleson almost was a hero but Mike Tauchman did not allow that to happen.

With the Cardinals trailing the Cubs by a run in the ninth inning on Friday night, they had a runner on third and two out when Burleson came to bat and launched a long fly ball toward the center field wall at Busch Stadium.

Instead of being a walk-off homer, however, Burleson’s drive became the final out of the game when Tauchman went above the wall to rob Burleson of the game-winning homer and save the win for the Cubs.

The Cubs had taken the 3-2 lead with two runs in the sixth inning off Jordan Montgomery, potentially making his last start as a Cardinal with the trading deadline coming on Tuesday.

The loss was the sixth in their last eight games for the Cardinals,  with five of those losses coming against the Cubs.

Here is how Friday night’s game broke down:

At the plate: The Cardinals’ two runs came on a pair of solo homers from Lars Nootbaar, his ninth and 10th of the season. Hitting in the leadoff spot, Nootbaar opened the first inning with his first home run and then connected again in the third inning … The Cardinals left a runner on third base in the sixth after a double by Nolan Gorman and stranded runners on first and second in the seventh … Willson Contreras singled to lead off the ninth, followed by a single by Tyler O’Neill, but Brendan Donovan hit into a double play, before Burleson was robbed off his bid for the game-winning homer.

On the mound: Montgomery gave up a two-out homer to former Cardinal Patrick Wisdom in the fifth before running into more trouble in the sixth. The Cubs loaded the bases on a double, walk and a hit batter before a sacrifice fly by Dansby Swanson tied the game. After another walk, an RBI single by Trey Mancini gave the Cubs the lead, but Cody Bellinger was thrown out at the plate by Tyler O’Neill to keep it a one-run game … Giovanny Gallegos, Andre Pallante and Chris Stratton combined to keep the Cubs from adding to their lead over the final three innings.

Key stat: The Cardinals fell to 9-21 in one-run games.

Worth noting: As a result of getting ejected from Thursday night’s game, Miles Mikolas was suspended for five games and fined by Major League Baseball on Friday. Manager Oli Marmol was suspended for one game and also fined. Mikolas has appealed his suspension while Marmol served his suspension on Friday night … Before the game the Cardinals optioned Andrew Suarez to Memphis and recalled Matthew Liberatore from the Triple A club to give them a fresh arm in the bullpen. Suarez had thrown multiple innings in each of the previous two games.

Looking ahead: Adam Wainwright, looking for career win number 199, will get the start in the 6:15 p.m. game on Saturday.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

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