Saturday’s Game Report: Cubs 5, Cardinals 1
By Rob Rains
There will be a lot of things Adam Wainwright will miss about pitching in the major leagues when he retires after this season. Pitching to Ian Happ might not be of them.
Happ hit another home run off Wainwright on Saturday night that helped the Cubs keep Wainwright from winning the 199th game of his career.
It was the seventh career home run that Happ has hit off Wainwright, the most Wainwright has allowed to a hitter in his major-league career. All three hits that Happ has this year against Wainwright have been home runs.
Happ’s two-run homer in the third inning wiped out a 1-0 Cardinals lead and was followed by another two-run homer by Yan Gomes off Wainwright in the fourth.
The loss was the sixth in a row by the Cardinals against the Cubs and their seventh overall loss in their last nine games. It also dropped the Cardinals back into last place in the NL Central, a game behind the Pirates.
Here is how Saturday night’s game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals scored their only run in the first inning. Brendan Donovan and Paul Goldschmidt singled in front of a sacrifice fly by Lars Nootbaar … Those were the only hits for the Cardials until the seventh, when they again got two singles, by Willson Contreras and Jordan Walker, to open the inning but then left them stranded with three consecutive outs … The Cardinals got the potential tying run to the plate when they loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth on a single, walk and hit batter but Walker grounded out to end the inning.
On the mound: The two two-run homers accounted for all of the runs Wainwright allowed in six innings. He gave up seven hits, walked three and struck out three, throwing 87 pitches … The final Chicago run scored in the seventh against Drew VerHagen.
Key stat: The Cardinals were 0-of-5 with a runner in scoring position and in the first three games of the series against the Cubs they are a combined 1-of-20 with a runner on second or third.
Worth noting: The six consecutive wins is the longest winning streak by the Cubs against the Cardinals since they also won six in a row in 2017 … Happ was 1-of-2 with a walk against Wainwright, raising his career average against him to .389 (14-of-36) … The only other hitter that Wainwright has faced in his career who has more than three career homers off him is Joey Votto of the Reds with five … Tommy Edman played shortstop for Memphis on Saturday night and was 1-of-5 with an RBI but also committed a throwing error … The start of Saturday night’s game was delayed for 1 hour, 45 minutes because of rain.
Looking ahead: The Cardinals will try to avoid the four-game sweep in the series finale at 1:15 p.m. Sunday with Steven Matz the scheduled starter. It will be the final game of a 17-game, 17-day stretch since the All-Star break for the Cardinals, who will have Monday off.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains