Tyler O’Neill and Paul DeJong homered, five St. Louis pitchers combined on a three-hitter and the Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 5-1 to sweep a doubleheader
CHICAGO — Tyler O’Neill and Paul DeJong homered, five St. Louis pitchers combined on a three-hitter and the Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 5-1 Saturday night to sweep a doubleheader.
In the opener, Adam Wainwright pitched in the seventh and led the Cardinals to a 4-2 win.
St. Louis pulled within 2 1/2 games of the NL Central-leading Cubs.
Austin Gomber started the second game for the Cardinals and struck out five in 2 2/3 scoreless innings. Ryan Helsley (1-0) allowed one run on one hit in 1 1/3 innings of relief to get the win.
John Gant got four outs and Andrew Miller got the final three outs.
The Cardinals, batting last in the nightcap after an earlier postponement in St. Louis, jumped on top 3-0 in the second against Colin Rea (1-1). DeJong led off with a homer. Then following a walk, O’Neill hit a two-run homer.
Brad Miller made it 4-0 in the third with an RBI single. Harrison Bader had a sacrifice fly to score O’Neill in the fourth for a 5-0 lead.
Chicago got a run in the fifth on David Bote RBI groundout.
“It was a team win across the board,” St. Louis manager Mike Shildt said. “Contributions from everyone. A lot of young guys really played well today.”
Wainwright allowed two runs, struck out six and walked one while improving to 4-0 for the first time in his career. The 6-foot-7 right-hander tossed a four-hitter in a 7-2 victory over Cleveland on his 39th birthday in his previous start.
“I don’t feel 39,” he said. “I felt 39 when I was 34 or 35. When I go out on the mound, I feel good and ready to win.”
DeJong drove in two runs for St. Louis, which had dropped two in a row. Kolten Wong had two hits and scored twice.
The Cubs had one last chance in the seventh, putting two runners on with two out, but Giovanny Gallegos struck out Anthony Rizzo to finish his third save.
Ian Happ homered twice, but the rest of the Cubs lineup came up empty. Happ started in center field after he missed the series opener with a right eye contusion. He was struck by a foul ball after it bounced off the plate on Thursday in Pittsburgh.
In the first game, Happ, batting left-handed, drove Wainwright’s second pitch of the game down the line in right for a 1-0 Cubs lead.
It was Happ’s major league-best fourth leadoff homer this season.
Aside from Happ, the Cubs just couldn’t muster a big hit all day.
“It’s not a lack of effort or concentration,” said Nico Hoerner, who went 1 for 3 in each game for the Cubs. “There’s a positive in that we had that many baserunners. One ball falls here or there, or some bounce our way, or something like that, you might have a different day.”
OF Steven Souza Jr. went 0 for 2 with two strikeouts, and then was designated for assignment before the second game of the doubleheader. Souza hit .148 (4 for 27) in 11 games with the Cubs this season.
Right-hander Tyson Miller was recalled from the team’s alternate training site in South Bend, Indiana.
The Cubs also claimed infielder Ildemaro Vargas off waivers from Minnesota before the doubleheader opener. Vargas hasn’t reported to the club yet.
KIM PLACED ON IL
St. Louis placed Kwang Hyun Kim on the 10-day injured list, a day after the left-hander was taken to a hospital with adominal soreness. Kim was diagnosed with a kidney ailment. He is expected to return to St. Louis on Sunday.
“Thankfully, it wasn’t appendicitis, but there’s something going on in his kidney,” Shildt said. “He was in a fair amount of pain yesterday, but that pain has been able to be managed. He’s feeling somewhat back to normal. He’s not in as much discomfort as he was.”
Kim is 2-0 with a save and a 0.83 ERA in five games this season. He was scheduled to start Sunday night.
Cardinals: Miller (shoulder fatigue) was activated from the injured list before Game 1.
Cubs left-hander Jon Lester (2-1, 5.11 ERA) starts the fourth game of the five-game series Sunday night, looking to bounce back from a rough stretch. He is 0-1 with an 8.55 ERA over his last four starts. Right-hander Dakota Hudson (1-2, 2.77 ERA), who originally was slated to start Game 2 on Saturday, will start for St. Louis.
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