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Cardinals sweep doubleheader with Cubs, gain ground in NL Central standings

St. Louis Cardinals' Kolten Wong (16) celebrates with teammate Yadier Molina (4) after scoring on a Paul DeJong single during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
St. Louis Cardinals' Kolten Wong (16) celebrates with teammate Yadier Molina (4) after scoring on a Paul DeJong single during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)(Paul Beaty | AP)
Published: Sep. 5, 2020 at 10:15 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 5, 2020 at 11:24 PM CDT
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CHICAGO (AP) - 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,” manager David Ross said. “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.”

MAKING MOVES

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.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals: Miller (shoulder fatigue) was activated from the injured list before Game 1.

UP NEXT

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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GAME 1 RECAP

Adam Wainwright pitched six-hit ball into the seventh inning, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 4-2 on Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader.

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.”

Paul DeJong drove in two runs for St. Louis, which had dropped two in a row. Kolten Wong had two hits and scored twice.

Chicago had won four of five. The NL Central leaders 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.

Chicago loaded the bases with none out in the second and failed to score. Wainwright struck out Steven Souza Jr., got Nico Hoerner to line out to second and coaxing Happ into an inning-ending grounder.

“We’ve got to move the baseball in that situation, make something happen,” manager David Ross said. “The strikeout kills you, obviously.”

Cubs right-hander Albert Alzolay (0-1) was pulled after he walked five in 2 2/3 innings in his third appearance this season. He was charged with two runs and two hits.

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.

St. Louis responded with two in the third. DeJong had a run-scoring fielder’s choice, and Matt Carpenter followed with a bases-loaded walk, chasing Alzolay.

The Cardinals added two more in the fourth. Tommy Edman had a sacrifice fly, and DeJong made it 4-1 with a two-out RBI single.

Happ hit his 12th homer in the fifth, belting a deep drive to left.

MAKING MOVES

Souza 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,” manager Mike 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.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals: LHP Andrew Miller (shoulder fatigue) was activated from the injured list.

UP NEXT

Each team planned to go with a bullpen game for the second part of the doubleheader.

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.

Copyright 2020 AP. All rights reserved.

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