St. Louis Cardinals beat Cubs 9-6, head into September in First Place


The St. Louis Cardinals rallied from behind to defeat the Chicago Cubs 9-6 and enter the month of September tied for first place in the National League Central Division.

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The Cardinals could not have done it without the San Francisco Giants sweeping the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday afternoon.

Starting pitcher John Lackey pitched 6.1 innings for the Cardinals. He allowed five runs (two earned) on nine hits. He walked one and struck out six batters. With today’s start, Lackey has been caught by all three Molina brothers.

Pat Neshek was the winning pitcher of record. He moves to 7-1 this season with a 1.40 ERA.

Trevor Rosenthal pitched the ninth inning for his 40th save this season. He’s joins Jason Isringhausen, Bruce Sutter, Jason Motte, and Lee Smith as Cardinals pitchers with 40 or more saves in a season (7th instance).

After the Cubs scored five runs in the second inning, a win for the Cardinals seemed all but impossible on Sunday. The Cardinals battled back to tie the game and take the lead.

In the fourth inning, Matt Holliday hit a solo home run to give the Cardinals their first run of the game. It was the third home run in two games. Holliday picked as good of a time as any to get on a hitting tear.

Kolten Wong led off the fifth inning with a solo home run. With his tenth home run this season, he became the youngest Cardinals second baseman to hit 10 or more home runs since Rogers Hornsby hit 21 in 1921 at age 25.

Daniel Descalso walked and advanced to second on John Lackey’s sacrifice bunt. Matt Carpenter doubled home Descalso before scoring on Holliday’s double.

Just like that, the Cardinals were back in the game and down 5-4 but the one-run deficit was not meant to be. The Cubs added another run in the seventh.

The Cardinals responded with two more runs to tie the game at six. Carpenter walked and Holliday was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. Jhonny Peralta singled and drove in Carpenter. Yadier Molina singled and drove in Holliday after the ball was deflected by second baseman Javier Baez.

The Cardinals added three runs in the eighth to take a 9-6 lead.

Pete Kozma doubled and advanced to third on Descalso’s single. After a Matt Adams strikeout, Carpenter was intentionally walked and the bases were loaded. Following a Randal Grichuk strikeout, Holliday hit a two-out two-run single, scoring Kozma and Descalso. Peralta’s single to left scored Carpenter.

Wong had a bad fall going for a catch late in the game but tested negative for a concussion.

Both Holliday and Peralta had three hits on the day. Molina added two hits on the night.

Carpenter had his second consecutive game of walking three times and scoring three times. He’s the first Cardinals player to do so since Albert Pujols did it against the Brewers in 2005.

The 22 runs that the Cardinals scored in their last two games are the highest since August 1-2, 2013.