A new win streak for the St. Louis Cardinals?


9. 5. 33. Final. 1

Jason Heyward‘s three hits guide Cardinals to victory

What do the St. Louis Cardinals like to do when one winning streak comes to an end?

The answer is simple. Start a new winning streak, and they have Jason Heyward in part to thank for it.

Heyward’s three-run, three-hit outing was what the Cardinals needed to beat the Chicago Cubs, 5-1, on Thursday at Busch Stadium and take three out of four from Chicago in the finale of a big series.

The Cardinals improved to 21-7 overall and took a 6-1/2 game lead over the Cubs. The Cincinnati Reds took over possession of second place in the National League Central before their game Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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John Lackey had one of the best performances of his career with St. Louis. Lackey fanned 10 batters in 7-2/3 innings of work and held the Cubs to five hits, two of which came off the bat of leadoff hitter Chris Coghlan.

St. Louis took a 2-0 lead in the second inning off an RBI single by Jason Heyward and an RBI triple by red-hot Peter Bourjos.

Lackey himself got in on the act in the fourth inning when he doubled home two runs. Heyward came home in the sixth inning when Justin Grimm uncorked a wild pitch.

Heyward, who had struggled with the Cardinals in the first month of the season, bumped his average up to .248 with his big day.

All told, it was a wonderful stretch for St. Louis, which took three of four from the Cubs and now has won nine of the last 10 games. Who would have thought the Cardinals would be up by six games this early in the season?

What’s next

On Friday the Cardinals begin a three-game set with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha carries a 4-0 record and 1.93 ERA into the contest, and he is set to face Francisco Liriano (1-1, 1.95). Liriano has won three of four games against the Cardinals in his career.