August 8 Special: Eight Best St. Louis Cardinals’ Games of 2015

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Jul 8, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Jhonny Peralta (center) celebrates with Jason Heyward after hitting a two run home run in the ninth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

1. July 8 @ Chicago Cubs

Falling short on both contests of a Wrigley Field doubleheader the previous day, the Cardinals were heavily tested in the midst of a pre All-Star Break that involved 8 games in 7 days. Following a scoreless first inning, the Cardinals attacked with a pair of runs in the following frame, courtesy of RBI singles from Dan Johnson and Michael Wacha. Also serving as St. Louis’s starting pitcher, Wacha brought a no-hitter into the fourth inning, which provided another pair of runs scored on both sides.

Stretched into the sixth inning on 109 pitches, Wacha fell into trouble by loading up the bases with two outs. A bases clearing triple from Cubs’ catcher Miguel Montero ensued after a few controversial balls-and-strike calls, resulting in a home plate argument and ejection of manger Mike Matheny moments later. Shifting into a battle of the bullpens, the rivals only combined for one hit through the next two innings. Cubs’ relief pitcher Pedro Strop received a spot closing opportunity, recording the first two outs before surrendering a walk and a go-ahead home run to Jhonny Peralta.

Game MVP: Jhonny Peralta

Next: Cardinals post second straight shutout