Entering Saturday night’s game, the Chicago Cubs were a measly 12-30 at Busch Stadium since the 2011 season. They had fallen in 10 innings to the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night, in what was a dramatic game between both teams from start to finish.
And on Saturday night, the Cardinals made sure the Cubs’ record at Busch would be 12-31 over the past four years. The Cardinals scored four runs in both the fourth and the fifth innings to not only win the game against the Cubs, but the series as well.
For Saturday night’s matchup, the starters were Michael Wacha (9-3, 2.85) for St. Louis, and Donn Roach for the Cubs, who was making his Major League Baseball debut.
The first two innings were shaky for both pitchers. While Wacha pitched a 1-2-3 first inning, he was narrowly able to get out of the second inning without allowing more than the one run he did. On the opposite side, the Cardinals had the bases load with Roach on the mound, but he was able to get out of the jam with an inning ending double play by Yadier Molina.
Heading into the bottom of the fourth inning, the Cubs held a 1-0 lead over the Cardinals.
But it was that inning in which the Cardinals began to break the game wide open. It started with a lead off single by Jason Heyward. Molina then scored Heyward by hitting a double. After a flyout by Randal Grichuk, Xavier Scruggs hit a one-out RBI single, as Molina scored. Peter Bourjos singled to center, and Wacha reached on an infield base hit.
After a strikeout by Kolten Wong, Matt Carpenter singled, scoring both Scruggs and Bourjos.
As the fifth inning arrived, the Cardinals held a 4-1 lead over the Cubs. And after Wacha pitched a scoreless fifth, the Cardinals racked up the score even more in the bottom half of the fifth inning.
Heyward led off with a walk, followed by a Molina strikeout. Grichuk doubled, scoring Heyward. Scruggs doubled, scoring Grichuk, making it 6-1 Cardinals. Bourjos was intentionally walked and Wacha grounded out. Wong, though, hit a ground rule double scoring both Scruggs and Bourjos, as the Cardinals led the Cubs 8-1.
Carlos Villanueva entered the game in the top of the seventh inning to relieve Wacha.
Wacha’s final line of the evening: 6.0, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K.
Villanueva, meanwhile, threw three innings, all of which were shutout innings, and while the Cardinals did not add to their lead the rest of the game, they still defeated the Chicago Cubs 8-1 in what turned out to be their 50th win of the season.
With the win, they improve to 50-24, while the Cubs drop to 39-34. Also, Roach loses his first game of the year, while Wacha wins his 10th game of the year, the first pitcher on the Cardinals to do so this season.
The St. Louis Cardinals are also the first team in Major League League Baseball to win 50 games.
In the series finale on Sunday, Carlos Martinez will get the start on the mound.
(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)