It has been a rough few days for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Over the past two games (both at home), they were outscored by the Pirates and Cubs 16-1. First, they were embarrassed on Sunday Night Baseball in a 7-1 loss. And on Monday afternoon, the Cubs blanked the Cardinals by the score of 9-0.
And on Tuesday, while the Cardinals attempted a comeback, it wasn’t enough as they lost to the Cubs 8-5.
The starters for the evening were Michael Wacha (15-4, 2.69), and Jason Hammel (7-6, 3.55).
Anthony Rizzo hit his 100th career home run in the top of the first inning to give the Cubs an early 2-0 lead, making it 11 unanswered runs for the Cubs since the series between the two teams began. In the second inning, a single by Hammel scored Javier Baez, and later in the inning, a three-run home run by Starlin Castro gave the Cubs a big 6-0 lead.
As for the Cardinals offense, they continued to sputter for the majority of the evening, as Hammel allowed only two base hits in the first four innings of the game; one by Greg Garcia and another by Stephen Piscotty. However, neither hit led to a run.
By far, the biggest inning of the game (especially for the Cardinals) was the seventh inning. The Cubs were able to score two more runs after a double by Castro and single by Rizzo, making it 8-0 Cubs. But St. Louis wasn’t going to be blown out this night. In the bottom of the seventh, Randal Grichuk made his return and hit a two-run home run to make it 8-2. Later in the inning, with Mark Reynolds on third and Jon Jay on second, Piscotty hit a single to center field, scoring both runners, and suddenly, it became an 8-4 game.
Jason Heyward was then walked to load the bases, with Tommy Pham on third, and Piscotty on second. Tony Cruz followed with a single that scored Pham, to bring up Grichuk again.
But this time, Grichuk struck out as the inning ended, but not before St. Louis was able to put five runs on the board.
And the 8-5 score ended up being the final score, as St. Louis lost for the fifth time in their last six games. Despite that, they maintain a 4.5 game lead in the National League Central over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
In the series finale, Carlos Martinez will get the start for the Cardinals.
(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)