• My Scores
  • NFL
  • MLB
  • NBA
  • NHL
  • Golf

Chicago at St. Louis

Venue: Busch Stadium

While they had already clinched a playoff spot, the St. Louis Cardinals have finally wrapped up the NL Central.

The Cardinals now give the ball to ace Adam Wainwright as they try to keep pace in the race for the league's best record Saturday against the visiting Chicago Cubs.

Matt Holliday and David Freese both homered and Yadier Molina drove in three runs as St. Louis (95-65) locked up its first division title in four years with Friday's 7-0 win.

"I think relentless is probably the term that might sum it up," said manager Mike Matheny, whose team has won four straight by a combined 17-4 score. "It's extremely special."

Gearing up for their third consecutive postseason appearance, the Cardinals remain tied with Atlanta for the NL's best record. They are assured of home-field advantage when the NL division series starts Thursday.

"We're all embracing this and understanding what we've accomplished," Freese said. "We've been through so much."

St. Louis now turns to Wainwright (18-9, 3.01 ERA), who was pushed up a day to put him in line to start Game 1 of the NLDS.

"What had as much factor of anything was sitting and talking with him about what he feels gives him the best chance to be successful, and just continuing to treat the ace of the staff and as if were the ace of the staff," Matheny told MLB's official website. "(We) continue to listen to these guys and how their body feels, and he feels good. He's been on regular rest for a while."

Wainwright, who can tie Washington's Jordan Zimmermann for the NL lead in wins, is 3-0 with a 2.12 ERA in his last four starts. He yielded three runs in seven-plus innings to beat Washington 4-3 on Monday.

"It's amazing that once he gets going, how different his stuff looks," Matheny said of Wainwright, who settled down after giving up two runs in the first. "It doesn't matter what he looks like early, he's going to put it together."

The right-hander has surprisingly had a rough time against the woeful Cubs (66-94) since last season, going 1-2 with a 5.14 ERA in seven outings.

Loser in 12 of 16 overall, Chicago has hit .197, including .105 with runners in scoring position, during a 1-6 stretch on the road. The Cubs have now witnessed three different opponents clinch within a week.

"I've already said it," manager Dale Sveum said. "You get something out of it."

Starlin Castro had three of the team's seven hits Friday. Castro, hitting a career-low .246, is batting .463 with five extra-base hits in his last 11 games versus St. Louis.

The Cubs give the ball to Edwin Jackson (8-17, 4.74), the major league leader in losses. The right-hander allowed three runs in six innings Sunday in a 5-2 defeat to Atlanta, dropping to 1-6 since the beginning of August.

Jackson is 0-3 with a 9.68 ERA in his last four starts in St. Louis. Molina has hit him hard, going 10 for 21 with three homers in their matchups.

Allen Craig is 7 for 15 against Jackson, but he remains sidelined with a Lisfranc fracture. Craig was ruled out of the NLDS but could return if the Cardinals advance.

"If we get to the NLCS or World Series, you never know," he said.

Filling in for Craig, Matt Adams is batting .359 with six homers, 13 RBIs and 14 runs over a 17-game stretch.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
Conversation powered by Livefyre
weather image  Thundershowers. Increasing cloudiness. Warm.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Chi Cubs3rd NL Central9765.59938-2 W 8
St. Louis1st NL Central10062.617-4-6 L 3

Related Video

October 8, 2015
Cubs eliminate the Pirates (2:48)
October 8, 2015
Watson drills Arrieta with a fastball
October 8, 2015
Cubs defeat Pirates 4-0
October 7, 2015
Cubs move on to NLDS
Chi Cubs
J. MotteShoulder
J. TurnerElbow
St. Louis
C. MartinezShoulder
Y. MolinaThumb
J. WaldenShoulder
Series Game Log
Apr 5CHCSTL 3-0Wainwright Lester 
Apr 7CHCPPD   
Apr 8CHCCHC 2-0Arrieta Lynn 
May 4STLSTL 10-9Socolovich Strop 
May 5STLSTL 7-4Harris Jackson 
May 6STLCHC 6-5Lester Lynn 
May 7STLSTL 5-1Lackey Arrieta 
Jun 26STLSTL 3-2Maness Grimm 
Jun 27STLSTL 8-1Wacha Roach 
Jun 28STLSTL 4-1Martinez Hammel 
Jul 6CHCSTL 6-0Lackey Lester 
Jul 7CHCCHC 7-4Arrieta Lyons 
Jul 7CHCCHC 5-3Wood Maness 
Jul 8CHCSTL 6-5Socolovich Strop 
Sep 7STLCHC 9-0Haren Lynn 
Sep 8STLCHC 8-5Hammel Wacha 
Sep 9STLSTL 4-3Broxton Richard 
Sep 18CHCCHC 8-3Hunter Maness 
Sep 19CHCCHC 5-4Cahill Wacha 
Sep 20CHCSTL 4-3Martinez Lester 
Oct 9STL 6:45 PM EDT  
Oct 10STL 5:37 PM EDT  
Oct 12CHC 6:07 PM EDT  
Oct 13CHC 4:37 PM EDT  
Oct 15STL 4:37 PM EDT