Chicago at St. Louis

St. Louis
W: M. Wacha (3-3) L: J. Hammel (4-2) S: T. Rosenthal (11)
HR: CHC - S. Castro (6)   STL - None

Wacha solid on mound, at plate as Cards nip Cubs wire reports

ST. LOUIS -- When it comes to being a hitter, St. Louis starter Michael Wacha would rather talk about his pitching.

Wacha threw seven innings and drove in two runs with a single, helping the Cardinals to a 5-3 victory Thursday over the Chicago Cubs.

The 6-foot-6 Wacha (3-3) had lost his last three decisions since an April 13 win over the Cubs. The 22-year-old right-hander allowed seven hits, including a homer, but did not walk a batter. He struck out five.

''I was able to pound the strike zone down in the zone and it was pretty effective,'' Wacha said. ''I kept them off-balance, which means it's a pretty good day. It's definitely nice to go deep into a ballgame and get a win. It definitely gets your confidence going in the next start that's for sure.''

Trevor Rosenthal pitched 1 2/3 innings for his 11th save. Rosenthal, who blew a save Tuesday, inherited a one-out, bases-loaded situation and gave up a sacrifice fly, but closed out the inning and retired the side in the ninth.

The Cubs have lost nine of their last 11 and are off to the worst start in 39 games (13-26) since 2002.

Jason Hammel (4-2) gave up five runs on five hits and two walks in 5 1/3 innings, raising his ERA to 3.06. Hammel had six strikeouts.

St. Louis scored four runs in the second inning on Wacha's two-run single in between a run-scoring groundout by Yadier Molina and Matt Carpenter's RBI double.

It was Wacha's first hit and RBI of the season.

''It's nice to finally have a batting average,'' Wacha said.

St. Louis manager Mike Matheny noted it was a timely hit.

''Mike was good and obviously getting that hit there to drive in a couple runs it was kind of a huge boost to us at that point,'' Matheny said.

With two outs, Hammel might have escaped with little damage but he had to throw a strike on a 3-2 count to Wacha and the bases loaded.

''I got behind Wacha with two wild ones,'' Hammel said. ''I came in with a fastball and he hit it.''

Chicago got two runs back in the fourth on a home run just inside the left-field foul pole by Starlin Castro. He drove in No. 3 hitter Anthony Rizzo, who beat the St. Louis shift to the right side with his second bunt to the left side in two at-bats.

Rizzo has three career bunt singles with the Cubs with one coming in his previous 285 games.

''If they're going to give me that, I might as well take it,'' Rizzo said. ''We were able to cash in once. I almost make them pay twice for it. Wacha is a great pitcher but you get him on the stretch and try to get him off his game a little bit.

''You know if teams are going to give me that, for the most part, I'm going to take it every time.''

When Rizzo came to bat in the fifth and seventh, St. Louis did not shift.

''Rizzo took advantage of the shift until they changed their defense on him,'' Chicago manager Rick Renteria said. ''That led to our first two runs when Starlin drove the ball out of the ballpark. He's really looking at the game from a lot of different angles. Think about it, you're down four runs and a solo home run is not going to do a whole lot for you.''

The Cardinals made it 5-2 when Molina lined a 3-2 pitch just inside the line in left for a one-out RBI single.

Junior Lake hit a sacrifice fly for a run in the eighth, but Rosenthal got out the jam.

St. Louis lost a challenge in the third when Matt Holliday was called out on a close play at first after hitting a grounder to shortstop. The time of the review was 2 minutes, 54 seconds.


Missouri's new basketball coach Kim Anderson threw out the first pitch. ''It was an honor to throw the first ball out,'' he said. ''I was nervous out there, but it's something I will never forget.'' ... The Cardinals announced the time for making up Wednesday's game with the Cubs that was rained out. It will be played at 1:15 p.m. Aug. 30 as part of a split doubleheader. The second game will start at 7:15 p.m. instead of 6:15 p.m. ... The Cardinals recalled 2B Kolten Wong on Wednesday from Triple-A Memphis and optioned infielder Greg Garcia back to the club. Wong was optioned April 27 after hitting .225 in 20 games. He hit .344 in 10 games at Memphis. He was not in the starting lineup as he was still battling the effects of a stomach virus.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Michael Wacha, who lost his previous three decisions, pitches seven strong innings and drives in two runs for St. Louis. (USATSI)
Michael Wacha, who lost his previous three decisions, pitches seven strong innings and drives in two runs for St. Louis. (USATSI)

Players of the Game

S. Castro
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
St. Louis

M. Wacha
IP 7.0
H 7
ER 2
BB 0
K 5

Related Video

Chicago (N.L.) Cubs
Emilio Bonifacio, CF5000000 .302
Ryan Kalish, RF5000020 .259
Anthony Rizzo, 1B3220100 .284
Starlin Castro, SS4132000 .291
Luis Valbuena, 2B3020102 .240
Junior Lake, LF3011011 .255
Mike Olt, 3B3000111 .181
John Baker, C3000022 .063
   a-Nate Schierholtz, PH1000003 .198
   Neil Ramirez, P0000000 .000
Jason Hammel, P2000012 .063
   Jose Veras, P0000000 .000
   b-Chris Coghlan, PH1000000 .158
   Wesley Wright, P0000000 .000
   Welington Castillo, C1000000 .246
a-grounded out for Baker in the 8th
b-grounded out for Veras in the 7th
HR - Starlin Castro (6, Wacha)
SF - Junior Lake (2)
RBI - Starlin Castro 2 (21), Junior Lake (15)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Castro-Valbuena-Rizzo
Chicago (N.L.) Cubs
Jason Hammel (L,4-2) 5.1555260 3.06
Jose Veras 0.2000000 14.21
Wesley Wright 1000100 2.08
Neil Ramirez 1100110 1.08
WP - Neil Ramirez (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Hammel 106-65, Jose Veras 5-3, Wesley Wright 19-10, Neil Ramirez 13-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Hammel 7-3, Jose Veras 1-0, Wesley Wright 2-1
Batters Faced - Jason Hammel 23, Jose Veras 1, Wesley Wright 4, Neil Ramirez 5
St. Louis Cardinals
Matt Carpenter, 3B4011011 .256
Jhonny Peralta, SS4010011 .250
Matt Holliday, LF4110021 .266
Matt Adams, 1B4000002 .299
Yadier Molina, C3121110 .315
Allen Craig, RF3100103 .217
Peter Bourjos, CF2100110 .218
Mark Ellis, 2B2001100 .185
Michael Wacha, P2112010 .063
   a-Joey Butler, PH1000001 .000
   Kevin Siegrist, P0000000 .000
   Trevor Rosenthal, P0000000 .000
a-hit into fielder's choice for Wacha in the 7th
2B - Matt Carpenter (7, Hammel), Matt Holliday (10, Hammel), Yadier Molina (9, Hammel)
RBI - Matt Carpenter (15), Yadier Molina (20), Mark Ellis (8), Michael Wacha 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Matt Carpenter (6), Michael Wacha 2 (2)
Team LOB - 4
DP - Peralta-Ellis-Adams
E - Matt Adams (3, Misplayed grounder)
St. Louis Cardinals
Michael Wacha (W,3-3) 7722051 2.82
Kevin Siegrist (H,11) 0.1111210 4.00
Trevor Rosenthal (S,11) 1.2000110 4.74
Pitches-Strikes - Michael Wacha 104-77, Kevin Siegrist 19-8, Trevor Rosenthal 26-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Michael Wacha 9-7, Trevor Rosenthal 2-2
Batters Faced - Michael Wacha 28, Kevin Siegrist 4, Trevor Rosenthal 6
Game Information
Attendance - 42501
Game Time - 2:49
Temperature - 59
Umpires - Home - Will Little, First Base - Mark Carlson, Second Base - Ted Barrett, Third Base - Paul Schrieber