Cubs blow five run-lead, fall to Cardinals 9-6


The Chicago Cubs got off to an early lead, but couldn’t hold on as the St. Louis Cardinals scored three in the eighth to earn the 9-6 victory.

Matt Holliday knocked in four for the Cardinals (73-63), including the game-winner in the eighth off of the Cubs (61-75) reliever Carlos Villanueva (5-7, 4.85).

The Cubs staked claim to an early lead thanks to a throwing error by Cardinals starter John Lackey. Travis Wood was attempting to sacrifice bunt, when Lackey overthrew the first baseman, allowing Chris Valaika to score. The error proved costly as the Cubs went on to score five in the inning, which included a two-run homer from Luis Valbuena.

Holliday started chipping away at the lead with a solo home run in the fourth off Wood. The Cards added three more in the fifth. Kolten Wong homered, and Matt Carpenter would later double in a run. Holliday later doubled in Carpenter to make it 5-4.

Arismendy Alcantara homered off Cardinals reliever Randy Choate to make it a 6-4 game in the seventh.

The Cubs bullpen was unable to hold the lead, as Wesley Wright and Pedro Strop each surrendered a run to allow the Cards to tie the game at 6-6.

Pat Neshek (7-1, 1.40) pitched a clean eighth to get the win, while Trevor Rosenthal closed out the Cubs in the ninth for his 40th save.

Anthony Rizzo was once again kept out off the lineup with a sore back, and Jorge Soler did not play as part of the plan to help protect him from injury following the issues he had with his hamstrings earlier this year.

The Cubs will open up a home series tomorrow against the Milwaukee Brewers. Jacob Turner (0-1, 4.50) is scheduled for the Cubs, while Jimmy Nelson (2-5, 4.10) will go for the Brewers. It’s a 1:20 pm CT start at Wrigley Field.