Lester records first hit in loss
Southpaw Jon Lester ended up flirting with history during a rainy evening at Wrigley Field as he had himself a no-hitter that was broken up with one out in the seventh inning on a Jhonny Peralta infield single.
Not only did Lester put together a solid outing on the mound, but he also recorded his first big league hit after beginning the year 0-for-71. Once he made solid contact and it was obvious he was going to reach base safely, the Cubbies faithful made it sound as if he had just won the game on a walk-off hit.
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They even made sure the ball was tossed back into the home dugout.
Prior to the game being delayed by rain, the Cubs (44-37) had both All-Star reserves on the corners and no outs. First baseman Anthony Rizzo drilled a leadoff single to center fielder, Tommy Pham and later advanced to third on a Kris Bryant line drive to left fielder Randal Grichuk out in left.
Veteran catcher Miguel Montero – who filled in for David Ross – had the opportunity to give the Cubs the lead in the sixth with no outs but failed to do so when he struck out swinging, handing things over to Starlin Castro.
Castro has been the hero this year for the Cubs with a handful of clutch at-bats but grounded into a double-play on a nice grab by second baseman Kolten Wong to retire the side.
Lester (4-7, 3.48 ERA) wasn’t charged with an earned run but was handed the loss as he managed to only surrender just two hits while issuing two walks and eight strikeouts.
This was by far his best outing as a Cub, but he still needs to work on making pick-off moves with a runner on. Several Cardinals had comfortable leads and still didn’t have to worry about Lester throwing over to Rizzo to keep them honest.
Lackey (7-5, 3.09 ERA) kept this young Cubs team under control, working seven scoreless frames and getting back-to-back inning-ending double plays to get himself out of a jam.
His offense continued to back him up by scoring four runs during the ninth inning once the rain delay was lifted. Grichuk drove in two with an RBI double to give St. Louis the late 5-0 advantage.
Outfielder Peter Bourjos tallied the final run of the contest on a ground ball to center field, scoring Grichuk from second.