Cubs Recap: Chicago goes back-to-back to take series from Cards


33. 5. 9. Final. 4

Bryant ties another franchise rookie record

Outfielder Jorge Soler and third baseman Kris Bryant both took Cardinals starting pitcher Michael Wacha deep during the fifth inning for back-to-back jacks which helped lift the Chicago Cubs to the 5-4 series clincher Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field.

Bryant’s 25th home run of the season tied him with Billy Williams (1961) for another franchise rookie record. The 23-year-old eclipsed his RBI total from the same year this past weekend in Philadelphia.

While it appeared as if the Cubs were going to have themselves a four-run win, Hector Rondon was ejected after hitting the first batter of the inning, forcing Joe Maddon to turn to Zac Rosscup.

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Maddon joined his closer following him being tossed for exiting the dugout and making a case that Hector wasn’t intentionally throwing at Greg Garcia. Chicago (87-61) tagged three batter’s today, including Garcia in the ninth.

Moments later, infielder Matt Carpenter launched a two-run shot to deep right field off Rosscup to cut the lead down to only two runs. Tommy Pham and Jason Heyward followed that up with back-to-back singles.

The Cubs grabbed the early lead back in the first inning of the ballgame on an RBI double off the bat of Bryant which scored Soler who worked a walk with one out.

Second baseman Starlin Castro entered the game with six RBI in the series having two homers in yesterday’s game and continued to swing a hot bat when knocking in Bryant from second.

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This Cardinals (92-56) pitching staff has really struggled against Maddon’s club over the past couple of weeks but somehow was able to keep them from pouring it on.

With Tommy La Stella in the batter’s box with Chris Denorfia on and Jonathan Broxton dealing, La Stella would single on a line drive to Pham out in center to extend Chicago’s lead to 5-1.

We’ll jump back to the ninth inning with Pedro Strop on the mound in relief of Rosscup who surrendered two earned runs of his own. Strop managed to strike out Jhonny Peralta on three straight sliders before Yadier Molina recorded a sacrifice fly to right fielder Austin Jackson.

Today’s play of the game would go to Addison Russell who made a diving grab on a ball hit by Stephen Piscotty. Russell saved another ninth inning hit when he was able to flip the ball over to Javier Baez at second base.

Southpaw Jon Lester will go for the sweep tomorrow against Carlos Martinez.

Next: Looking at potential center field options