Chicago Cubs unable to complete ninth inning rally, fall 3-2 to Cards
Tonight marked the first official day of Summer and the Chicago Cubs found themselves in a heated battle with the St. Louis Cardinals. Their N.L. Central rival jumped ahead early and managed to hold off the red-hot Cubbies despite a ninth inning rally.
With a strawberry moon hanging over the Friendly Confines in Chicago, Illinois, the first-place Chicago Cubs were unable to complete a ninth-inning rally, falling to the St. Louis Cardinals by the final score of 3-2.
Skipper Joe Maddon sent veteran right-hander and former Cardinal John Lackey to the mound in hopes of keeping their winning streak alive. Lackey (7-3, 2.78 ERA) matched his opponent with six strikeouts but was tagged for all three earned runs on seven hits, three walks, and two home runs in six innings of work.
St. Louis (36-33) jumped all over Lackey in the top half of the second inning thanks to Brandon Moss who launched his 16th home run to deep right field to give his team an early 1-0 lead.
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Following Moss’s solo big fly, center fielder Kolten Wong singled on a ground ball out to left fielder Kris Bryant. Wong would come around to score on an RBI single off the bat of Aledmys Diaz, extending the lead to 2-0 in the second.
We’ll skip to the top of the third inning when Jhonny Peralta turned on the first pitch of his at-bat, sending a fastball out to left field for his second home run of the year. Peralta missed some time due to an injury and has hit fairly well while playing at Wrigley Field.
Finally, the Cubs (47-21) were able to get things going during the home half of the frame. Bryant, who is tied with Rizzo in home runs, recorded his 16th double of the season with Jaime Garcia (5-6, 3.83 ERA) on the mound.
Lead-off man and second baseman, Ben Zobrist was the man who came around to score to cut the Cardinal lead down to two runs. Zobrist had himself a single in the ninth inning and could have scored Albert Almora.
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Almora was thrown out trying to steal third base with only one out by veteran catcher Yadier Molina.
With the Cubs still in the third and runners on, top catching prospect Willson Contreras came through with a two-out RBI single up the middle of the diamond, making it a 3-2 ballgame.
Contreras homered on the first pitch of his at-bat in yesterday’s 10-5 win and sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates on Father’s Day.