Cubs Extend Win Streak To Seven, Cardinals Edge Reds


Published on September 20 2017 6:06 am
Last Updated on September 20 2017 6:06 am


Back at Tropicana Field, Joe Maddon got to show off his Chicago Cubs.

Mike Montgomery took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning, Kyle Schwarber hit his 28th home run and the Cubs extended their winning streak to a season-high seven by beating the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 Tuesday night.

Maddon managed the Rays from 2006-14, then left to manage Chicago and last year led the Cubs to their first World Series title since 1908. Chicago is closing in on its third straight postseason berth, holding a 3 1/2-game lead over second-place Milwaukee in the NL Central.

Tampa Bay remained five games behind Minnesota for the second AL wild card with 11 to play.

A crowd of 25,046, the largest at the Trop since opening day, gave Maddon a standing ovation after a scoreboard tribute in the middle of the first inning.

"I thought it was playoff-esque," he said. "It starts at home with all the interviews and things like that. Then coming down here, as soon as you walk in the door you're greeting, which is good. I was able to go on the field before the game, got to visit with a lot of folks."

Maddon led Tampa Bay into the playoffs four times, including the Rays' only World Series appearance: a five-game loss to Philadelphia in 2008.

"I thought it was a quick nine years," he said. "I have nothing but warm and fuzzies about it."

Montgomery (7-8) allowed one hit in six innings, a one-out homer in the sixth by Brad Miller. Montgomery struck out six and walked none after pitching just two innings in his previous start 10 days earlier.

"I felt a lot more fresh," he said. "I obviously don't think too much about a no-hitter before games, but I've been in that position before so I know that feeling a little. Really it's about executing pitches and relying on the defense."

Pedro Strop, Carl Edwards Jr. and Wade Davis each followed with an inning of perfect relief to complete the one-hitter. Davis struck out the side and remained perfect in 32 save chances.

Schwarber, 8 for 23 with four homers in his last seven games, went deep in the second off Chris Archer. Javier Baez drove in the other run with an RBI double in the fifth against Archer (9-11), who gave up four hits in six innings.

The Cubs' streak is their longest since the 11 straight they won July 31-Aug. 12 last season.

"Their mental energy is probably at an all-season high right now and it's fun to watch," Maddon said.

Archer struck out six, raising his total to 241 -- 11 shy of the team record he set two years ago. He was surprised at the amount of Cubs fans at the ballpark.

"I didn't know that we had that many people from Chicago, Illinois, Midwest area in Tampa," Archer said. "It was just weird. Their players come and get announced and get so much love. It was strange. I'm not being critical. It was just crazy how much royal blue there was out there."

Cardinals 8, Reds 7

Dexter Fowler is doing everything he can to get the St. Louis Cardinals into the playoffs

Fowler hit a tying homer in the eighth inning and a go-ahead double in the 10th, helping the Cardinals knock off the Cincinnati Reds 8-7 on Tuesday night.

Yadier Molina and Paul DeJong also connected for St. Louis, which was swept by NL Central-leading Chicago over the weekend and had dropped four of five overall. Juan Nicasio (4-5) pitched 1 1/3 innings for the win and Tyler Lyons got two outs for his third save.

The third-place Cardinals (78-72) remained six games back of the Cubs in the division. St. Louis also is in the mix for a wild card after missing the playoffs last season.

"It just shows to me what kind of team this club is," manager Mike Matheny said. "We talk about sticking your head in there -- keep fighting, keep swinging."

Fowler led off the eighth with a drive to center off Kevin Shackelford for his 17th homer, matching his career high in his first year with St. Louis despite missing a chunk of the season due to injuries. He also went deep Sunday against the Cubs and came up just short in a bid for another homer.

"Each year, I'm getting progressively better in terms of power," said the 31-year-old Fowler, who finished with three hits. "I'm getting older and growing into my body."

The Cardinals' winning rally began when Tim Adelman (5-11) hit Kolten Wong with a pitch leading off the 10th. Tommy Pham flied out to right field, but Fowler lined a double into the right-field corner. DeJong added a two-out RBI single.

Cincinnati got one back on Scooter Gennett's 26th homer. But Adam Duvall flied out to center before Lyons retired Scott Schebler and Patrick Kivlehan to end the game.

Cardinals rookie Jack Flaherty lasted just two innings in his fourth major league start. Joey Votto hit an RBI single in the first, Kivlehan added a sacrifice fly in the second and Zack Cozart hit a two-run shot off John Gant in the third, helping the Reds to a 4-0 lead.

It was Cozart's fourth homer in his last seven games and No. 23 on the season.

The Cardinals bounced back with a five-run fourth. Molina hit a three-run homer and DeJong followed with his 23rd of the season.

Reds rookie Jackson Stephens was charged with five runs and five hits in 3 2/3 innings.

"Typically, it came down to execution," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "He got the first 10 guys out. He fell behind 2-0 on (Tommy) Pham. He got a hit and the next two guys got hits, then the home runs. Probably not the best location. He did a really nice job of pitching in, establishing inside and using his breaking ball and changeup. It seems the second time around he wasn't making the same quality pitches."

The teams combined to use 16 pitchers, eight for each team.

"Our bullpen was leaned on heavily today and they responded," Matheny said.

Astros 3, White Sox 1

Collin McHugh made his first start in 11 days and nailed it.

The right-hander pitched five steady innings in his return from a detached fingernail, and the Houston Astros extended their winning streak to five games Tuesday night with a 3-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

Jose Altuve homered and Alex Bregman hit an RBI double for the AL West champions. McHugh (3-2) allowed one run and five hits with five strikeouts, an encouraging sign as the Astros prepare for the playoffs.

"He felt really good. He felt strong," Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. "I thought McHugh threw the ball really well. I thought his pitch-making ability was really good."

It was the right-hander's first outing since detaching a fingernail on his pitching hand Sept. 8.

"Obviously when you're warming up it was the biggest thing for me, making sure I wasn't feeling it, I wasn't compensating for my finger in any way," McHugh said. "It was all good today. I didn't have any issues and I didn't think about it when I was out there. Mentally getting over that was probably the biggest part."

McHugh has made only 10 starts this season after also missing time with a shoulder issue.

"Overall I think we did some good things," he said. "Made some pitches when we needed to. I had a better curveball than I've had in a while. Made a handful of mistakes but for the most part I felt like I executed pitches really well."

Will Harris, Luke Gregerson and Chris Devenski each threw a scoreless inning before Ken Giles pitched the ninth for his 32nd save.

Altuve went the other way for his 24th home run, a solo shot to right field in the fourth. Bregman knocked in Marwin Gonzalez later in the inning to give the Astros a 2-1 lead.

George Springer made it 3-1 in the eighth, just getting his fingertips on home plate and avoiding Kevan Smith's tag. On the play, Altuve grounded out to third and was thrown out at first, but Smith never tagged Springer after taking the throw from first baseman Jose Abreu. After Springer was initially called out, the play was reviewed and the call was overturned.

"I thought I'd got the plate; the plate feels a little different than the dirt does," Springer said. "I thought I had got it and obviously did. It's a good situation to go sometimes. The infielders aren't really expecting it and I took a chance."

Abreu hit an RBI double in the third to put the White Sox up 1-0. Yoan Moncada had three singles for the White Sox.

Lucas Giolito (2-3) threw well for a second straight start, giving up two runs and seven hits over 6 2/3 innings for Chicago.

"I thought he looked good," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "He kept us in the ballgame, certainly. He gave us as many outs as he could. He had one inning that he worked quite a bit where he got a little deeper in pitches, but he worked through it."

Tuesday, September 19 Scoreboard

New York Yankees 5, Minnesota 2

Boston 1, Baltimore 0 (F/11)

Philadelphia 6, Los Angeles Dodgers 2

Milwaukee 1, Pittsburgh 0

Toronto 5, Kansas City 2

Oakland 9, Detroit 8

St. Louis 8, Cincinnati 7 (F/10)

Miami 5, New York Mets 4 (F/10)

Chicago Cubs 7, Tampa Bay 1

Washington 4, Atlanta 2

Houston 3, Chicago White Sox 1

Cleveland 6, Los Angeles Angels 3

Texas 3, Seattle 1

San Diego 6, Arizona 2

San Francisco 4, Colorado 3

Wednesday, September 20 Schedule (All Times Central)

Minnesota at New York Yankees, noon

Oakland at Detroit, 12:10 p.m.

New York Mets at Miami, 12:10 p.m.

Colorado at San Francisco, 2:45 p.m.

Boston at Baltimore, 6 p.m.

Los Angeles Dodgers at Philadelphia, 6:05 p.m.

Milwaukee at Pittsburgh, 6:05 p.m.

Kansas City at Toronto, 6:07 p.m.

St. Louis at Cincinnati, 6:10 p.m.

Chicago Cubs at Tampa Bay, 6:10 p.m.

Washington at Atlanta, 6:35 p.m.

Chicago White Sox at Houston, 7:10 p.m.

Arizona at San Diego, 8:10 p.m.

Cleveland at Los Angeles Angels, 9 p.m.

Texas at Seattle, 9:10 p.m.