Cardinals Play Best All-Around Game, Cubs' Streak Broken


Published on September 21 2017 6:20 am
Last Updated on September 21 2017 6:21 am


Mike Matheny enjoyed the St. Louis Cardinals' best all-around game in a while so much, he wouldn't mind seeing a replay.

"I'll go rewatch it," Matheny said after the 9-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday. "Good starting pitching, clean defense, clean bullpen, timely hitting, got momentum early. I'm really looking forward to (Thursday)."

Dexter Fowler homered for the third straight game while Matt Carpenter and Paul DeJong also homered as St. Louis gained ground in their National League playoff push.

Tommy Pham finished with two doubles, a single and two RBI and Yadier Molina added a two-run double as the third-place Cardinals (79-72) gained a game on first-place Chicago and second-place Milwaukee in the Central Division and on Colorado in the wild-card race.

Rookie right-hander Luke Weaver retired 10 straight batters in one stretch on the way to his seventh straight winning start, the major leagues' longest active streak.

According to post-game notes provided by the Reds, Weaver is the first Cardinals starting pitcher to have seven consecutive wins in a season since Matt Morris in 2001 and the first St. Louis rookie to do so since Ted Walks in 1944.

The 24-year-old rookie allowed five hits and two runs with seven strikeouts in five innings. He credited his curveball with helping make up for an inconsistent changeup.

"I haven't had a chance to assess the outing," he said. "I had more curveballs in the mix. It was nice to be able to throw them in different counts."

Weaver's curve also impressed Matheny.

"It worked better than it's worked in other starts" Matheny said. "He made pitches on both sides of the plate when he needed to.

"He threw the ball really well," Matheny added. "The fastball was coming out of his hand as good as I've seen. He had late life, and he got some big strikeouts when he needed them.".

Weaver (7-1) has fanned seven or more batters in each of his last seven starts.

Weaver was savoring his contributions to the Cardinals' playoff push.

"it's awesome," he said. "There's lot of good nerves building up. These games, you get a little more amped up. There are a lot of meaningful games. You try not to put too much pressure on yourself."

Relievers Zach Duke, Seung Hwan Oh, Sandy Alcantara and Sam Tuivailala teamed up to retire the 12 of the final 13 Reds batters.

Carpenter led off the game with his 21st homer. Fowler followed Pham's RBI double in the third with a two-run shot into the right field seats. It was his career-high 18th homer of the season. DeJong added his team-high 24th, the Cardinals' second set of back-to-back homers in two nights.

The Reds broke up Weaver's shutout bid with a two-run fifth. Patrick Kivlehan's drove in Jose Peraza from first with a double and scored on Jesse Winker's single.

"I got a little out of synch," he said. "I threw some average pitches and they put some good swings on them."

Rookie Davis (1-3) gave up all three homers and five runs on five hits with three strikeouts in three innings.


Rays 8, Cubs 1

Their seven-game winning streak is over and the Chicago Cubs are still being challenged for the NL Central lead with 11 games left in the season.

Blake Snell gave up two hits in seven shutout innings and the Tampa Bay Rays ended the Cubs' season-best winning streak 8-1 on Wednesday night.

The Cubs, who had not lost since being swept by the Milwaukee Brewers in a three-game series in Chicago on Sept. 8-10, are scheduled to open a four-game series in Milwaukee on Thursday night, holding a 3 1/2-game lead over the Brewers.

"It's going to be very exciting," manager Joe Maddon said. "We got the split here, which is good. Moving it forward, you've got to beat `em straight-up sometimes and that's what we're going to have to do."

Steven Souza Jr. hit his 30th home run in the first inning and the Rays added three more runs in the second off Jon Lester with the help of an RBI bunt single by Peter Bourjos.

Wilson Ramos, who had three of Tampa Bay's 10 hits, made it 7-0 with a two-run single in the fifth that knocked Lester (11-8) out of the game.

Lester, who had won three starts since coming off the disabled list on Sept. 2, gave up seven runs and eight hits with three walks in 4 1/3 innings.

"We're not going to make excuses and say that's why I didn't throw the ball well," Lester said. "Physically it's September. You're going to have ups and downs. I felt fine, there's no lingering effects from anything. There's nothing physically wrong. Today it was just lack of command all the way around with everything."

It was Lester's sixth career start without a strikeout and third this season.

"Stuff-wise, command-wise, just an unfamiliar night from Jon," Maddon said. "I don't have any reason to give you other than he had a tough night and I don't know why. ... It just wasn't there."

Snell (4-6) gave up singles to John Jay in the third and Addison Russell in the fifth. He walked three and struck out five in seven innings. Snell is 4-0 in 10 starts since July 24, and has given up no earned runs in three of his last six starts.

"He's turned his season around," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "I don't know if any of us would have thought from where he started (0-4 in eight starts before being sent to the minors) that he was going to be capable of doing what he's done now."

Jay drove in the Cubs' run with a single in the eighth off reliever Ryne Stanek.

Astros 4, White Sox 3

Brad Peacock is making quite the case to be a member of the Astros rotation in the postseason.

Peacock threw six solid innings, Yuli Gurriel had three hits, including a two-run double, and the Houston Astros extended their winning streak to six games with a 4-3 win over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night.

Peacock (12-2) allowed two runs on one hit with six strikeouts.

"I'm just not thinking about it at all," Peacock said of his postseason role. "Whatever they decide to do, like I've said before, I'll be happy. Whether it's bullpen or starting, just to get the chance to play in the playoffs is going to be cool."

The right-hander continues to throw well, allowing two runs or fewer in each of his last five starts.

"He was good again," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "I don't think he was particularly sharp, which is funny to say for a guy that gave up one hit. But he did battle through his outing and didn't give up many hard hits."

After Yoan Moncada put the White Sox up 2-1 in the top of the fourth with a two-run homer, Gurriel answered with his two-run hit in the bottom half of the inning.

Gurriel said through a translator that he saw a lot of breaking balls and made the adjustment on the last pitch.

"He's really good at making contact on the barrel with some length and the ball carries pretty far out there," Hinch said of Gurriel. "He's what they call a professional hitter and it doesn't matter what country or what level. This guy can really hit."

Jose Altuve upped Houston's lead to 4-2 with an RBI single in the seventh, but Yolmer Sanchez cut the lead to one with an RBI double in the eighth.

Joe Musgrove struck out Moncada with the tying run on second to end the eighth and struck out Omar Narvaez with the tying run on second to end the game for his second save.

"I think they've thrown the ball well," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said of Houston's pitching. "I think they've come after us. They've made some plays. They've thrown the ball well. They've been able to minimize the damage."

James Shields (4-7) allowed three runs on six hits with four walks and five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. Shields has given up at least three runs in five of his last six starts.

"It was a grind day," Shields said. "I wasn't getting ahead of hitters all day long, but that's a pretty good ball club over there. I minimized my damage as much as I possibly could today. We just came up one run short."

Wednesday, September 20 Scoreboard

New York Yankees 11, Minnesota 3

Oakland 3, Detroit 2

Miami 9, New York Mets 2

San Francisco 4, Colorado 0

Boston 9, Baltimore 0

Philadelphia 7, Los Angeles Dodgers 5

Pittsburgh 6, Milwaukee 4

Kansas City 15, Toronto 5

St. Louis 9, Cincinnati 2

Tampa Bay 8, Chicago Cubs 1

Washington 7, Atlanta 3

Houston 4, Chicago White Sox 3

Arizona 13, San Diego 7

Cleveland 6, Los Angeles Angels 5

Texas 8, Seattle 6


Thursday, September 21 Schedule (All Times Central)

Los Angeles Dodgers at Philadelphia, 12:05 p.m.

Cleveland at Los Angeles Angels, 3:07 p.m.

Tampa Bay at Baltimore, 6:05 p.m.

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

Minnesota at Detroit, 6:10 p.m.

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

Washington at Atlanta, 6:35 p.m.

Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee, 7:10 p.m.

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

Texas at Seattle, 9:10 p.m.

Colorado at San Diego, 9:10 p.m.

Friday, September 22 Schedule (All Times Central)

Tampa Bay at Baltimore, 6:05 p.m.

St. Louis at Pittsburgh, 6:05 p.m.

New York Yankees at Toronto, 6:07 p.m.

Minnesota at Detroit, 6:10 p.m.

Boston at Cincinnati, 6:10 p.m.

Washington at New York Mets, 6:10 p.m.

Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee, 6:30 p.m.

Philadelphia at Atlanta, 6:35 p.m.

Kansas City at Chicago White Sox, 7:10 p.m.

Los Angeles Angels at Houston, 7:10 p.m.

Miami at Arizona, 8:40 p.m.

Texas at Oakland, 9:05 p.m.

Cleveland at Seattle, 9:10 p.m.

San Francisco at Los Angeles Dodgers, 9:10 p.m.

Colorado at  San Diego, 9:10 p.m.

Saturday, September 23 Schedule (All Times Central)

Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee, 12:05 p.m.

Los Angeles Dodgers at Houston, 12:05 p.m.

New York Yankees at Toronto, 3:07 p.m.

Cleveland at Seattle, 3:10 p.m.

Boston at Cincinnati, 3:10 p.m.

Minnesota at Detroit, 5:10 p.m.

Tampa Bay at Baltimore, 6:05 p.m.

St. Louis at Pittsburgh, 6:05 p.m.

Kansas City at Chicago White Sox, 6:10 p.m.

Philadelphia at Atlanta, 6:10 p.m.

Washington at New York Mets, 6;10 p.m.

Miami at Arizona, 7:10 p.m.

Colorado at San Diego, 7:40 p.m.

Texas at Oakland, 8:05 p.m.

San Francisco at Los Angeles Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.

Sunday, September 24 Schedule (All Times Central)

Minnesota at Detroit, 11:10 a.m.

New York Yankees at Toronto, 12:07 p.m.

Boston at Cincinnati, 12:10 p.m.

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

Tampa Bay at Baltimore, 12:35 p.m.

Philadelphia at Atlanta, 12:35 p.m.

St. Louis at Pittsburgh, 12:35 p.m.

Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee, 1:10 p.m.

Kansas City at Chicago White Sox, 1:10 p.m.

Texas at Oakland, 3:05 p.m.

San Francisco at Los Angeles Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.

Cleveland at Seattle, 3:10 p.m.

Miami at Arizona, 3:10 p.m.

Colorado at San Diego, 3:40 p.m.

Los Angeles Angels at Houston, 7 p.m.