Paul DeJong hit a two-run homer and a sacrifice fly as the visiting St. Louis Cardinals rallied past the Chicago Cubs 8-5 Saturday for their team-record 15th straight victory.
Harrison Bader added a solo homer and RBI single as the Cardinals (86-69) reduced their magic number for reaching the National League wild-card game to three.
Ian Happ drove in three runs for the Cubs (67-88), who lost for the 12th time in their last 14 games.
Cardinals starting pitcher Jon Lester allowed four runs, three earned, on eight hits and three walks. Kwang Hyun Kim (7-7) earned the victory with a scoreless inning in relief.
Cubs starting pitcher Adrian Sampson held the Cardinals to two runs and three hits in his six innings. Reliever Codi Heuer (7-3) retired none of the four batters he faced and allowed the decisive runs in taking the loss.
The Cardinals struck first with Bader’s second-inning homer.
The Cubs responded by taking a 2-1 lead in the third inning as Willson Contreras hit an RBI double and Happ delivered an RBI single.
Tyler O’Neill tied the game 2-2 with a solo homer in the fourth inning.
But the Cubs moved ahead 4-2 in their half of the inning. Contreras hit an RBI single and Happ drew a bases-loaded walk.
Against Heuer in the seventh inning, Nolan Arenado hit a leadoff double and Yadier Molina, Bader and Lars Nootbaar followed with singles to tie the game 4-4.
Molina’s single was his 2,111th career hit, which moved him past Rogers Hornsby for third place in Cardinals history.
DeJong greeted reliever Scott Effross with a sacrifice fly to put the Cardinals up 5-4.
In the ninth inning, Bader hit a one-out double, stole third base and scored as Nootbaar struck out but reached first base on a wild pitch. DeJong’s homer then made it 8-4.
Happ’s solo homer in the bottom of the inning cut the lead to 8-5.
–Field Level Media
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