- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 9, 2015

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Jon Lester was dominant for seven innings. Unfortunately for the Cubs, their bullpen wasn’t.

Three relievers gave up three runs in the eighth and the St. Louis Cardinals rallied for a 4-3 win Wednesday.

The implosion prevented the Cubs, winners of their last five games, from sweeping the NL Central-leading Cardinals at Busch Stadium for the first time since September 2010.

Pedro Strop gave up two runs, Clayton Richard (3-1) gave up another and Fernando Rodney surrendered Stephen Piscotty’s go-ahead, two-run double.

“We have to finish that game up,” manager Joe Maddon said. “That’s what I’ve been talking about. Early in the season we lost a couple like that. We were behind one inning the whole series and that’s all that mattered.”

The Cubs still hold a solid lead for the second wild-card spot.

The loss spoiled a sharp outing for Lester. After giving up two hits in the first three batters he faced, Lester didn’t allow another hit.

“I felt good, cutter was better today,” Lester said. “I got away with a couple of pitches because of what we established early.”

Maddon was happy with how Lester rebounded from the shaky start.

“After that first inning his stuff kept climbing,” Maddon said. “I thought he kept getting better. Good velocity. Good cutter. Everything was good today for Jon.”

Lester also got his second career hit, both against St. Louis.

Chris Coghlan took advantage of Randal Grichuk’s compromised throwing arm to score the Cubs’ first run on Anthony Rizzo’s double. Grichuk, starting for the first time since straining his elbow Aug. 16, had to flip the ball to right fielder Jason Heyward, who threw it in allowing Coghlan to score from first.

Rizzo appeared to be caught in a rundown following his double, but Martinez failed to cover third, allowing Rizzo to take an extra base. Tommy La Stella followed with a two-out double to give the Cubs an extra run off Carlos Martinez.

Jonathan Broxton (2-4) got the win and Trevor Rosenthal picked up his 43rd save.

WEB GEM

Coghlan made a tough catch on a tailing flyball off the bat of Tommy Pham in the fifth. Coghlan made the grab in foul territory, and his momentum flipped him over the wall and into the crowd.

UP NEXT

Cubs: RHP Jake Arrieta (18-6, 2.03 ERA) takes the mound to kick off a four-game series Thursday at Philadelphia. Arrieta has a 17-inning scoreless streak and was the NL Pitcher of the Month for August.

Cardinals: LHP Jaime Garcia (8-4, 1.89 ERA) starts a 10-game road trip Thursday at Cincinnati. He is 5-0 with a 1.76 ERA since Aug. 1.


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide