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Castro, Rizzo lead Cubs past Cardinals

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo homered and combined for seven RBIs and the Chicago Cubs earned their fifth straight win, beating the St. Louis Cardinals 8-5 in the middle game of a three-game series on Tuesday night.

The Cardinals have the best record in the majors at 87-51, but have dropped five of six. Their lead over Pittsburgh in the NL Central slipped to 4 1/2 games. The Cubs are 6 1/2 back and are second on the NL wild card race behind the Pirates.

St. Louis was down 8-0 before pinch-hitter Randal Grichuk sparked a five-run seventh with a two-run homer estimated at 451 feet in the seventh.

Jason Hammel (8-6) allowed three runs in six-plus innings for Chicago, which has won five in a row.

Michael Wacha (15-5) gave up six runs in four innings, his shortest outing of the season and on 10 days’ rest.