CHICAGO – After being held to just two runs on six hits in Game 1, the Cubs were hoping to get their offense going to earn a split of a doubleheader at Wrigley Field on Saturday.
But a quintet of Cardinals pitchers had something else in mind.
After Adam Wainwright nearly went the distance for St. Louis in a 4-2 Game 1 victory earlier in the afternoon, Austin Gomber led a bullpen-heavy pitching effort for the visitors. He along with four other hurlers held the Cubs to just three hits and a single run in a 5-1 Cardinals’ victory on Saturday night at Wrigley Field.
Both wins trim the Cubs’ lead to just 2 1/2 games in the National League Central division as the teams head for the series finale on Sunday evening.
Gomber started the game and went 2 2/3 innings before handing things off Ryan Helsey, Genesis Cabrera, John Gant and Andrew Miller. While they did surrender six walks to the Cubs, they only let a runner get to second twice and third only once.
Back-to-back wild pitches helped get Nico Hoerner home on a David Bote groundout in the fifth inning, but that’s all the Cubs had going. The home team would only scratch out one hit in the final two innings in taking their second-straight loss.
Meanwhile, Colin Rae couldn’t get out of the third as St. Louis did all the damage they’d need in that time. Paul DeJong (solo) and Tyler O’Neill (two-run) each went deep off the pitcher in the second to make it 3-0. Three-straight singles to start the third, the last coming from Brad Miller, plated another run to make it 4-0.
Tyson Miller allowed another on a sacrifice fly by Harrison Bader in the fourth but it was insurance not really needed. The Cubs’ bats were no match for the Cardinals on Saturday, no matter a starter or reliever.