CHICAGO (AP) — Pinch-hitter Victor Caratini hit a tiebreaking bases-loaded double in Chicago’s four-run sixth inning and the Cubs rallied to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 9-4 Saturday night.
Hitting for starting pitcher Jon Lester with the bases loaded, Caratini lined the first pitch from John Gant to left field. Marcell Ozuna attempted a sliding catch, but the ball dropped and rolled to the wall, allowing three runs to score.
Kyle Schwarber followed with a double to drive in Caratini, and the Cubs won for the fifth time in six games since being swept in a three-game series at St. Louis last weekend.
Schwarber’s 12th homer tied it at 4 in the fourth. Javier Báez had a triple and two RBIs as Chicago remained percentage points ahead of Milwaukee in first place in the NL Central.
Lester (5-4) was hit hard early, allowing all four St. Louis runs in the first inning on long homers by Ozuna and Harrison Bader. The 35-year-old left-hander settled down and retired the last 11 hitters he faced in five-hit, six-inning outing. It was Lester’s second straight win following a three-game slump in which he was 0-3 with a 10.29 ERA.
Three Cubs relievers combined to set down the next eight St. Louis hitters in order before Kolten Wong struck out swinging, but reached on a passed ball in the ninth against Tyler Chatwood.
John Brebbia (1-3), the first of five St. Louis relievers, allowed two runs in 1 1/3 innings and took the loss.
Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty labored in a 3 2/3-inning no-decision, allowing four runs on five hits and three walks.
The Cardinals jumped ahead 4-0 in the first. With two runners on, Ozuna crushed a 3-0 pitch through a steady wind and off the metal roof of an enclosed viewing area deep in the center field batter’s eye. The ball landed with a thud that could be heard throughout Wrigley Field.
Jose Martinez flew out to the wall in left, then Bader launched the first pitch he faced over the left-field bleachers and onto Waveland Avenue.
The Cubs cut it to 4-2 in the bottom of the inning. Chicago loaded the bases with none out, then picked up runs on Báez’s force out and a single by Willson Contreras.
Báez tripled home Anthony Rizzo from first with none out in the third, cutting the score to 4-3.
Schwarber capped an 11-pitch at-bat by lining his 12th homer to right in the fourth to tie it 4-all.