A five-run second inning based on bunts, bad fielding and a timely homer helped the Chicago Cubs get past the Cardinals in a 6-3 final, tying this National League Division Series up at one game each. The series shifts to Chicago for games three and four on Monday and Tuesday.
Matt Carpenter put the Cardinals up 1-0 in the first when he hit a 1-2 offering from Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks to deep right center field.
The Cubs scored five runs in the second on three balls that never made it out of the infield. A squeeze bunt by Hendricks that Jaime Garcia misplayed and threw away to first, then another bunt by Addison Russell and a high chopper by leadoff hitter Dexter Fowler all led to runs scored. That was all followed up with a two-run shot by Jorge Soler, putting the Cubs up 5-1.
Garcia left the game after two innings battling a stomach virus after allowing five unearned runs. The Cubs tacked a run on projected game four starter Lance Lynn who pitched the third…with 23 pitches thrown, Lynn could conceivably pitch again on Tuesday.
Mike Matheny said he found out that Garcia didn’t feel well about an hour before the game. “It was his fielding that did this,” said the Cardinals’ manager.
Matheny said even if Garcia was not ill, he would have been pulled.
The Cardinals got back to back homers from Kolten Wong and Randal Grichuk in the fifth inning to make it a 6-3 game. Wong tied the MLB record for consecutive postseason extra base hits at 9 with Miguel Cabrera & Jayson Werth, on his home run.
Hendricks’ day was finished after 4.2 innings with seven strikeouts and three homers allowed.
Adam Wainwright worked out of a first and third, one out jam in the seventh, coming in for Seth Maness. He got Anthony Rizzo to line out to third and Starlin Castro to ground out to second. He then came on in the eighth and struck out the side.
Five relievers held the Cubs to two hits and three walks in seven innings of work.