Cubs catcher Willson Contreras hit a tiebreaking two-run homer of Michael Wacha, and Chicago beat the Cardinals 5-3 on Sunday night. The loss snapped a personal four-game win streak for Michael Wacha as the Cardinals wrapped up this ten-game road trip 4-6. If there is a silver lining after this first trip back from the All-Star break, the Cardinals moved from down 5 1/2 games to 4 1/2 games in the division.
The downside is the Pirates moved past the Cardinals for third place and as the club returns home for a seven-game homestand, they face Colorado and Arizona, the wild card front runners from the NL West.
Coming off his first career shutout, Wacha (7-4) was charged with five runs and six hits in six innings in his first loss since May 30. The right-hander was 4-0 with a 1.01 ERA in his previous four starts. Wacha was up 3-2 in the fourth after a Paul DeJong homer, but Kyle Schwarber tied it in the bottom half of the inning. That was the score when Kris Bryant hit a leadoff double in the sixth. With one out, Contreras just cleared the wall in left for his 15th of the year to put the Cubs in front.
“I fell behind a couple of guys and didn’t make a pitch on a few guys when I needed to,” Wacha said. “That pretty much cost us.”
Randal Grichuk hit a two-run homer for the Cardinals. Since his return from the DL, he went 5-for-11 with three homers and five RBIs in this series.