The Journal Gazette
Saturday, September 25, 2021 1:00 am


Streaking Cards tighten grip on 2nd NL wild card

Associated Press

CHICAGO — The surging St. Louis Cardinals emphatically matched a team record with their 14th straight win on Friday night, pounding Chicago Cubs 12-4 in the second game of doubleheader behind Tyler O'Neill's three-run homer and a pair of solo shots by Lars Nootbaar.

Harrison Bader added a solo drive, double and single as St. Louis batters went deep five times in the nightcap to sweep the twinbill and equal a run set in July 1935. The win streak has rocketed the Cards into control of the second NL wild card, leading Philadelphia by five games.

Paul DeJong also went deep and Nootbaar added a single for three hits in his first multihomer game as St. Louis pulled away. O'Neill's homer was his 31st of the season, second of the day and 10th in September.

The Cardinals powered past the Cubs 8-5 in the opener, riding O'Neill's and Paul Goldschmidt's 30th homers and Josť Rondon's pinch-hit two-run shot.

O'Neill, a 26-year-old Canadian enjoying a breakout season, followed up with a drive to left center in the second inning of the second game to put St. Louis ahead 6-2. Goldschmidt added a pair of singles and an RBI double in the nightcap to give the veteran first-baseman 11 hits — including four homers —in 18 at-bats in his last four games.

Patrick Wisdom launched his 28th homer and fellow Cubs rookie Frank Schwindel extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a double and a single. Chicago lost its fourth straight and eighth in nine.

PHILLIES 8, PIRATES 6: In Philadelphia, Didi Gregorius hit a go-ahead, three-run home run in the seventh inning, and Bryce Harper had an RBI double as Philadelphia Phillies pulled closer to first place in the NL East.

Philadelphia moved within a game of first-place Atlanta after the Braves lost 6-5 to San Diego in the completion of a suspended game that was halted in the fifth inning July 21. The Braves were set to play their regularly scheduled game at San Diego later Friday night.

The Phillies bullpen tied a major league record with its 34th blown save, but Philadelphia still won its fourth straight and eighth in 10 games. Brad Miller also went deep, Hector Neris (4-6) pitched 12/3 scoreless innings and Ian Kennedy earned his 26th save and 10th since joining the Phillies at the trade deadline with a scoreless ninth.

RAYS 8, MARLINS 0: In St. Petersburg, Florida, Ryan Yarbrough gave up two hits over six innings of relief to lead AL East-leading Tampa Bay.

The Rays got three RBI apiece from Randy Arozarena and Bishop Luers graduate Kevin Kiermaier, who was a homer short of the cycle.

Tampa Bay, which clinched a postseason spot Wednesday, has a magic number of two to secure its second consecutive AL East title.

YANKEES 8, RED SOX 3: In Boston, Gerrit Cole took a two-hit shutout into the sixth inning and Giancarlo Stanton hit a three-run homer as New York snapped Boston's seven-game winning streak.

The Yankees pulled within one game of the Red Sox atop the AL wild-card standings.

Boston holds the first AL wild card, with the Yankees a game back and in position for the second spot. Toronto entered one game behind New York.

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