(BaseballStL) — Just like Saturday’s affair, the Cubs struck early. Also in a familiar turn, it was a home run that put Chicago up in the first inning, but the Redbirds were able to fight their way back despite the rain delay.
While Junior Lake took Adam Wainwright’s first pitch out of the park yesterday, it was Michael Wacha’s 16th offering that Anthony Rizzo sent into the bullpen. It would score two, as Justin Ruggiano singled before Rizzo’s blast.
The Cardinal righty leaned on his fastball early, throwing 14 before the homer and 10 straight leading up to it.
Following the two runs, he struck out the next two Cubs batters on three pitches.
The Redbirds made noise with their bats in the second with a lead-off walk to Allen Craig. Wacha then executed a perfect sacrifice bunt to move Craig and Jhonny Peralta, who singled following Craig’s walk, both into scoring position. Carpenter then singled in RBIs number 9 and 10, tying the game at 2.
Cubs starter Edwin Jackson would continue to struggle in the second as Kolten Wong continued his hot hitting streak by stroking a single to right field to score Carpenter.
Rain fell in the bottom of the third to bring play to a halt, but both starters went back out to the mound after a 46 minute rain delay. But it was Wacha who yielded the first run after the delay. After a single from Lake and a hit by pitch, Welington Castillo hit a two out single to tie the game at 3.
“One of the more impressive things was [Michael] having a delay there, staying sharp and coming back out,” said manager Mike Matheny, “But I think he’s getting used to that.”
With his speed, Peter Bourjos turned a lead-off drive to right field into a triple and scored on Carpenter’s sacrifice fly.
Both Jackson and Wacha would match innings through the sixth until the Cubs threatened when Mike Olt hit a double to begin the seventh inning. Wacha would get Castillo to strike out looking before Matheny lifted him for Kevin Siegrist, who was able to pitch around the double. Siegrist ended up pitching a scoreless 1.2 innings, striking out 2.
Wacha’s day ended with 6.1 innings pitched allowing 3 earned runs on 5 hits and fanning 8 batters. The biggest blemish on the day for Wacha was giving up the homer to Rizzo.
The Redbirds would add important insurance runs in the eighth with hits from Molina, Allen Craig and Jhonny Peralta and help from a Cub error. Those two runs would prove to be necessary as the Cubs were able to get to Trevor Rosenthal in the ninth. The closer gave up one run, but was able to strand two runners on base to get the save.