ST. LOUIS -- Allen Craig didn't start for just the fourth time in 73 games this season. But with a chance to blow Thursday night's game open, St. Louis manager Mike Matheny called on his leading RBI man.
Pinch-hitting for starting pitcher Lance Lynn
, Craig delivered a two-run single with the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth inning as the Cardinals posted a 6-1 win over the Chicago Cubs
at Busch Stadium.
Lynn (10-1) allowed just three hits and one run over six innings to join teammate Adam Wainwright
and Washington's Jordan Zimmermann
as the National League's only 10-game winners.
Lynn fanned six and walked two, improving his career mark against Chicago to 5-1.
Leading 2-1 as the sixth inning started, St. Louis (47-26) got a leadoff homer from Matt Holliday
, his 11th of the year. The Cardinals loaded the bases with two outs, and Matheny hooked Lynn for the .308-hitting Craig.
After working a full count against reliever Hector Rondon, Craig flicked an outside fastball into right field, scoring Yadier Molina
and David Freese
to give him 55 RBIs. Matt Carpenter tacked on an RBI single to cap the four-run outburst.
St. Louis took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second against Scott Feldman (6-6) on Freese's groundout that scored Molina. Molina had walked to start the inning and moved to third on Matt Adams' double to center.
Chicago (29-42) answered immediately in the third as Welington Castillo launched a first-pitch fastball from Lynn over the wall in deep left-center. It was just Castillo's second homer of the year.
The Cardinals regained the lead in their half of the third on Holliday's RBI single, which skidded off and under the glove of shortstop Starlin Castro to score Carpenter from second.
In the fifth, the Cubs filled the bases with two outs, but Lynn wriggled out of trouble when he got Castro to foul out to Molina.
NOTES: St. Louis RHP Chris Carpenter, who hasn't pitched this year due to a balky right shoulder, has experienced back pain this week. It's kept him from facing hitters or throwing as he tries to rehabilitate for a possible minor league assignment this summer ... When Chicago LF Alfonso Soriano belts his next homer, it will be the 380th of his career, moving him out of a tie for 64th all time with Orlando Cepeda and Tony Perez ... Trevor Rosenthal's two strikeouts in the eighth inning Wednesday night marked the 25th multi-strikeout game in 53 games, the most by any Cardinals reliever in the first 53 games of his career.
- Sports & Recreation
- Chicago Cubs
- Lance Lynn
- Mike Matheny
- Yadier Molina