CINCINNATI (AP) — Dexter Fowler homered for the third straight game while Matt Carpenter and Paul DeJong also homered as the St. Louis Cardinals gained ground in their
National League playoff push with a 9-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night.
Tommy Pham finished with two doubles, a single and two RBIs and Yadier Molina added a two-run double as the third-place Cardinals (79-72) gained a game on Colorado in the wild-card race to move within 2 ½ games. St. Louis sits five games behind the Cubs in the NL Central chase.
Rookie right-hander Luke Weaver retired 10 straight batters in one stretch on the way to his seventh straight winning start, the major leagues’ longest active streak and the longest by a Cardinals pitcher this season. The 24-year-old allowed five hits and two runs with seven strikeouts in five innings.
Weaver (7-1) has fanned seven or more batters in each of his last seven starts. Relievers Zach Duke, Seung Hwan Oh, Sandy Alcantara and Sam Tuivailala teamed up to retire 12 of the final 13 Reds batters.
Rays 8, Cubs 1
ST. PETRSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Blake Snell gave up two hits in seven shutout innings and the Tampa Bay Rays ended the Chicago Cubs’ season-best seven-game winning streak 8-1 on Wednesday night.
The Cubs, who had not lost since being swept by the Milwaukee Brewers in a three-game series in Chicago on Sept. 8-10, are scheduled to open a four-game series in Milwaukee on Thursday night. They held a 3 1/2-game lead over the Brewers entering Wednesday.
Steven Souza Jr. hit his 30th home run in the first inning and the Rays added three more runs in the second off Jon Lester.
Wilson Ramos, who had three of Tampa Bay’s 10 hits, made it 7-0 with a two-run single in the fifth that knocked Lester (11-8) out of the game.
Lester, who had won three starts since coming off the disabled list on Sept. 2, gave up seven runs and eight hits with three walks in 4 1/3 innings.