Matt Carpenter made Cardinals history by homering in his sixth straight game Saturday night as St. Louis earned a split of a doubleheader by coming from behind for a 6-3 victory over the host Chicago Cubs in the nightcap at Wrigley Field.
The two teams have split the first four games of a rare five-game series. The Cubs won Saturday’s first game, 7-2. The doubleheader was necessitated by a rainout on Apr. 16.
Carpenter’s streak appeared endangered when he didn’t start the second game, but he entered the contest as part of a double-switch in the sixth and extended his record run in dramatic fashion an inning later, when he began the Cardinals’ comeback from a 3-1 deficit by homering off Randy Rosario.
Carpenter is the second player in franchise history to homer in six straight games but the first to do so in a single season. Mark McGwire homered in the final two games of the 1997 season and the first four games of his 70-homer 1998 campaign. The major league record for most consecutive games with a homer is eight, shared by Dale Long (1956), Don Mattingly (1987) and Ken Griffey Jr. (1993).
Carpenter, who hit three homers Friday, has eight homers and 12 RBIs during his streak. His seven homers in the last five games tie a team record previously set by Jim Bottomley from July 5-9, 1929.
Yairo Munoz tied the game with an RBI single in the eighth before Carpenter began the Cardinals’ winning rally by working a four-pitch walk leading off the ninth against Justin Wilson (3-3). Harrison Bader followed with a walk, after which Carpenter was forced at third on a bunt by Kolten Wong.
Paul DeJong, whose sixth-inning error at shortstop led to a three-run frame for the Cubs, then laced a tiebreaking RBI double. Tommy Pham provided insurance two batters later with a two-run double.
The rally made a winner out of Sam Tuivailala (2-3), who tossed a hitless eighth. Bud Norris earned his 18th save with a scoreless ninth.
DeJong lofted a sacrifice fly in the first and finished with two hits.
Tommy La Stella drew a bases-loaded walk, Anthony Rizzo delivered a run-scoring single and Kris Bryant drove in a run via a forceout in the sixth for the Cubs. Rizzo finished with four hits.
Cardinals starter John Gant allowed four hits and three walks while striking out two over five scoreless innings. Cubs starter Mike Montgomery allowed one run on five hits and two walks while striking out three over six innings.
—Field Level Media