June 18, 2018 / 3:55 AM / 2 months ago

Five Cardinals pitchers combine to shut out Cubs

Five Cardinals pitchers combined for a four-hit shutout Sunday night as the St. Louis avoided a series sweep from the Chicago Cubs with a 5-0 win at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

After starter Jack Flaherty battled through five innings, John Brebbia (1-1), Austin Gomber, Jordan Hicks and Bud Norris each handled an inning. Brebbia earned his first MLB win as the Cardinals snapped a four-game losing streak.

Jose Quintana (6-5) sailed through five scoreless innings before giving up singles to Harrison Bader and Tommy Pham to start the sixth. Quintana was charged with two runs on four hits, walking two and striking out three.

Flaherty permitted only two hits and fanned seven in his start, touching 97 mph on the radar gun and using a wipeout slider to dominate Chicago hitters. But he put himself in two bases-loaded jams by walking three, hitting two and committing a throwing error on a bad pickoff attempt.

Behind 2-0 on the count to Kris Bryant in the third with the bases full, Flaherty got a mound visit from catcher Yadier Molina. Three pitches later, Flaherty was walking off the mound after whiffing Bryant.

The Cubs loaded the bases again in the fourth, but Flaherty slipped a 3-2 fastball past Quintana for a called third strike. Those missed opportunities finally came back to haunt Chicago in the sixth.

A bases-loaded double play ball off Molina’s bat scored Bader with the first run. Jedd Gyorko laced an RBI single to center that plated Pham for a 2-0 lead.

Matt Carpenter touched Brian Duensing for a solo homer in the seventh, his 10th of the season.

Duensing hung a 1-2 curve over the middle and Carpenter lined it 369 feet into the front row of seats behind the right field wall.

St. Louis tacked on two more runs in the eighth. Molina’s hit-and-run double down the left field line plated Pham, and a throwing error by shortstop Addison Russell on Jairo Munoz’s infield hit scored Molina.

Chicago shortstop Javier Baez left the game in the third inning after getting hit on the left elbow by a Flaherty fastball. Baez will be X-rayed on Monday.

—Field Level Media

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