Miles Mikolas pitched six strong innings and Marcell Ozuna hit a grand slam as the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the visiting Chicago Cubs 6-2 on Saturday afternoon.
Ozuna homered in a six-run first inning for the Cardinals, who have won the first two games of the series and improved to 9-6 this season against the National League Central leaders.
Mikolas (11-3) allowed two runs on six hits. He walked one and struck out two to improve to 3-0 in five starts this month.
Right-handers Dakota Hudson, Jordan Hicks and Bud Norris combined for three innings of scoreless relief, with the only hit in that span a two-out single in the ninth by the Cubs’ Willson Contreras.
Javier Baez homered for the second consecutive day for the Cubs, who will attempt to avoid a three-game sweep Sunday night.
Cubs left-hander Jose Quintana (9-7), who had won his three previous starts this month, lasted just three innings, giving up six runs on six hits. He walked three and struck out two.
All of the runs Quintana allowed came in the first.
Matt Carpenter led off with a bunt single, and Yadier Molina lined a hit off the glove of Cubs third baseman Ian Happ. A walk to Paul DeJong loaded the bases before a walk to Jose Martinez brought home the game’s first run.
Ozuna then hit a 3-2 pitch over the wall in center field, his 11th home run of the season, to make it 5-0. Ozuna went 3-for-4.
After Tommy Pham looked at a called third strike for the first out, Dexter Fowler walked. Yairo Munoz lined a double to right, with Fowler scoring all the way from first.
The Cubs finally scored in the fourth. After Jason Heyward’s one-out single, Baez hit an 0-1 pitch from Mikolas out to right, his 21st of the season.
Cubs right-handers Jesse Chavez, Steve Cishek and Cory Mazzoni combined for five innings of scoreless relief, allowing only three hits with one walk and six strikeouts.
—Field Level Media