Luke Weaver pitched six strong innings as the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the visiting Chicago Cubs 5-2 Friday night in the opener of a three-game weekend series.
Paul DeJong went 3-for-3 with a triple and three RBIs for the Cardinals, who improved to 8-6 in the season series against the National League Central leaders.
Weaver (6-9) allowed two runs on eight hits. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out five to defeat the Cubs for the first time in four tries this season. He suffered a 7-2 loss last Saturday in Chicago in his previous start.
The Cubs, who have a major-league-best 33 comeback victories this season, came up empty against the St. Louis bullpen.
Right-handers Mike Mayers, Jordan Hicks and Bud Norris each pitched a perfect inning of relief for the Cardinals, with Norris earning his career-high 20th save of the season.
The only runs Weaver allowed came on solo homers to Anthony Rizzo in the third and Javier Baez in the sixth. It was Rizzo’s 14th homer of the season and Baez’s 20th.
Trailing 1-0, the Cardinals took the lead with two runs in the bottom of the third off Cubs starter Mike Montgomery.
With one out, Yadier Molina doubled to left and DeJong hit a run-scoring triple to right that went off the end of Jason Heyward’s glove and deflected off the wall. Jose Martinez lined a single to right to make it 2-1.
The Cardinals added three more runs in the fourth.
Dexter Fowler led off with a single to left, and Yairo Munoz grounded a single to right, sending Fowler to third. Fowler was thrown out at the plate on Weaver’s tapper back to the mound. With two outs, Molina lined a run-scoring double to left, and DeJong followed with a two-run single to center to increase the lead to 5-1.
Montgomery (3-4) allowed five runs on 12 hits in five innings. He walked one and struck out three.
—Field Level Media