August 2, 2019 / 2:39 AM / 24 days ago

Flaherty, 'pen combine on 1-hitter as Cards rout Cubs

EditorsNote: Tweaks head; corrects Castellanos breaking up no-hitter on 2-2 count; fills out Lester’s line; corrects to Cubs playing 18 games since break

Aug 1, 2019; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant (17) throws to first for an out against the St. Louis Cardinals during the third inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports

Jack Flaherty took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, allowed one hit in seven outstanding innings and combined with two relievers on a one-hitter as the St. Louis Cardinals continued their surge with an 8-0 victory over the visiting Chicago Cubs on Thursday night.

The Cardinals won for the 17th time in 25 games and improved to 14-6 since the All-Star break by collecting 14 hits.

Flaherty (5-6) lost his no-hit bid on his 81st pitch when Nicholas Castellanos lined a clean single to right field on a 2-2 fastball. The right-hander recovered by striking out Kris Bryant and easily breezed through the seventh.

It was the second time this season Flaherty took a no-hitter into the sixth or beyond. He also had a no-hit bid for 6 1/3 innings in San Francisco on July 7 before allowing a solo homer to Evan Longoria for the game’s only run.

Flaherty struck out nine, walked two and threw 65 of 98 pitches for strikes on a night in which only one Cub reached scoring position against him. Tyler Webb and Mike Mayers pitched a hitless inning apiece to finish off St. Louis’ first one-hitter since Jaime Garcia against Milwaukee on April 14, 2016.

The Cardinals’ starter walked Castellanos two batters in and a wild pitch allowed Castellanos to get to second. But after Castellanos walked, Flaherty retired 13 straight before allowing a four-pitch walk to Kyle Schwarber in the fourth.

The Cardinals held a 2-0 lead on singles by Jose Martinez in the first and Kolten Wong in the fourth before Flaherty lost his no-hit bid.

St. Louis busted the game open with a four-run sixth against Jon Lester (9-7) and Derek Holland. A single by Paul Goldschmidt and a double by Paul DeJong put runners at second and third and an RBI base hit by Yairo Munoz knocked out Lester.

Five pitches later, Matt Wieters lifted Holland’s 2-2 sinker into the right field seats for a three-run homer to make it 6-0. St. Louis increased its lead to 7-0 on a sacrifice fly in the seventh by Munoz off Brad Brach and scored its final run in the eighth when Lane Thomas scored on a double-play grounder by pinch hitter Rangel Ravelo.

Lester allowed five runs on nine hits with six strikeouts and no walks in five-plus innings.

The Cubs lost for the seventh time in 10 games and did not hold a lead for the first time in their 18 games since the All-Star break. They also fell to 5-11 in their last 16 road games and 0-9-1 in their last 10 road series.

—Field Level Media

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