Game Report: Cardinals 10, Cubs 4

After scoring just one run in the first inning in their previous 14 games, the Cardinals finally gave their starting pitcher an early lead on Saturday.

The Cardinals jumped on Jason Hammel for four runs in the top of the first inning and went on to defeat the Cubs at Wrigley Field, keeping pressure on the Mets and the Giants in the battle for the two wild-card positions. The Cardinals trail both teams by a half-game,

Yadier Molina drove in two of the runs in the first inning with a bases-loaded double and added a two-RBI single in the seventh, giving him his second four-RBI game this season, the other coming on Sept. 6 in Pittsburgh.

Alex Reyes took advantage of the early outburst to battle through five innings and raise his record to 4-1.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: Molina’s double came after a Cardinals challenge found that Matt Adams was hit by a pitch. The rally began with a two-out walk to Brandon Moss and concluded with a two-run single by Randal Grichuk … Stephen Piscotty hit his 22nd homer of the year in the second and Grichuk doubled in another run in the third … A three-run seventh blew the game open before Piscotty drove in the final run with a single in the eighth … Molina, Piscotty and Jhonny Peralta all had three-hit days … It was the 17th time this season the Cardinals scored 10 or more runs, the third most in the major leagues.

On the mound:
Reyes needed 115 pitches to get through the fifth inning, allowing two runs in the first on a triple to Ben Zobrist and another run in the second, when a leadoff walk came around to score … He did not have a clean inning as he allowed six hits and walked three while striking out six … Matt Bowman worked two scoreless innings and Zach Duke one before Wilson Contreras homered off Seung Hwan Oh in the ninth.

Key stat:
Molina had driven in a total of only four runs in his last 61 at-bats at Wrigley Field dating back to the 2014 season, a span of 17 games. It was his second career four-RBI game at Wrigley, the other coming on July 14, 2013 … He became the first Cardinal with two four-RBI games at Wrigley since Ryan Ludwick did it three times in 2009.

Of note:
It was the first time the Cardinals scored four runs in the first inning at Wrigley since Sept. 26. 2010, an inning that included a three-run homer from Albert Pujols … The four runs tied their most in the first inning in a game this season … The Cardinals have allowed at least one run in the first inning in their last five games.

Looking ahead
: The Cardinals will play their final road game of the regular season on Sunday night as Carlos Martinez pitches against Jon Lester.