Game Report: Cubs 3, Cardinals 2

By Rob Rains

The Cardinals’ six-game winning streak came to an end Friday night because of three swings of the bat, all of which resulted in home runs by the Cubs.

Willson Contreras hit two of the homers off Mike Leake and Tommy La Stella hit the other, off Brett Cecil, to give the Cubs the win Friday night at Busch Stadium.

It was only the second time in franchise history the Cardinals lost to the Cubs in St. Louis when three solo homers accounted for all of Chicago’s runs. The other time was on Sept. 19, 1979, in the second game of a doubleheader when Dave Kingman homered twice and Jerry Martin won the game with a homer in the 10th.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate:
The Cardinals had only two infield hits, both by Aledmys Diaz, in six innings against Eddie Butler, making his first start since being called up from Triple A Iowa … Randal Grichuk hit his fourth homer of the year, breaking an 0-for-18 slump, off Carl Edwards in the seventh but the Cardinals saw a would-be rally wiped out when Dexter Fowler was picked off first by Contreras to end the inning … Contreras gave the Cardinals their other run in the ninth when he threw wild to first after Kolten Wong struck out, which should have ended the game, allowing Grichuk – who had walked and stolen second – to score … Matt Adams then struck out to end the game with the tying run on second.

On the mound: Leake allowed just five hits over six innings but also walked three as he lost for the second time in seven starts. His ERA rose to 1.94 … Cecil, whose only out came on a line drive to right field, has allowed three homers to left-handed batters this season and has allowed one run in each of his last four games.

Key stat:
Leake allowed only one homer in his first 41 innings this season before giving up the two homers to Contreras in the span of three innings.

Worth noting:
GM John Mozeliak said Jhonny Peralta will be heading to Memphis in the next couple of days to begin a rehab assignment while outfielder Stephen Piscotty also will be going out to play a few games, probably in Springfield, beginning early next week … Tyler Lyons is scheduled to make a rehab start for Memphis on Monday … The last time Leake allowed two homers to the same batter in a game was Lucas Duda of the Mets on April 4, 2014 … Contreras is the fifth Cub since 1995 to hit two homers in a game in St. Louis, joining Sammy Sosa, Derek Lee, Jorge Soler and Anthony Rizzo … At Double A Springfield, Jack Flaherty raised his record to 6-0, allowing 2 runs in 6 innings at Arkansas. His ERA for the season is 0.99.

Looking ahead: Carlos Martinez will get the start in the second game of the series on Saturday while Jon Lester will start for the Cubs.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains