Game Report: Cubs 3, Cardinals 2

The most obvious reason the Cardinals lost to the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Friday was two fly balls which should have been caught but weren’t, leading to the final two Chicago runs.

A major contributing factor, however, was the fact the Cardinals did not have a hit after the second inning as their offense continued to struggle.

The Cardinals carried a 2-1 lead into the sixth inning when a fly ball which Stephen Piscotty lost in the sun fell in for a double, allowing the tying run to score. In the eighth, Magneuris Sierra misplayed a fly ball to left which turned into another double and eventually led to the winning run.

The Cardinals have scored three runs or less in eight of their last 11 games and have gone 4-7 over that stretch. The loss dropped them back to .500 at 26-26 for the season.

Here is how the game broke down:


At the plate: Dexter Fowler, after receiving his World Series ring from the Cubs in a pre-game ceremony, led off the game with a home run. It was the 11th time he had homered as the first batter in a game. It also was his eighth homer of the season, but the first he has hit on the road … Sierra’s RBI single in the second, following a single by Aledmys Diaz and a wild pitch, extended his hitting streak to begin his career to eight consecutive games. According to baseballreference.com, he is the first player to hit in his first eight games of his career with the Cardinals in records that date back to 1913 … Sierra’s hit was the last of the game for the Cardinals, whose other five baserunners all came on walks. The Cubs walked the bases loaded in the eighth but the Cardinals failed to score, the threat ending when Yadier Molina struck out.

On the mound:
Lance Lynn allowed just two hits in the first five innings, one of which was a homer to Kris Bryant in the third, his first hit in 15 at-bats against the Cardinals this season … Lynn was pulled after issuing back-to-back walks with one out in the sixth. Tyler Lyons got Jason Heyward to hit a fly ball to right but Piscotty lost it in the sun, scoring the tying run … Matt Bowman got out of the inning with a double play and pitched around a two-out double in the seventh … Trevor Rosenthal relieved to start the eighth and got leadoff hitter Anthony Rizzo to hit a fly ball to left but the misplay by Sierra turned into another double. Rizzo took third on a groundout to third and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Heyward … It was third consecutive game Cardinals pitchers allowed only five hits.

Key stat:
Matt Carpenter was 0-for-4, including a strikeout in the key eighth inning, to drop his average to .216. He has not had an RBI since hitting a two-run homer against the Giants on May 21. Since then he has gone 6-of-40, a .150 average.

Worth noting
: Fowler’s leadoff homer was the first hit by a Cardinal at Wrigley Field since Bobby Bonds did it on June 27, 1980 … With Jedd Gyorko on paternity leave, Jhonny Peralta started at third and was 0-of-4. He now has had 49 at-bats this season without driving in a run … The loss snapped a six-game losing streak for the Cubs. In their last seven games, they are just 4-of-44 with runners in scoring position … Lynn hasnot won a game at Wrigley Field since Sept. 27, 2013.

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