Game Report: Cubs 5, Cardinals 3

The pattern of what happened again on Saturday at Wrigley Field has become all too familiar for Cardinals fans this season.

A two-run first inning gave the Cardinals the lead before the offense basically shut down and the Cubs rallied, winning the game on a grand slam by Kyle Schwarber off Mike Leake in the seventh inning,

In their last five games, the Cardinals have scored a total of 10 runs in the first two innings and three the rest of the game.

The grand slam by Schwarber, which was set up when Jon Jay was hit by a two-strike pitch, was the first by the Cubs against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field since Daryle Ward hit one off Anthony Reyes on Aug. 18, 2007.

Schwarber had been dropped to ninth in the Cubs order after his batting average had tumbled to .163.

In the first three innings this season the Cardinals have outscored opponents 88 to 47. In innings four through nine they have been outscored by opponents 165 to 121.

Here is how the game broke down:


At the plate: The Cardinals loaded the bases in the first inning with nobody out against Jon Lester on a walk, a bunt single and another walk before Jose Martinez, playing first base and batting fourth, singled in two runs. The inning died, however, when Yadier Molina failed in a bunt attempt before hitting into a double play and Jhonny Peralta popped out … The Cardinals stranded runners on second and third in the second, and had only one hit, a single by Peralta, before Molina hit his sixth homer of the year with two outs in the sixth … The only baserunner in the final three innings came on a one-out walk to Molina in the ninth … Peralta now has 53 at-bats this season without an RBI.

On the mound:
The Cubs’ first run off Leake came on a homer by Javier Baez leading off the third, one of only three hits Leake allowed in the first six innings … In the seventh, he gave up back-to-back one out singles and after striking out Baez, hit Jay with a two-strike pitch to load the bases … Kevin Siegrist was warming up in the bullpen, but Leake stayed in the game and Schwarber hit the first pitch into the left-field bleachers. It was the fourth grand slam allowed by Leake in his career.

Key stat: Leake has allowed 22 runs this season in his 11 starts. Half of those runs have scored in the first six innings of a game and the other half in the seventh or eighth innings, eight of the 11 in his last four starts.

Worth noting:
Opposing ninth-place hitters, most of them pitchers, had been 0-for-26 this season off Leake before Schwarber’s home run … The grand slam was the first allowed by the Cardinals to a ninth-place hitter at Wrigley Field since pinch-hitter Julio Zupata hit one off Alan Benes on June 5, 2001 … The last grand slam hit against the Cardinals by a ninth place hitter who was not a pinch-hitter was hit by Jermaine Dye of the Royals off Mark Petkovsek on Aug. 30, 1997 … With Jedd Gyorko returning from paternity leave on Sunday, Magneuris Sierra will be returning to Double A Springfield … In a minor-league roster move on Saturday, right-handed pitcher Zac Gallen was promoted from Palm Beach to Springfield.

Looking ahead:
Michael Wacha will get the start in the 6:30 p.m. game on Sunday night, which will be televised by ESPN. Kyle Hendricks will start for the Cubs, who will be trying to sweep the Cardinals in a series at Wrigley for the first time since 2006.