Game Report: Cubs 5, Cardinals 3

Except for one inning, Wrigley Field has not been a very friendly place for the Cardinals this season, and that was true again on Sunday night.

Home runs from Willson Contreras and Kyle Schwarber off Michael Wacha helped the Cubs to another victory, improving to 5-1 this season at home against the Cardinals.

The Cardinals’ only win in Chicago came on Friday, thanks to an historic nine-run eighth inning.

Except for that inning, the Cardinals scored seven runs in 26 innings this weekend, and except for that inning, the Cardinals have scored 18 runs in the rest of the six games in Chicago. In the six games, including the six hits in the eighth inning on Friday, the Cardinals have a composite .198 average at Wrigley Field (30-of-187).

The loss dropped the Cardinals to four games under .500 but they remained 4 ½ games out of first in the NL Central, where the Cubs and Brewers are now tied, with one week remaining before the trading deadline.

Here is how the game broke down:


At the plate: Randal Grichuk homered for the third consecutive game since being activated from the DL and Paul DeJong also homered for the second game in a row to produce all of the Cardinals’ runs … Both Grichuk and DeJong now have 12 homers this season … Grichuk’s two-run homer in the second followed a single by Molina, but Molina was thrown out trying to steal second immediately before DeJong’s homer in the fourth … The Cardinals had just one hit the rest of the game, an infield single by Grichuk in the seventh.

On the mound: The home runs gave Wacha leads of 2-0 and 3-2, but each time the Cubs responded to tie the game … In the sixth, Kris Bryant led off with a double and scored on the one-out homer by Contreras, his fifth homer against the Cardinals this season, to breakt the 3-3 tie. Contreras has the most homes of any player against the Cardinals this season … Seung Hwan Oh pitched the seventh and Tyler Lyons the eighth.

Key stat: Grichuk is now 12-of-30 (.400) against the Cubs this season with five homers and 10 RBIs. Against all other opponents he is 41-of-204 (.201) with seven homers and 25 RBIs.

Worth noting: Grichuk became the first Cardinal to homer in all three games of a series in Chicago since Albert Pujols in 2007; Chris Duncan also did it in 2006 … Matt Carpenter was thrown out at the plate in the first inning trying to score from first on a double by Jedd Gyorko, and left the game an inning later because of tightness in his right quad … Since the start of last season, Carpenter has a .133 average at Wrigley (8-of-60) and a .121 average against the Cubs (13-of-107) … The Cardinals’ Triple A affiliate, the Memphis Redbirds, improved to 30 games over .500 on Sunday at 65-35. Outfielder Tyler O’Neill played his first game since Friday’s trade from Seattle was 1-of-4.

Looking ahead: The Cardinals return home Monday to begin a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies, which will be followed by four games against Arizona. Mike Leake will get the start in the opener.