Game Report: Cubs 3, Cardinals 1

The Cardinals remained a half-game out of a wild card playoff spot after Sunday night’s loss to the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

The loss dropped the Cardinals 1 ½ games behind the Mets in the race for the two wild-card spots. They are a half-game behind the Giants but are tied with San Francisco in the loss column. The Cardinals have seven games left in the regular season.

David Ross homered off Carlos Martinez to break a scoreless tie in the fifth inning and send the Cubs to the win, which gave them the edge in the season series over the Cardinals, 10 games to nine.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: The Cardinals managed only two hits through the first six innings off Jon Lester, the probable game one starter for the Cubs in the Division Series. Yadier Molina doubled with one out in the second and Jose Martinez, getting his first major-league start in left field, led off the sixth with a single but was erased in a double play … Martinez scored the only run of the game for the Cardinals after he drew a leadoff walk in the eighth, went to third on a single by Matt Carpenter and scored on a single by Jhonny Peralta, the Cardinals’ only hit in nine at-bats with a runner in scoring position … Randal Grichuk drew a two-out walk off Aroldis Chapman in the ninth but Martinez took a called third strike to end the game after fouling off three pitches times at 102 or 103 miles an hour … Chapman extended his streak to 29 consecutive appearances, covering 29 1/3 innings, since he last allowed a run to the Cardinals in 2011 … Brandon Moss was 0-for-4 and is now hitless in his last 19 at-bats and Jedd Gyorko was 0-for-3 with a walk as his hitless streak reached 13 consecutive at-bats.

On the mound: Martinez had allowed just two hits before Ross, playing his final home game of the regular season, homered with one out in the fifth … Back to back doubles by Ben Zobrist and Addison Russell leading off the sixth inning produced the second run off Martinez, and the Cubs added an insurance run in the eighth on a single by Wilson Contreras off Jonathan Broxton.

Key stat
: Carpenter had been 0-for-12 in the series before his eighth inning single, continuing what has been a bad season for him at Wrigley Field. For the season, Carpenter was only 6-for-43 at Wrigley, a .139 average … Carpenter’s single also snapped an overall 0-for-15 streak, his longest hitless streak of the season.

Of note:
Aledmys Diaz, who was a childhood friend of Marlins’ pitcher Jose Fernandez in Cuba, did not play although he was on deck to pinch-hit if Jose Martinez had been able to reach base in the ninth inning … Carlos Martinez has allowed only four home runs to right-handed hitters in 321 at-bats this year, and two of them have been hit by David Ross … The Cardinals have now played 18 games since their last home run out of the cleanup spot, by Matt Adams (and a pinch-hit homer by Carpenter) on Sept. 6 … Matt Holliday is scheduled to see a hand specialist on Monday in St. Louis to try to determine if he will be able to play before the end of the regular season as he recovers from a broken right thumb. He has not been able to take batting practice without the thumb swelling … The Cardinals finished the season with a road record of 48-33.

Looking ahead: The Cardinals start the final homestand of the season on Monday with the first of four games against the Reds at Busch Stadium. Jaime Garcia will return to the starting rotation and will be opposed by Tim Adelman.