MLB Cubs sock three homers, grab opener from Cardinals

Willson Contreras, Frank Schwindel and Ian Happ homered as the Chicago Cubs opened a five-game, four-day series against the visiting St. Louis Cardinals with a 7-5 victory on Thursday.

Schwindel went 3-for-4 with two RBIs for the Cubs, who won their third straight game. Keegan Thompson (6-0) remained unbeaten after allowing three runs on five hits over 5 1/3 innings. He walked three and struck out three.

Paul Goldschmidt extended his hitting streak to 24 games for St. Louis, which trailed 7-3 with one out in the ninth before Mychal Givens yielded Harrison Bader’s two-run homer.

Tommy Edman then grounded out and Goldschmidt struck out to end the game, snapping the Cardinals’ three-game winning streak.

The Cubs took an early lead in the first inning against St. Louis starter Matthew Liberatore (1-1). Christopher Morel hit a leadoff double, and Contreras followed with his third homer in the past four games.

Contreras is batting .367 (11-for-30) with four homers and seven RBIs during an eight-game hitting streak. He exited the game in the eighth inning after being hit by a pitch near his left ankle.

St. Louis pulled even in the third when Goldschmidt doubled home a run with two outs and scored on Nolan Arenado’s single to left field.

Goldschmidt has reached base safely in a career-high 38 consecutive games for the Cardinals, who were seeking their first six-game win streak at Wrigley Field since 1962.

Chicago moved ahead 4-2 after Liberatore yielded solo homers to Schwindel and Happ in the third and fourth innings, respectively.

Liberatore allowed four runs on six hits over 3 1/3 innings. He walked three and struck out one.

The Cubs tacked on a run in the fifth. After Schwindel and Nico Hoerner opened the frame with back-to-back singles against Nick Wittgren, Schwindel scored from second on Clint Frazier’s one-out single.

St. Louis threatened with one out in the sixth after Michael Rucker replaced Liberatore and walked Albert Pujols to load the bases. The Cardinals pushed a run across on Yadier Molina’s fielder’s choice before Lars Nootbaar flied out to left field to end the inning.

Chicago added two insurance runs in the eighth. Patrick Wisdom drew a bases-loaded walk from Kodi Whitley before Morel scored on Schwindel’s sacrifice fly.

–Field Level Media

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