Cubs win 11th straight, Szczur hits 2 HRs to rout Cardinals

Written by Muleskinner Staff

By MATT CARLSON
Associated Press
(CHICAGO, AP) — Matt Szczur hit two home runs and the Chicago Cubs won their 11th straight game, backing Jake Arrieta and battering Adam Wainwright to rout the St. Louis Cardinals 13-2 Friday.
Willson Contreras launched a three-run shot to cap a five-run second inning, and Javier Baez and Jorge Soler also went deep to make things easy for Arrieta (14-5).
The Cubs’ winning streak is their longest since a 12-game run in 2001. They pulled 14 games ahead of scuffling St. Louis in the NL Central and improved the best record in the majors to 73-41.
Szczur, who recorded his first multihomer game, and Kris Bryant each had three hits. The Cubs roughed up Wainwright (9-7) for seven runs and chased him after two innings, tying his shortest outing in 245 career starts.
Arrieta pitched one-run ball into the sixth inning and gave up four hits overall.
Stephen Piscotty and Jedd Gyorko homered for the Cardinals, who remain in a tight race for the second NL wild card despite dropping six of their last nine.
Arrieta delivered a second straight solid start in August after going 0-3 with two no-decisions and a 4.88 ERA in July. The 2015 NL Cy Young winner pitched eight shutout innings at Oakland last Saturday.
Wainwright hasn’t won since July 16 and is 0-2 in his last five starts. During that span, he’s allowed 21 runs in 25 2/3 innings.
Cardinals slugger Matt Holliday had his broken right thumb examined by the team’s hand specialist in Chicago and kidded with teammates in the clubhouse before the game. He’s out indefinitely after being hit by a pitch from the Cubs’ Mike Montgomery in the 10th inning Thursday night.
Holliday will be re-examined next week. He was replaced in left field by Brandon Moss.
The Cubs jumped on Wainwright early. Line-drive doubles by Bryant and Addison Russell drove in runs in the first to make it 2-0.
Bryant hit another RBI double in the second and Contreras sent his seventh halfway up into the left-center bleachers to make it 7-0.
Szczur and Soler hit solo homers in the sixth off Jerome Williams. Szczur and Baez added two-run shots in the seventh before Gyorko connected in the eighth.
TRAINER’S ROOM
Cardinals: Holliday will decide next week on treatments including surgery or letting the injury heal on its own, according to GM John Mozeliak. Neither Mozeliak or manager Mike Matheny could offer a specific timetable for the slugger’s return.
Cubs: OFs Dexter Fowler and Jason Heyward didn’t start. Manager Joe Maddon said both got the day off following Thursday night’s 11-inning win . RHP Trevor Cahill arrived at the Cubs clubhouse on Friday, but has not been activated from the DL after making six starts at Triple-A Iowa in a rehab stint (right knee tendinitis).
UP NEXT
Luke Weaver, a 22-year-old righty and one of the Cardinals’ top pitching prospects, will make his major league debut on Saturday against Kyle Hendricks (11-7, 2.17), who is 7-1 with a 1.06 ERA in his last 10 outings. Weaver took Holliday’s roster spot and was with the Cardinals on Friday following his recall from Triple-A Memphis, where he made his first start last Monday and threw six strong innings. Previously Weaver was at Double-A Springfield of the Texas League.