CHICAGO • On Friday, the Cubs finally did what they hadn't in 100 years of playing at Wrigley Field.
They defeated Adam Wainwright.
Unbeaten at 6-0 in 16 previous appearances at the Friendly Confines, Wainwright fell behind quickly and then fell behind again as the Cubs eventually held on for a 6-5 victory Friday afternoon. The Cardinals righty brought a 25-inning scoreless streak into the game, and he didn't pitch back-to-back scoreless innings in his shortest outing of the season.
Wainwright allowed six runs on 10 hits through five innings.
"He’s been incredible consistent through this season so far," manager Mike Matheny said. "There are days when you’re just missing. Pitches that were just on the edge or must be from our perspective at least not where he wanted or not getting called, one of the two. Then you have to find more of the plate. When he did they put good swings on it."
Five of the first seven Cubs he faced reached base. Two walks led to a three-run rally in the third inning, and Anthony Rizzo capped the outing against Wainwright (5-2) with a solo homer in the fifth inning. Cubs catcher Welington Castillo had three doubles and went three-for-four in the game.
Less than a week ago, the three-run lead the Cubs took into the late innings would have seemed insurmountable for the Cardinals.
Stirring at the plate, the Cardinals had a better chance Friday.
In the eighth inning, as the Cubs' bullpen entered the fray for the first time, Matt Carpenter worked a walk to lead off the inning. The next swing taken by a Cardinal tightened the game to one run. Jhonny Peralta lofted a fat, over-the-plate pitch from righty Justin Grimm deep to center field. The ball carried over and beyond the seagulls that had flocked to Wrigley and landed in the basket that rims the top of the Wrigley walls.
The two-run shot was Peralta's seventh homer of the season.
"The power bats we have in this lineup, we're never out of it," rookie Randal Grichuk said.
Grichuk had his chest wrapped with ice after the game -- the result of crashing into the brick wall at Wrigley Field when trying to make a catch. The wall jarred the ball loose from his hands and led to a double. Grichuk said that he was sore but not worried. There's no ivy these days on the walls to cushion the outfielders.
The Cardinals got the tying run on base when Matt Holliday followed with a hard-shot single up the middle. He stayed at first base and watched the next three teammates fail to advance him even 90 feet. Two fly balls to center field sabotaged the inning.
Lefties Randy Choate, Tyler Lyons, and Kevin Siegrist allowed the Cardinals the chance to get back in the game with three consecutive scoreless innings of relief.
Siegrist struck out the side in the eighth.
• BOX SCORE: CUBS 6, CARDINALS 5
• CARDS TALK: GAME DAY THREAD VS. CUBS
Here are the updates Derrick Goold posted during today's game:
Cubs thumping: Waino unable to keep them down
Just as quickly as the Cardinals tied the game, the Cubs were able to take the lead back -- emphatically -- against the best pitcher the Cardinals have to offer in this series.
The Cubs seized on ace Adam Wainwright for three more runs in the third inning to snap a 2-2 tie and surge ahead for a 5-2 lead. Welington Castillo delivered a two-run double to punctuate the rally. In his first two at-bats of the game against Wainwright, Castillo has two double. Castillo's second double came with two outs in the inning and meant the difference between the Cubs taking a one-run lead in the inning and expanding to some breathing room at three.
Wainwright allowed his 10th hit of the game in the fifth inning.
Anthony Rizzo, the Cubs' first baseman, lunched a solo homer to open that inning. He's reached base in all three plate appearances against Wainwright and the top three batters in the Cubs' order have scored four runs and gone four-for-six with a walk against the Cardinals' ace.
Through five innings he's allowed six runs, all earned.
The Cubs lead 6-3.
Cubs lefty Travis Wood has allowed five hits and two earned runs in the game, but he's minimized the Cardinals' damage by not allowing a walk and muzzling the middle of the Cardinals' order. Including an RBI double from Jhonny Peralta that tied the game earlier, Wood has held the top four batters in the Cardinals' order to two hits in 11 at-bats.
Yadier Molina scored on an error in the fourth to momentarily put the game without a couple runs of the Cardinals.
Tyler Lyons was warming up in the bullpen for long relief.
He has since been replaced by lefty Randy Choate at the top of the sixth. Choate is speeding through his warmups. Wainwright's spot comes up sixth in this inning.
Cubs snap Wainwright's scoreless streak
It didn't take long for the Chicago Cubs to halt Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright's run of zeroes.
It didn't take long for the Cardinals to answer.
Five of the first seven batters Wainwright faced this afternoon at Wrigley Field reached base and the first two in the bottom of the first inning scored for an early 2-0 lead against the righty. Wainwright brought a 25-inning scoreless streak to the ballpark and by the time the third batter had come to the plate it had vanished. Anthony Rizzo struck with two teammates on and no outs for a two-run single.
Wainwright pitched out of a mess in the second inning as well. The first two batters of the inning reached and got into scoring position before Wainwright had an out.
Randal Grichuk nearly made a double-stealing catch in right-center field before the ball jarred loose as he crashed into the not-so-ivy-covered brick walls at Wrigley.
Wainwright bent. But the inning didn't break.
He retired three batters in order, including a strikeout of Emilio Bonifacio on a curveball in the the dirt to end the inning.
That zero Wainwright threw against the Cubs gave the Cards time.
Grichuk doubled down the line and was caught between second and third on a groundball. But the Cardinals salvaged the inning for a tie game. Matt Carpenter's two-out RBI single and Jhonny Peralta's double off the wall in center field brought the game back to Wainwright, tied 2-2. Carpenter's RBI single up the middle scored Mark Ellis, and Carpenter took second on the throw to score easily from second on Peralta's double.
Taveras, Jay, Bourjos and a center of attention
A 15-game hitting streak, a bat that flashes for both average and power, and now the chance to show he can play in center field.
The elements are aligning for Oscar Taveras.
But there is one final trigger for his promotion to the majors.
"Oscar is checking off all of the boxes," manager Mike Matheny said this morning at Wrigley Field. "He’s doing everything he can do right now. I’d like to see all of our guys stay healthy. If an opportunity comes up we’ll figure out what’s best for him. ... They’re just trying to keep him going not knowing what it would look like up here. Some outfielders are doing a pretty good job. Knowing there probably wouldn’t be an extended amount of playing time as far as everyday goes. For him to just keep going, keep progressing forward."
Taveras had another hit and an RBI in Memphis' rally for victory on Thursday. The Redbirds flew early this morning for Colorado Springs, where they open a series tonight. Taveras is batting .359 and slugging .641 over his previous 10 games.
The ankle injury has faded from being an issue.
Randal Grichuk's promotion has cleared the way for Taveras to show that he's serviceable in center and can find playing time there.
The roster move that gets Taveras to the majors is not a difficult one for the Cardinals. It could be as simple as suggesting that Grichuk needs to get more regular, priority playing time than he's getting in the majors. An injury could open the way for Taveras. If he can play center, the playing time could be there as well.
Center is the Cardinals' position in flux.
True to what Matheny said all winter -- the team should not and has not discounted Jon Jay, who has emerged as the regular in center ahead of Peter Bourjos, the player acquired to be the everyday starter. This afternoon against the lefty Travis Wood, the lefty-hitting Jon Jay is getting a start ahead of Bourjos. That has more to do with Jay's success against Wood than anything Bourjos related. But it does mean one less day against a lefty that Bourjos could have started. In right field today, Grichuk starts. Grichuk has started ahead of Bourjos in center.
Jay is 10-for-22 with only strikeout against Wood.
Matheny would not commit to when Bourjos will next start.
Jay and, it appears, Grichuk have the edge as of today.
And Oscar is coming.
"He’s going to get opportunities," Matheny said of Bourjos. "Start seeing success that certain guys have had, the kind of at-bats Jonny took in the last couple games, try to stay with Randal Grichuk and that he’s been playing on a consistent basis and doing a good job in Triple-A. We’re going to try to keep that going."
Also from this morning:
-- Joe Kelly threw lightly off the mound and will try to do it again in a couple days. He said the hamstring is still experiencing fatigue rapidly. Asked if Kelly could contribute at some point on this road trip, Matheny gave several reasons why that was unlikely.
-- Tyler Lyons will be in the bullpen today.
Wainwright takes shutout streak into Friendly Confines
Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright, one hyperextended knee away from already having a couple shutouts this season, takes his 25-inning scoreless streak into birthday-boy Wrigley Field this afternoon.
The Confines have been oh-so Friendly to Wainwright.
The Cardinals' righty has not lost a start at Wrigley Field, which celebrates its 100th birthday this season. In 16 games (11 starts) against the Cubs at their North Side ballpark, Wainwright is 6-0 with a 3.72 ERA. He has thrown 75 innings in front of the ivy and struck out 74 Cubs.
The Cardinals are going with Wainwright today on standard rest, downshifting briefly to a four-man rotation until the fifth starter is needed in Atlanta next week. Wainwright will pitch opposite lefty Travis Wood today, and the Cardinals are unpacking a lefty-ready lineup, right down to Randal Grichuk in the outfield.
Allen Craig, fresh from a four-hit day, goes back to cleanup.
Here's the lineup that will back Wainwright:
1. Matt Carpenter, 3B
2. Jhonny Peralta, SS
3. Matt Holliday, LF
4. Allen Craig, 1B
5. Yadier Molina, C
6. Jon Jay, CF
7. Randal Grichuk, RF
8. Mark Ellis, 2B
9. Adam Wainwright, P
1. Bonifacio, 2B
2. Valbuena, 3B
3. Rizzo, 1B
4. Castro, SS
5. Schierholtz, RF
6. Sweeney, CF
7. Castillo, C
8. Kalish, LF
9. Wood, P
Check back throughout the afternoon here at C-Beat and STLtoday.com for ongoing coverage of the Cardinals-Cubs game at Wrigley. There will be news, notes, anecdotes, analysis, running gamer, perhaps even a few malaprops and typos. Watch for them carefully.