St. Louis Cardinals

Cubs start fast, then hold off Cardinals

CUBS 8, CARDINALS 5

Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run homer in the first and Starlin Castro hit a three-run homer in the second, both against Michael Wacha, to give Chicago a 6-0 lead. The lead went to 8-0 in the seventh before the Cardinals scored five runs in their half of the seventh. The rally fell short, however, and St. Louis lost for the fifth time in six games.

BY THE NUMBERS

Fourteen of the Cubs' 17 runs and 15 of their 23 hits in the first two games of the series have come in the first three innings. ... Wacha (15-5) allowed six runs (earned) in four innings, with three walks and two strikeouts. ... Jason Hammel (8-6) was the winner, permitting three runs (earned) in six-plus innings. ... The Cardinals' lead over second-place Pittsburgh was trimmed to 4 1/2 games. The third-place Cubs are within 6 1/2 games.

UP NEXT

Carlos Martinez (13-7, 3.04 ERA) vs. Jon Lester (9-10, 3.59 ERA), 12:45 p.m. Wednesday.

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