>>Arrieta Continues Strong July As Cubs Roll White Sox
Arrieta pitched two-hit ball into the seventh inning, and the Cubs beat the Chicago White Sox 8-3 to move into first in the NL Central.
After a disappointing start to the season, the Cubs (53-47) are roaring again. The reigning World Series champions moved a season-high six games over .500 and a half-game ahead of Milwaukee after trailing the Brewers by 5 1/2 games just two weeks ago.
Anthony Rizzo had three hits and four RBIs, helping the Cubs improve to 10-2 since the All-Star break. Jon Jay drove in a run and robbed Melky Cabrera of a hit with an outstanding diving catch in left-center.
Top prospect Yoan Moncada hit his first career homer and Alen Hanson also went deep, but the White Sox lost for the 11th time in 12 games.
Third baseman Yolmer Sanchez committed a costly error for the South Siders, and James Shields (2-3) lasted just four-plus innings.
With no outs and runners on first and second, Sanchez misplayed Kris Bryant's grounder for an error that loaded the bases. Rizzo followed with a drive to the base of the wall in center, making it 4-0 with a three-run double.
Arrieta (10-7) departed after Moncada's solo shot made it 6-2 with two out in the seventh. The 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner struck out five and walked two while improving to 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA in five July starts.
Kyle Schwarber singled in Rizzo in the fourth, and the Cubs broke it open with four runs in the fifth at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Cubs left-hander Jon Lester and White Sox right-hander Mike Pelfrey face off in the series finale. Lester (7-6, 3.95 ERA) is trying for his third straight win since he recorded only two outs in the shortest start of his career July 9 against Pittsburgh. Pelfrey (3-7, 4.46 ERA) is looking for his first victory since he pitched six effective innings in a 5-2 win against Toronto on June 17.
>>Cardinals Outlast Rockies
Carlos Martinez hit a run-scoring single to right to tie the game 4-all, kick-starting a five-run fourth-inning that turned a two-run deficit into a 7-4 lead en rout to a Cardinals' 10-5 victory over Colorado on Wednesday night.
Rookie Paul DeJong continued his hot hitting with a two-run homer in the first inning. It was his eighth of the month and set a franchise record for a rookie in July. His 14th homer of the season, in just 49 games, ties him for the team lead with Matt Carpenter, Tommy Pham and Jedd Gyorko.
Randal Grichuk went 4 for 5 with successive singles in his final four at-bats. Rookie Harrison Bader, in his second major league start, added three hits.
Martinez (7-8) struck out eight and gave up five runs and seven hits in six innings for his first win since June 16.
Nolan Arenado hit his 23rd homer for the Rockies who are 18-34 in St. Louis since the start of the 2010 season.
Gerado Parra gave the Rockies a 4-2 lead with a two-run double in the third.
St. Louis took the lead for good at 6-4 on a two-run double by Carpenter in the fourth.
Yadier Molina added a two-run double in the sixth to push the lead to 9-5.
Luke Weaver will be called up from Triple-A Memphis to start tonight against Arizona. Weaver will take the spot of Adam Wainwright, who was placed on the 10-disabled list on Tuesday with back stiffness. Weaver is 9-1 with a 1.91 ERA in 13 starts at Memphis.