Local Sports

Cardinals Rally Past Cubs For Series Sweep, Postseason Birth

Paul Goldschmidt hit a tiebreaking double in the ninth inning and the Cardinals clinched a playoff spot by rallying past the Chicago Cubs 3-2 on Sunday for their first four-game sweep at Wrigley Field in almost a century.

 

NL Central-leading St. Louis qualified for October for the first time it won the division in 2015. It also stayed three games ahead of Milwaukee.

 

It was the fifth consecutive win for the Cardinals, who came back for a 9-8 victory Saturday on consecutive homers by Yadier Molina and Paul DeJong against Craig Kimbrel in the ninth.

 

Pinch hitter Jose Martinez sparked the winning rally with a leadoff triple that glanced off the glove of leaping center fielder Albert Almora Jr.

 

Dexter Fowler followed with a sacrifice fly, tying it at 2. After rookie Tommy Edman singled and stole second, Goldschmidt hit a grounder down the third-base line to put the Cardinals in front for good in the Cubs' rainy home finale.

 

Miles Mikolas pitched 7 2/3 innings of two-run ball and Tyler Webb (2-1) got the last out of the eighth for the win. Andrew Miller worked the ninth for his sixth save.

 

Nicholas Castellanos hit his career-high 27th homer for Chicago (82-74), which dropped four games back of the Brewers for the second NL wild card. The Cubs finished with a 51-30 home record after losing their losing their last six games at Wrigley.

 

It was the first four-game series sweep for St. Louis (89-67) at Chicago's famed ballpark since May 1921.

 

The Cubs were without Kris Bryant for most of the day after the slugger sprained his right ankle trying to beat out a double play in the third. He is scheduled for an MRI on Monday after X-rays taken at the ballpark were negative.

 

Adam Wainwright (13-9, 3.83 ERA) starts the opener of a three-game series at Arizona on Monday night. Wainwright is 4-0 in September, allowing one earned run in 27 innings. LHP Alex Young (7-4, 3.27 ERA) pitches for the Diamondbacks.

 

Following an off day, Kyle Hendricks (11-9, 3.37 ERA) starts the opener of a three-game set at Pittsburgh. RHP Mitch Keller (1-5, 7.74 ERA) pitches for the Pirates on Tuesday night.

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