Lars Nootbaar hit a tying sacrifice fly in the seventh inning and a game-ending RBI single in the ninth, sending the St. Louis Cardinals to a 4-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Thursday in the opener of a split doubleheader.
St. Louis trailed 3-0 before rallying in the seventh against Marcus Stroman. Nolan Gorman and Paul Goldschmidt hit back-to-back homers before Nolan Arenado doubled and scored on Nootbaar's flyball to center.
Arenado and Paul DeJong walked with one out in the ninth against rookie Erich Uelmen (0-1). Nootbaar then drove in Arenado with a liner to right on a 2-2 pitch.
Nootbaar said he thought Arenado would be able to score the winning run. Arenado's slide beat the tag by catcher Willson Contreras.
Ryan Helsley (6-1) got three outs for the win, helping the Cardinals pull within a half-game of Milwaukee for the NL Central lead.
Contreras homered for Chicago, which dropped its fourth straight game. Stroman was charged with three runs and five hits in 6 2/3 innings.
The doubleheader was scheduled after Wednesday night's game was postponed by rain. St. Louis improved to 5-2 in its four doubleheaders this season, and Chicago dropped to 1-8 in its five doubleheaders.
Contreras, who was the subject of trade rumors ahead of Tuesday's deadline, hit a solo drive in the first for his 15th homer.
The Cubs added two more in the sixth against Miles Mikolas. Contreras doubled and scored on Seiya Suzuki's single, and Patrick Wisdom added a sacrifice fly.
Mikolas allowed seven hits, struck out six and waked one in 6 1/3 innings.
Rafael Ortega had three hits for Chicago, and Nico Hoerner went 2 for 4.
Newly acquired Jose Quintana won in his debut with St. Louis, Tyler O'Neill and Nolan Arenado homered and the Cardinals beat Chicago 7-2, completing a doubleheader sweep of the Cubs on Thursday night.
The Cardinals won the opener 4-3 as Lars Nootbaar hit a tying sacrifice fly in the seventh inning and a game-ending RBI single in the ninth.
Quintana, traded from the Pittsburgh Pirates to St. Louis on Monday, surrendered one run, one hit and two walks and struck out seven batters in six innings in a no-decision debut with the Cardinals, who have won four straight and are tied for first place in the NL Central with Milwaukee.
Jordan Hicks (3-5) allowed a run on a hit and two walks, and Genesis Cabrera and Chris Stratton each tossed a scoreless inning in relief in the combined two-hitter.
Sean Newcomb allowed two runs on five hits in three innings serving as an opener in his first major league start since Aug. 10, 2020, at Philadelphia as a member of the Braves.
O'Neill hit a three-run home run, his sixth of the season, off Kervin Castro (0-1) in the bottom of the seventh inning to break a 2-all tie.
Nelson Velazquez tied the game when he drove in Patrick Wisdom on an infield single that ricocheted off Hicks' glove in the top of the seventh.
Arenado hit his 21st home run of the season into the third deck in left field to give the Cardinals a 2-1 lead.
Wisdom hit his 20th home run of the season in the first inning against his former team.
Cubs lefty Justin Steele (4-7, 3.86 ERA) will make his 20th start of the season in the opener of a three-game series against Miami. Miami has not announced a starting pitcher.
Cardinals RHP Dakota Hudson (6-6, 4.10 ERA) will square off against Yankees LHP Nestor Cortes (9-3, 2.53 ERA) in the opener of a three-game set.