ST. LOUIS (AP) — Matt Carpenter hit a game-ending single against an unusual defensive alignment in the 10th inning, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 2-1 on Friday night.
The Cardinals won back-to-back games for the first time since April 30-May 1 and avoided the worst winning percentage for May in franchise history by going 9-18 (.333). They went 8-18 in May 1980.
Kolten Wong helped set up Carpenter’s clutch swing with a one-out double off Mike Montgomery (1-1) for the team’s lone extra-base hit. Dillon Maples then came in and walked Harrison Bader and Jedd Gyorko to load the bases.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon brought in Steve Cishek to face Carpenter, and put four players on the right side of the infield. But Carpenter drove in Wong with a fly ball that found the grass in the left field corner.
Cardinals right-hander Miles Mikolas gave up one run in seven innings. He allowed six hits and walked two while throwing 104 pitches, matching his season high.
Carlos Martínez pitched a perfect eighth for St. Louis, and Jordan Hicks (2-2) worked two scoreless innings. The last pitch Hicks threw in the ninth registered at 104.3 mph, which is the fastest in baseball this season.
Cubs starter Yu Darvish permitted three hits through six innings, but still picked up his sixth straight no-decision. He walked his first two batters, leading to Marcell Ozuna’s sacrifice fly.
Chicago had a chance to break the tie after Jason Heyward and Addison Russell led off the fourth with singles, but Mikolas got Albert Almora Jr. to ground into a double play to end the threat.
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo singled in the first to extend his hitting streak to 12 games, two shy of his career-high streak in June 2017.
Cubs: RHP Pedro Strop (left hamstring strain) could be activated as soon as Saturday, but Maddon said the team is still discussing the next move.
Cardinals: C Yadier Molina (strained right thumb tendon) was placed on the 10-day injured list. “It’s just a slight little tear between the thumb and the webbing, his right finger rather,” manager Mike Shildt said.
Left-hander José Quintana (4-4, 3.73 ERA) takes the mound for the Cubs on Saturday night against right-hander Jack Flaherty (4-3, 3.77 ERA). Quintana is looking to bounce back after allowing six runs in a loss to Cincinnati on Sunday. Flaherty threw six shutout innings in a no-decision at Atlanta on Sunday.