Cubs' magic number 1 following win over Cardinals


With the loss, the Cardinals' hope for the NL Central division title is no more, and the Cubs magic number stands at one. Good game cubbies #nachoman #nachomanout'. While he threw just 58 of 103 pitches for strikes, Lester exhibited crisper stuff and better command as the evening progressed, retiring eight of the last nine batters he faced.

"Looking at it from the side, that seemed to knock him off track", Maddon said.

Baez went deep off Cardinals starter Luke Weaver in the top of the third inning and then tacked on a single in the top of the eighth before getting removed for late-sub Ian Happ.

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Adding injury to insult for St. Louis (81-75), All-Star catcher Yadier Molina left the game in the seventh after taking consecutive foul balls off the mask.

Colorado entered Monday leading Milwaukee by two games and St. Louis by 2 1/2, and the Cardinals are still 21/2 back after the Florida Marlins defeated the Rockies 5-4. St. Louis announced Molina is in concussion protocol. Chicago got off the mark with four two-out runs in the first.

Louis Cardinals meet Tuesday in Major League Baseball action at Busch Stadium on ESPN.

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Addison Russell ripped a three-run double down the right field line in the first, followed by Jason Heyward's RBI double to right-center.

Bottom Play (WPA): Willson Contreras flew out to left with one out in the first (-.044). The Cubs have scored 18 runs in their last three games and four or more runs in 10 of their last 13 games. The other was a pinch-hit homer by Luke Voit in the seventh off reliever Brian Duensing. Arrieta is 8-3 with a 2.06 ERA and 103 strikeouts in his career against the Cardinals.

He's still a pitcher who performs bright on the big stage, and St. Louis must win this game in order to stay in the wild card race. The Cardinals are 6-2 in Martinezs last 8 home starts vs. Cubs and the under is 3-1-1 in the last 5 meetings.

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Cardinals: Jose Martinez, who is out with sprained left thumb, will attempt to take some swings Tuesday to see if he can return to action this week.