All About the Home Run: Cardinals Beat Cubs 4-1, Reds Snap Grilli’s Save Streak

In another strong performance by St. Louis Cardinals (46-26) Yadier Malina, he hit a two-run home run in Wednesday’s game against the Chicago Cubs (29-41) and broke the tie in the sixth inning to help his team get the 4-1 win.

Cardinals starting righty pitcher Jake Westbrook (3-2) pitched for seven innings without allowing any earned runs, two strikeouts and three walks. Edward Mujica contributed a perfect ninth inning performance and grabbed his 21st save over 21 attempts.

Yadier Molina

Yadier Molina

For the Cardinals, their play has some teammates at the top of MLB. Malina is the league’s top hitter with his .365 average while the pitching staff is second for ERAs (3.28).

Westbrook said of his teammate Malina, who he believes is the NL’s MVP, via MLB.com, “With the way he’s been hitting, but more importantly the way he’s handled us as a staff. He has a great game plan and he knows what he’s doing back there. Especially with all the young guys that we’ve had come up, including myself and [Adam Wainwright] as well. He’s helped us pitch a lot of good ballgames.”

The Cubs had Edwin Jackson (3-9) on the mound for the game. He pitched for 5 1/3 innings, giving up four earned runs from six hits. He had one strike out and two walks. His day came to end when he hit Jon Jay, who came up to bat after Molina’s homer.

The sole Cubs batter to get a run was Anthony Rizzo in the second inning.

The four-game series continues on Thursday night. Cardinals righty Lance Lynn (9-1), who sits at the top of the NL for wins, will take the mound. His only loss this season came against the Cubs back on May 7.

For Chicago, righty Scott Feldman (6-5) has pitching duty.

Yep, Cardinals get another win against the lowly Cubs on Thursday (-177, 7.5 o/u). Looking ahead to the World Series, they sit at +650 to win it.

Reds beat Pirates, 2-1

We all know good things must come to an end sometime and for Pittsburgh Pirates (42-30) pitcher Jason Grilli, his save streak snapped on Wednesday night. It was his first blown save of the year and an opportunity to tie the team’s record for saves to begin a season.

Jason Grilli

Jason Grilli

Grilli entered the game in the ninth inning as the Pirates led 1-0 against the Cincinnati Reds (44-29). After getting Brandon Phillips out, the second batter he faced, Jay Bruce, hit a homer off of him on the first pitch.

In the 13th inning, Phillips hit the game-winning single as the bases were loaded by his teammates.

For Bruce, he wasn’t the most likely player to end Grilli’s steak; he went to the mound with an 0-7 record and five strikeouts against the pitcher. His home run represented the fourth one in six games.

Grilli said of facing Bruce via The Associated Press, “I’ve had pretty good success against him. You feel horrible because the bullpen has been working a lot and we had to go extras and work harder. You lose a tough ballgame in an important series.”

Lefty Pirate Jeff Locke (6-1) started things out for the team, giving up four hits with three walks over seven innings.

The Reds had righty Bronson Arroyo (6-5) on the mound. He allowed six hits over seven innings and in the fifth inning, he hit Russell Martin in the left shoulder on a fastball.

With Wednesday’s 2-1 win, the Reds hold the second spot (2.5 games back) in the NL Central after winning two of three in this Pirates series, which concludes on Thursday.

Reds righty Homer Bailey (4-5) will take the mound for Game 3. In his last game against the Pirates, he had a no hitter.

For the Pirates, righty Brandon Cumpton (0-0) will get his second start but he won’t lead his team to a win as the Reds keep rolling (-177, 8 o/u).

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