Seiya Suzuki, Lars Nootbaar; the Cubs Top the Cardinals 8-6 on a Rainy Day at Wrigley
11:43 JST, July 23, 2023
CHICAGO (AP) — Cody Bellinger drove in four runs and Nico Hoerner had three of Chicago’s 15 hits, helping the Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 8-6 on Saturday in a wet and wild matchup of NL Central rivals.
Chicago trailed 1-0, 3-1, 5-3 and 6-5 before moving in front for the first time with three runs in the sixth inning. Bellinger yanked a two-run single into right field and Seiya Suzuki followed with an RBI single, giving the Cubs an 8-6 lead.
“These guys are really fighting for every pitch, taking their walks and also getting big hits,” Chicago manager David Ross said.
After the start was delayed for 25 minutes, it rained intermittently before another downpour stopped play. Two members of the grounds crew were nearly swallowed by the tarp as they pulled it over the diamond in the middle of the seventh, and the Wrigley Field crowd of 40,425 sang along to Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Have You Ever Seen The Rain?” during the 87-minute delay.
Bellinger, who could be on the move ahead of the Aug. 1 trade deadline, continued his torrid hitting. The 2019 NL MVP is batting .382 (42 for 110) with 21 RBIs in his last 30 games.
Making him an even more attractive possibility for a contender, the lefty-batting Bellinger is hitting .353 against left-handers this year.
“It’s super impressive to watch,” said teammate Ian Happ, who had two hits and scored three runs. “I think what he’s done against lefties this year has been really impressive.”
Lars Nootbaar and Nolan Gorman homered for St. Louis, which has dropped two in a row after a six-game win streak. Nootbaar had three hits, scored three times and made two impressive defensive plays in a terrific all-around performance.
“A lot of back and forth,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “We just couldn’t keep them from scoring today.”
Frustrated with the strike zone for the second straight game, Marmol was thrown out by plate umpire Cory Blaser in the top of the sixth. It was his seventh career ejection.
“We all have a job to do, and tired of getting screwed,” Marmol said.
St. Louis catcher Willson Contreras also missed the end of the game against his former team. He drove in two runs before he was removed because of right hip tightness.
Daniel Palencia (2-0) got one out for the win. Zack Thompson (2-3), who took over after starter Miles Mikolas struggled for St. Louis, was charged with all three runs in the sixth.
Adbert Alzolay worked the ninth for his ninth save, snaring Gorman’s liner for the first out.
The Cardinals jumped in front when Nootbaar drove Michael Fulmer’s first pitch of the game into the bleachers in left field for his seventh homer. It was Nootbaar’s third leadoff homer this season and No. 4 for his career.
Nootbaar also singled and scored on Palencia’s wild pitch in the sixth, giving St. Louis a 6-5 lead. He tracked down Mike Tauchman’s fourth-inning drive against the ivy-covered wall in center, and robbed Bellinger with a tumbling catch on the warning track in the seventh.
Serving as an opener, Fulmer pitched two innings in his first major league start since May 4, 2021, for Detroit at Boston. Drew Smyly was next up for Chicago, throwing 3 2/3 innings of five-run ball in his usual spot in the rotation.
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