CHICAGO - The St. Louis Cardinals made team history by sweeping a doubleheader from their arch-rivals, the Chicago Cubs, on Friday.
By winning both ends of the doubleheader, 8-5 in the first game and 12-4 in the second, the Cardinals tied their franchise record for the longest winning streak in the 129-year history of the franchise at 14 games, tying the 1935 team for the record.
The Cardinals will try to break the team record on Saturday, when Jon Lester takes the mound against his former teammates, going up against Adrian Sampson.
In the first game of the twinbill, the Redbirds jumped out on top in the third on Paul Goldschmidt's 30th home run of the season, a two-run shot to center that scored Tommy Edmond ahead of him. Goldschmidt became the second Cardinal to hit 30 this season, joining Nolan Arenado. In the top of the fifth, Jose Rondon hit a homer to the left-center field alley as well to push the Cardinals' advantage to 4-0, Harrison Bader also scoring. The next batter, Tyler O'Neill then launched his 30th homer of the year to left center to make it 6-0, joining Arenado and Goldschmidt as the second Cardinal trio to hit at least 30 in a season, joining Albert Pujols, Jim Edmonds and Scott Rolen to accomplish the feat, the latter three having done so in 2004.
The Cubs did attempt to come back in the sixth and seventh innings, cutting the lead to 8-5, but could not come any closer as Alex Reyes went an inning-and-two-thirds in relief of starter J.A. Happ to get the win while Giovanny Gallegos got his 13th save.
In the second game, rookie Lars Nootbaar homered twice, while O'Neill hit his 31st of the season and Paul DeJong homered as the Cards jumped out to an 8-3 lead after three innings in going on to their 14th straight win. Jack Flaherty, returning to the mound after an injury and long rehabilitation, only threw 18 pitches in one-third of an inning, but Dakota Hudson, returning in relief, pitched three-and-two-thirds strong innings, allowing only two runs on four hits while walking no one and striking out two to get the win.
Most importantly, the Cardinals took a five-game lead ahead of the Philadelphia Phillies and six ahead of the Cincinnati Reds and seven up on the San Diego Padres with eight games remaining. The Cards and Cubs play on Saturday at 2:20 p.m., with the final game of the series on Sunday, also at 2:20 p.m.