Legends On Deck

Lackey Out Duels Lester As Cards Defeat Cubs 4-0


Stephen Piscotty hit a ground-rule double and a homerun to help the Cardinals take the first game of the series. (www.usatoday.com)

The Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals met at Busch Stadium on Friday night for the first of the best of five game series in the National League Division Series that featured former teammates Jon Lester and John Lackey facing off.

In the bottom of the first, rookie Stephen Piscotty hit a ground-rule double with one out to get the first hit of the night. Matt Holliday then stepped up and hit a RBI single on a line drive to center field to put the Cardinals up early 4-0.

Lackey on the other hand, didn’t allow a hit by the Cubs until the top of the sixth when
Addison Russell hit a lead-off single on a ground ball to center. Lackey went seven and one third shutout innings, allowing just two hits and one walk; striking out five batters.

After the Cards’ early run the scoreboard stayed blank on both sides until Lester began to unravel in the bottom of the eighth. Tommy Pham was first with a homer on a fly ball to left, his first career postseason homer to make it 2-0. Matt Carpenter then walked and that would force the Cubs to replace Lester with Pedro Strop. Lester’s final line was seven and a third, allowing five hits and three runs; walking one and striking out an impressive nine. Stephen Piscotty, then hit a two run homer on a fly ball to left.

In the top of the ninth, after Jorge Soler walked, Kyle Schwarber singled on a line drive to left to put runners on first and third. However, a Kris Bryant strikeout would end all chances of a Cubs’ rally.

The Cardinals now lead the series 1-0 with the second game of the series taking place on Saturday evening at 5:30pm.


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