The Chicago Cubs (8-6) got their three-game weekend series with the St. Louis Cardinals (3-11) off to a good start on Friday. Jose Quintana had a quality start and the offense jumped all over Adam Wainwright in the early innings en route to a 10-4 simulated win, via MLB The Show 20.
Kris Bryant stayed red-hot, drilling a solo homer to lead off the bottom of the 1st inning and give the Cubs a 1-0 lead over the Cards. The offense really got going in the 3rd inning. Wainwright was able to get the first two outs without trouble, but that all changed when Javier Báez reached on an infield single.
Báez then stole second base, which seemed to rattle the aging Cardinals starter. Jason Heyward and Willson Contreras each walked, loading the bases for Ian Happ, who came into Friday’s matchup seeking his first home run of the season. He got it on a 3-2 pitch from Wainwright, launching a grand slam over the wall in left-center to give the Cubs a 5-0 lead.
Wainwright remained in the game while the Cardinals bullpen worked to get ready, which gave Albert Almora Jr. a chance. Almora teed off on Wainwright as well, hitting one deep to left field to push the lead to 6-0.
Meanwhile, Quintana was sharp. He gave up a run in the 5th inning when Yadier Molina scored from first on a Paul DeJong RBI double, then allowed another in the 8th before being pulled in favor of Casey Sadler. Quintana went seven innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits and three walks to go along with four strikeouts.
Former rotation prospect Alex Reyes came out of the bullpen in the 7th to try to keep the Cardinals within striking distance, but it wasn’t meant to be. Heyward hit a one-out single and then Happ knocked a two-out single to bring Almora up to the plate. The 25-year-old outfielder jumped all over Reyes, sending another one high and deep to left field for his first career two-homer game.
The Cardinals were able to add three runs in the top of the 8th, thanks to a Paul Goldschmidt three-run homer, but the Cubs squeezed out one more run in the bottom half of the inning. After Jason Kipnis and Bryant each walked, Anthony Rizzo smoked an RBI-single into right field to make it 10-4. Jeremy Jeffress pitched an uneventful 9th inning to close out the win.
Almora – 2-for-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI
Bryant – 1-for-3, 2 BB, HR, RBI
Happ – 3-for-5, 2B, HR, 4 RBI
Heyward – 1-for-3, 2 BB, 2 R
Quintana – 7 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K
Goldschmidt – 1-for-3, BB, HR, 3 RBI
DeJong – 2-for-4, 2B, RBI
Winning Pitcher – Quintana (1-1)
Losing Pitcher – Wainwright (1-2)
Save – none
Home Runs – Bryant (4), Happ (1), Almora 2 (3), Goldschmidt (2)