ST. LOUIS (AP) — John Brebbia pitched in 70 major league games before earning his first career win. When the wait was over, the individual accomplishment was an afterthought compared to the exhilaration of stopping his team’s archrival from earning its first sweep in nearly eight years at Busch Stadium.
Jack Flaherty and four relievers combined on a four-hitter, Matt Carpenter homered and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 5-0 on Sunday night.
Brebbia (1-1) worked around two hits in a scoreless sixth inning to earn his first major league win. Austin Gomber, Jordan Hicks and Bud Norris each pitched a hitless inning to finish the shutout. It ended the Cardinals’ season-high four-game losing streak and prevented the Cubs from getting their first series sweep in St. Louis since Sept. 13-15, 2010.
“It’s definitely nice to get a win for sure,” Brebbia said. “What’s really nice is we got a win against the Cubs in the division, in what I think is a tight division right now so that’s probably the best part.”
Flaherty allowed just two hits while striking out seven in five innings, but he walked three and hit two batters and was pulled after throwing 97 pitches. He escaped a jam in the third inning when he struck out Kris Bryant with the bases loaded to keep the game scoreless.
“I was able to battle and execute when I needed to,” Flaherty said. “I threw a lot of pitches in a short amount of time. I was hoping to go deeper, but that’s how it goes sometimes.”
Harrison Bader, Tommy Pham, and Marcell Ozuna each singled to open the sixth inning and load the bases. Pham’s single extended his hitting streak to a National League-best 11 games to chase Jose Quintana (6-5) from the game.
Bader scored the game’s first run when Yadier Molina grounded into a double play and Jedd Gyorko’s RBI single drove in Pham to make it 2-0.
Quintana was charged with the two runs and four hits in five-plus innings in his 200th career major league game.
“I felt pretty good,” Quintana said. “I had all my stuff.”
Carpenter hit his 10th home run of the season and second of this series in the seventh inning off Brian Duensing to push the lead to 3-0.
Molina had an RBI double in the eighth, moved to third on Yairo Munoz’s infield single and scored on shortstop Addison Russell’s throwing error on the play.
Cubs shortstop Javier Baez left the game with a left elbow contusion after being hit by a pitch from Flaherty in the top of the third inning. Baez, who leads the team with 14 home runs, was replaced by Russell.
“I’m fine. Just really sore,” Baez said. “He got me really good. Right on the elbow.”
Chicago manager Joe Maddon was content with taking two of three in St. Louis.
He had reporters listen to a minute of the Meat Loaf song, “Two out of Three Ain’t Bad,” before starting his press conference.
“We’ll take two out of three any day of the week, especially in this ball park,” Maddon said. “We played well. We just didn’t get any hits tonight.”
The Cubs announced the signing of draft picks OF Brennen Davis (62nd overall) and RHP Paul Richan (78th overall) prior to Sunday’s game.
Cubs: RHP Yu Darvish (right triceps tendinitis) will throw a simulated game on Tuesday at Wrigley Field.
Cardinals: RHP Greg Holland will travel with the team to Philadelphia after tossing a scoreless inning Saturday night on a rehabilitation assignment with Double-A Springfield.
Cubs: RHP Tyler Chatwood (3-5, 4.12) opposes Dodgers RHP Kenta Maeda (4-4, 3.61) as Chicago opens a a three-game series against Los Angeles on Monday. Chatwood has issued a major league-leading 58 walks.
Cardinals: RHP Miles Mikolas (7-2, 2.43) starts the opener of a three-game series in Philadelphia as St. Louis starts a seven-game trip. He will be opposed by Phillies RHP Nick Pivetta (4-6, 4.25).