Thursday’s 3-0 loss snapped a five-game winning streak for the Cardinals.
An added bonus was a seventh inning pinch-hit triple by Rob Johnson, whose contract was purchased Tuesday from Triple-A Memphis. Johnson then scored on Matt Carpenter’s go-ahead double.
“We needed it,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Johnson’s clutch hit. “It’s a feel-good for a guy who’s been doing a lot of things right for us in our system. In a situation, he helped us produce and we wound up getting a run out of it.”
St. Louis jumped on Cubs starter Carlos Villanueva (2-5) for two runs in the top of the first inning. Carpenter singled and scored on Beltran’s triple, followed by Allen Craig’s RBI single.
The Cubs cut St. Louis’ lead to 2-1 in the third. Luis Valbuena walked, went to second when Starlin Castro was hit by a pitch, Anthony Rizzo hit into a fielder’s choice that pushed Valbuena to third and then Alfonso Soriano’s single scored Valbuena