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Goldschmidt homers twice to help Cardinals beat Cubs 4-3 after lengthy rain delay

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Paul Goldschmidt homered twice and Sonny Gray tossed five scoreless innings to help the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 4-3 on Sunday night in game delayed more than 2 1/2 hours at the start by rain.

St. Louis has won five in a row for the first time since winning six straight from July 15-20, 2023, and has won 10 of its last 12.

“It was a good team effort,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “The bottom line, guys are stepping up and contributing. Different guys are coming in and doing their jobs. It’s coming together very well from all sides of the game. Baserunning, defense, pitching and hitting, it’s coming together, and it’s led to some wins.”

After the game started at 8:43 p.m. local time following a 2-hour, 33-minute rain delay, Gray (7-2) had another solid outing for the Cardinals. He allowed one hit and struck out eight before being removed after throwing just 74 pitches.

“With the delay, it was a long day,” Marmol said. “Sonny’s got a pretty extensive routine and throughout the day just couldn’t get his lower half and loose during that game once it started. I didn’t want to push through it, so I called it for him. He did his job.”

Chicago mounted a late rally against Cardinals closer Ryan Helsley in the ninth. Ian Happ led off with his second homer of the game to make it a one-run game. Nick Madrigal and Mike Tauchmann each hit two-out singles before Seiya Suzuki hit a flyout to deep right-center field to give Helsley his 17th save to tie Cleveland’s Emmanuel Clase for the major league lead.

“We had great at-bats in the eight and the ninth,” Cubs manager Craig Counsell said. “Essentially five of the six outs are well-hit baseballs. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find holes on five of those balls. That’s a little frustrating, but it’s good to get Ian, hopefully, swinging it well and that’s a big plus for the offense going forward.

Javier Assad (4-1) allowed four runs and five hits and struck out a career-best eight batters in five innings after not allowing more than two earned runs in any of his previous 10 starts this season. Chicago has lost four in a row and six of eight.

“I thought Javy pitched good,” Counsell said. “He gave up two two-run homers and, unfortunately, it’s the home runs with men on base that hurt you a little bit more. You’re going to make a pitch to guys like that, and they’re going to get you once in a while.”

Happ hit a two-run homer off Andrew Kittredge in the seventh to cut Chicago’s deficit to 4-2.

Goldschmidt hit a two-run shot into the third deck in left field in the third, and homered again in the fifth for his sixth of the season. It was Goldschmidt’s 27th career multihomer game and his first since May 23, 2023, in Cincinnati.

“Just keeping it simple,” Goldschmidt said about his approach to facing Assad. “His command has been so good, I think the two hits I got were mistakes. That first one especially, he kind of left that one up.”

Cardinals rookie Masyn Winn singled in the fifth inning to extend his hitting streak to 15 games. Alec Burleson singled in the first to extend his streak to 10 games, matching the longest of his career.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cubs: RHP Keegan Thompson (viral illness) threw a scoreless inning for Triple-A Iowa on Sunday in a rehabilitation assignment.

Cardinals: OF Lars Nootbaar was scratched as a precaution due to hamstring tightness after originally being listed in the starting lineup as the designated hitter. … RHP Nick Robertson (right elbow inflammation) was placed on the injured list retroactive to May 23. RHP Andre Pallante was recalled from Triple-A Memphis.

UP NEXT

Cubs: LHP Justin Steele (0-2, 5.68 ERA) will face Brewers LHP Robert Gasser (2-0, 2.65 ERA) in the opener of a four-game series in Milwaukee on Monday.

Cardinals: RHP Lance Lynn (2-2, 3.68 ERA) opposes Reds LHP Nick Lodolo (3-2, 3.34 ERA) in the first game of a three-game series in Cincinnati on Monday as the Cardinals start a season-high nine-game road trip.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

By DAVID SOLOMON
Associated Press

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