Matt Carpenter, Michael Wacha lift Cardinals past Cubs
ST. LOUIS — Michael Wacha doesn’t mind a little bad weather.
Wacha had to wait out yet another lengthy rain delay, Matt Carpenter drove in three runs and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 6-4 Sunday.
St. Louis took two of three from the Cubs and has won four of six. Chicago has lost three of four.
Rain has figured in all three of Wacha’s starts this season. He actually seemed to embrace a third-inning downpour that halted play against the Cubs for 46 minutes.
“I’m used to it,” he said. “You just have to accept it and you’ve got to stay focused. I tried to stay loose and just keep my mind in what I needed to do.”
Wacha’s first start of the season was delayed before first pitch by 2 hours, 40 minutes. He endured a short 12-minute delay at the outset of his second outing.
Wacha (2-0) allowed three runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings Sunday. He gave up a two-run homer to Anthony Rizzo on the 16th pitch of the game, but yielded just one run on three hits the rest of the way. He struck out eight and walked one.
“At the start, I was a little erratic, but I was able to settle down a little bit,” he said. “I got some quick innings and some quick outs.”
St. Louis manager Mike Matheny says Wacha has the mental makeup to handle lengthy or short delays.
“He’s strong and he knows what to do out there,” Matheny said. “He keeps a good focus. I felt like his curveball was a lot better after the delay.”
Carpenter hit a two-run single in the second inning and added a sacrifice fly in the fourth that put St. Louis ahead to stay at 4-3. He is tied with Yadier Molina for the team lead with nine RBI.
“It felt good to get the job done,” Carpenter said. “When you get up in those situations, you just try and put a good at-bat up there and I thought I did that.”
Trevor Rosenthal gave up a run in the ninth, but retired Luis Valbuena and Emilio Bonifacio with the tying runs on base to pick up his fourth save in four opportunities.
Chicago starter Edwin Jackson (0-1) allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked three in a grueling 114-pitch effort.
“I didn’t feel too bad,” Jackson said. “I threw a lot of pitches. I was behind in a lot of counts. They were aggressive, that’s a good hitting team.”
Jhonny Peralta highlighted a two-run eighth with an RBI double that put St. Louis up 6-3.
Rizzo got his club started with his second homer of the season.
“I just got extended,” Rizzo said. “I was lucky enough to get the barrel on it.”
After Carpenter singled in two runs in the second, he stole second and scored on Kolten Wong’s single for a 3-2 lead.
The Cubs tied the game in the fourth on a run-scoring single by Welington Castillo.
Carpenter then gave St. Louis the lead for good with a sacrifice fly to left that brought in Peter Bourjos, who began the fourth inning with a triple.
“We did the things we had to at the right times to win,” Carpenter said.
Trailing 4-3, Mike Olt led off the Cubs seventh with a double off Wacha. Castillo struck out and reliever Kevin Siegrist retired Darwin Barney and Bonifacio to end the threat.
Siegrist retired all five batters he faced.
“We had some chances, just couldn’t get hits at the right time,” Rizzo said.
*Photo courtesy of Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images