ST. LOUIS -- The Cubs fell short of completing a sweep of the Cardinals on Sunday night, but they could breathe a sigh of relief that Javier Baez appears to be OK after being hit on the left elbow by a pitch.Matt Carpenter hit a solo homer to help the
ST. LOUIS -- The Cubs fell short of completing a sweep of the Cardinals on Sunday night, but they could breathe a sigh of relief that Javier Baez appears to be OK after being hit on the left elbow by a pitch.
Matt Carpenter hit a solo homer to help the Cardinals post a 5-0 victory at Busch Stadium to snap their four-game losing streak. It was only the Cubs' seventh loss in their last 22 games.
The Cubs got a scare in the third inning when Baez was hit on the elbow by a pitch from Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty and had to leave the game. The initial diagnosis was a contusion, but Baez did not go for X-rays and may not need to.
"I'm fine," Baez said. "It's just really sore. It got me really good right on the elbow. I thought the pain was going to go away right away, but it kind of numbed my whole arm and even my ribs. We've been icing it. It feels pretty sore, but I know I'm good."
Seeing Baez on the ground in pain wasn't a good feeling for the Cubs.
"I've been hit there, and it's like you lose your breath," Chicago manager Joe Maddon said. "There's so many nerves in that part. It really really hurts, it just hurts. It's in a spot where you have to bend and you can't bend."
Baez spent the rest of the night icing his elbow and said there was still some soreness but he was hopeful that he could play Monday when the Cubs open a series against the Dodgers.
"I hope I'm in there," he said. "If I have to take another day, we will. But if I have to play, hopefully I can. We'll see tomorrow."
Having Baez in the lineup as Sunday's game unfolded may not have changed the result much. The Cubs had chances, loading the bases in the third and fourth innings, but Flaherty escaped, striking out Kristopher Bryant to end the third and Jose Quintana to finish the fourth.
"We haven't seen him before," Maddon said of Flaherty. "Give him credit -- he did good."
So did Quintana, who took the loss, giving up four hits over five-plus innings. He was lifted after giving up back-to-back singles leading off the sixth. The Cardinals loaded the bases against reliever Anthony Bass and tallied when Yadier Molina hit into a double play. Jedd Gyorko followed with an RBI single for a 2-0 lead. Both runs were charged to Quintana.
Carpenter padded the Cardinals' lead with a solo shot off Brian Duensing with two outs in the seventh. It was his 10th home run of the season.
After the game, Maddon was playing Meat Loaf's song, "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad." When the Cubs take a series -- and take two games out of three -- that's not bad.
"We'll take two out of three any day of the week, especially in this ballpark," Maddon said. "We played well. We just didn't get any hits tonight."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Cards break through:Harrison Bader reached on an infield single to open the Cardinals' sixth, just beating a throw from third baseman Bryant. Bader advanced on Tommy Pham's single, and Quintana was lifted for Bass, who got Marcell Ozuna to hit a grounder to shortstop Addison Russell. But Russell's throw pulled first baseman Anthony Rizzo off the bag and the bases were loaded. Molina then hit into a 4-6-3 double play, which scored a run. Gyorko followed with an RBI single for a 2-0 lead.
"He pitched well," Maddon said of Quintana. "We got to the point there with the first two guys getting on and all the righties coming up that we had to do something. Bass did a great job. A grounder to short -- we could've gone to third. That might have made a difference. We kept it in check. We just didn't score any runs."
Quintana would've liked to stay in the game longer.
"All the time, I wanted to keep going," he said. "I feel I pitched really good. It's a tough game, zero-zero."
The Cubs' Kyle Schwarber recorded his seventh outfield assist in the seventh inning when he threw to second baseman Benjamin Zobrist to get Bader. Sunday was Schwarber's 52nd game in left; he totaled seven outfield assists in 101 starts in left all of last season. The Cards challenged the out call, but it would stand after review.
"I was able to get to the ball and make an accurate throw to the bag," Schwarber said. "That's been my thing to get to the ball and field it cleanly and make an accurate throw."
HE SAID IT
"Mexico was amazing. I didn't like how Brazil played today. They were good games. The next one, I hope [Brazil] does better." -- Quintana, on the World Cup games. Soccer is his first love, and he is rooting for his native Colombia and Brazil
Tyler Chatwood will open a three-game series against the Dodgers on Monday night at Wrigley Field. In his last outing, Chatwood didn't rely on his fastball as much, mixed in his other three pitches and was more effective, even if he did take the loss against the Brewers. He walked two, the third time this season he's walked two or fewer, which is an improvement. He now has walked a Major League-leading 58 batters over 63 1/3 innings. The Dodgers will counter with right-hander Kenta Maeda in the 7:05 p.m. CT matchup.
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.