Cubs 8, Cardinals 2 (seventh inning)
The Cubs overcame the ejections of starting pitcher John Lackey and Willson Contreras by scoring seven runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to surge to a 8-2 lead over the National League Central rival Cardinals at warm Wrigley Field. Lackey fumed over a 2-2 pitch that was called a ball as the Cardinals’ Carlos Martinez took a few steps toward the Cardinals dugout in anticipation of a called third strike with two out in the fifth inning.
On the next pitch, Martinez hit a curve into right center for a single. Lackey immediately sprinted behind home plate to yell at home plate umpire Jordan Baker, who tossed him and Contreras, who spiked his mask and had to be restrained by teammate Javier Baez and umpire crew chief Bill Welke.
At the plate
Martinez retired the first 10 Cubs hitters with a fastball clocked as fast as 99 mph. But Kris Bryant drove a 98 mph pitch over the fence in right center for a game-tying home run. The Cubs collected five singles in the sixth, with Jon Jay hitting a go-ahead single and pinch-hitter Ian Happ hitting a two-run single.
On the mound:
Lackey had a few words for Baker after a 2-1 pitch to Matt Carpenter was called a ball in the first. The discussion continued after Tommy Pham smacked a home run to center field after Carpenter lined to first baseman Anthony Rizzo.
In the field:
Shortstop Javier Baez ranged to his left and threw off his knees to retire Kolton Wong for the final out of the second, and Baez retrieved a hit that caromed off the wall down the left field line and threw to second to nail Stephen Piscotty trying to stretch a single into a double in the seventh.
754 – Runs scored by the Cubs this season
“It’s a young group and they’re going to make youthful mistakes. And we are still growing.” – Joe Maddon
vs. Cardinals at Wrigley Field, Friday, 3:05 p.m. RH Kyle Hendricks vs. RH Michael Wacha
– Mark Gonzales