Cardinals get by Cubs, avoid sweep

Sun Sep 20, 2015 10:15pm EDT
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(The Sports Xchange) - The St. Louis Cardinals were able to enjoy clinching their playoff berth a little bit more Sunday after holding off the Chicago Cubs 4-3 to avoid being swept.

Manager Mike Matheny delivered a "quick talk" to his players to recognize their franchise-record fifth straight trip to the postseason.

"We're excited about it, and it's not something we take for granted," said Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal, who earned his 46th save after throwing 1 1/3 innings. "Obviously, we would love to win the division and bypass the wild card game. Just getting in any way we can is special."

When the San Francisco Giants lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday, the Cardinals officially qualified for the playoffs.

Center fielder Tommy Pham and left fielder Stephen Piscotty homered as the Cardinals snapped Chicago's five-game winning streak on Sunday.

The Cubs pulled to within one when infielder Tommy La Stella drew a bases-loaded walk against reliever Jonathan Broxton in the eighth.

After Seth Maness replaced Broxton, Jason Heyward caught shortstop Addison Russell's fly ball and threw out Anthony Rizzo at the plate to prevent the tying run.

"This guy's a great defender," Matheny said of Heyward. "He comes up throwing, it's very accurate and has a lot of velocity to it. He's just an all-around very good player."

Catcher Yodier Molina was injured on the play at the plate and later exited in the ninth due to a sprained left thumb. He is expected to be evaluated on Monday.   Continued...

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Michael Wacha (52) pitches against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Sep 19, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA.  Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports