Matt Carpenter hits three home runs in Cardinals’ rout of Cubs
CHICAGO — Matt Carpenter hit three home runs and two doubles in just six innings, tying the major league record for extra-base hits in a game, and the St. Louis Cardinals hammered the Chicago Cubs, 18-5, Friday.
Carpenter went 5 for 5 and drove in seven runs at Wrigley Field. He led off the game with a home run and was pulled after adding a three-run drive in the sixth.
Carpenter became the 14th player with five extra-base hits in a game, and the first to do it for the Cardinals.
Trailing, 15-1, after Carpenter’s third homer, the Cubs used three position players to pitch the rest of the way — infielder Tommy La Stella, backup catcher Victor Caratini and versatile Ian Happ. La Stella and Caratini gave up homers as the Cubs became the first team since the 1979 Milwaukee Brewers to use three position players on the mound in a game.
The NL Central-leading Cubs lost for just the fourth time in their last 17 games.
Carpenter joined Cubs star Kris Bryant as the only players in the majors to hit three home runs and two doubles in a game. Bryant homered in this game, too, as did teammate Willson Contreras.
Carpenter has homered in four straight games. During that stretch, he is 9 for 16 with six home runs, three doubles and 10 RBIs.
The leadoff homer by Carpenter was his team-record sixth of the season and 21st of his career, matching the club mark held by Hall of Famer Lou Brock.
Carpenter hit a two-run homer in the second inning off Jon Lester (12-3). Carpenter doubled twice in the fourth and hit a three-run drive, his 23rd this year, off reliever Brian Duensing in the sixth.
Carpenter has faced Lester more than any other pitcher during his career, but was just 7 for 50 (.140) with 14 strikeouts and one home run against the lefty until breaking loose.
Lester (12-3) was tagged for a season-high eight runs on seven hits and five walks in three innings. It was his first loss since a 1-0 loss to Cleveland on May 23.
The Cardinals tied a season high with 18 hits as they bounced back after dropping the first game of the five-game series. The teams play a day-night doubleheader on Saturday and in order to save his bullpen, Cubs manager Joe Maddon used other parts of his roster.
It was the first time two position players were used to pitch for the Cubs since at least 1907, according to Cubs historian Ed Hartig.
La Stella allowed one run in 1⅓ innings, a homer by Greg Garcia. Caratini gave up a pinch-hit, two-run homer to Yairo Munoz in the eighth and Happ pitched a scoreless ninth.
Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty (4-4) pitched five innings. He allowed one run and two hits, while pitching around four walks with nine strikeouts.