By JEFF MELNICK | Associated Press
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jordan Montgomery pitched shutout ball into the seventh inning to remain unbeaten with St. Louis, Lars Nootbaar and Tommy Edman homered, and the Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 8-0 Friday night.
The NL Central-leading Cardinals have won five of six. Chicago has lost five of six.
Montgomery improved to 5-0 with a 1.47 ERA since being acquired from the New York Yankees in a trade on Aug. 2. He gave up two hits to lead off the seventh before reliever Jordan Hicks struck out pinch-hitter Zach McKinstry, Nick Madrigal and Seiya Suzuki.
Montgomery (8-3) scattered seven hits, striking out four and walking two.
Asked about why he’s done so well since being shipped to the Cardinals, the lefty had a little fun with reporters.
“What trade?” Montgomery asked with a laugh. “I don’t remember that. I turned the page. I’m excited to be here and every five days I want to go out and win.
Montgomery also extended his scoreless inning streak against the Cubs to 22 innings — he beat them 1-0 on Aug. 21 at Wrigley Field and also threw seven scoreless innings earlier this season as a member of the Yankees.
“I’m just executing a lot of pitches and throwing three pitches for strikes,” he said. “So, I’m going to keep doing that. “
Said Cardinals star third baseman Nolan Arenado: “He fits perfectly here. We’re so happy he’s here and he’s a Cardinal."
“I just can’t believe he’s here. It’s been awesome. We’re so fortunate to have him,” he said.
The Cardinals got late-inning homers from Nootbaar and Edman to break open what had been a close 3-0 game. Nootbaar’s 11th home run and Edman’s 12th came off Cubs reliever Sean Newcomb.
The Cubs had many opportunities, but went 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position. Manager David Ross couldn’t put his finger on why his club has struggled so much against Montgomery.
“Tonight, was a little different. I thought he’s been pretty dominant the two times before that we faced him,” Ross said. “It didn’t look like he had his best stuff and command, but he found a way with two seamers and got guys to roll over. He just does a nice job of keeping us off balance.”
The Cardinals jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first against Adrian Sampson (1-5). Tyler O’Neill hit a two-run single to score Brendan Donovan and Paul Goldschmidt, who had both walked.
Sampson (1-5) gave up two runs on four hits, striking out four and walking two in five innings.
ANOTHER HONOR FOR ARENADO
Arenado was named the National League’s Player of the Month for August. It’s his second honor this year as he previously won in April. For the month, Arenado hit .365 with nine homers and 29 RBIs. Arenado is the first Cardinals to win Player of the Month twice since Albert Pujols accomplished the feat in 2009.
Cubs: INF David Bote was recalled from Triple-A Iowa while RHP Jeremiah Estrada and LHP Brendon Little returned to Iowa. Sampson and LHP Justin Steele who were both reinstated from the restricted list.
Cards: RHP James Naile and OF Ben DeLuzio were both recalled from Triple-A Memphis. This is DeLuzio’s first time in the majors.
Cubs: LHP Wade Miley (strained left shoulder), was transferred from the 10-day IL to the 60-day IL. Miley has been out since June 11.
Cardinals: RHP Jack Flaherty (right shoulder strain) is scheduled to start Monday against the Washington Nationals. Flaherty has been on the injured list since June 27. “We’re going to have Jack take that start on Monday,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol confirmed. ... LHP Steven Matz (left MCL tear) threw a bullpen session today and the Cardinals plan to have him throw a live batting practice next week.
LHP Drew Smyly (5-7, 3.24 ERA) starts for Chicago and RHP Adam Wainwright (9-9, 3.09 ERA) throws for St. Louis in the second game of their three-games series Saturday. Smyly has a 1-1 career record against the Cardinals and Wainwright is 18-14 lifetime verses the Cubs.
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