Cardinals defeat Cubs despite late rally

The St Louis Cardinals held on to beat the Chicago Cubs 3-2 despite a ninth-inning scare in MLB on Friday.

St Louis cruised to an early lead by notching three runs in the second inning. Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas did all he could to make sure those three runs would be enough, tossing seven shut-out innings with four strikeouts, but Chicago provided some late-game drama.

With Cardinals closer Bud Norris in the game, the Cubs scored two runs in the ninth. Albert Almora scored the first, and then Ben Zobrist knocked in Javier Baez.

With the game-winning run up to bat, Norris finally calmed down to end the game and pick up his seventh save of the season. 

At the plate, the Cardinals were helped by outfielder Marcell Ozuna finally finding his rhythm at the plate with a three-for-three effort. While Ozuna, still batting just .263 with only two home runs this season, showed signs of life, St Louis have to get more out of Matt Carpenter, who again went hitless, dropping to .161 this season.

The National League (NL) Central appears to be one of the most competitive divisions in MLB this season - four of the five teams are above .500 - and the Cardinals have the mix of power, defense and pitching to come out on top.

 

HOT HARPER

Nationals slugger Bryce Harper jacked two home runs in a 7-3 win over the Phillies. Harper, who has 12 home runs already this season, raised his average to .264 while helping Washington (17-16) get over .500.

Albert Pujols became just the 32nd player to reach 3,000 hits when he singled to right field in the fifth inning against the Mariners.

ROOKIE ACUNA GOES HITLESS

Everyone has a bad game from time to time, and Braves phenom Ronald Acuna Jr. finally cooled off Friday, going 0 for four in a 9-4 loss to the Giants. Despite the loss, Atlanta still maintained a slender lead over the Mets in the NL East.

 

BETTS ON FIRE

Mookie Betts cannot be stopped.

He already has 13 home runs this season.

FRIDAY'S RESULTS

New York Yankees 7-6 Cleveland Indians
Washington Nationals 7-3 Philadelphia Phillies
Cincinnati Reds 4-1 Miami Marlins
Colorado Rockies 8-7 New York Mets
Tampa Bay Rays 6-2 Toronto Blue Jays
San Francisco Giants 9-4 Atlanta Braves
Boston Red Sox 5-1 Texas Rangers
Minnesota Twins 6-4 Chicago White Sox
Pittsburgh Pirates 6-4 Milwaukee Brewers
Kansas City Royals 4-2 Detroit Tigers
St Louis Cardinals 3-2 Chicago Cubs
Los Angeles Dodgers 4-0 San Diego Padres
Houston Astros 8-0 Arizona Diamondbacks
Los Angeles Angels 5-0 Seattle Mariners
Oakland Athletics 6-4 Baltimore Orioles

 

ASTROS AT DIAMONDBACKS

The defending World Series champions have picked up the pace as the calendar changed to May, and the Diamondbacks have been the most consistent team in MLB this season. Arizona, led by Paul Goldschmidt and AJ Pollock at the plate, will need a patient approach against Charlie Morton (4-0, 1.72 ERA).

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