ST. LOUIS (AP) — Yan Gomes drove in three runs and the Chicago Cubs got back to .500 with their sixth straight victory, beating the St. Louis Cardinals 10-3 after a testy start Thursday night.
In the first inning, Cubs outfielder Ian Happ bloodied St. Louis catcher Willson Contreras when he hit him in the head with a long follow-through on a swing, then was soon hit himself by a pitch from Miles Mikolas.
After a hug from former Chicago teammate Happ, Contreras left because of a cut on the scalp and was day to day to return to the lineup.
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Andrew Knizner took over behind the plate, and Mikolas brushed back Happ to run the count to 3-1. With the next pitch, Mikolas hit Happ in the rear, with Mikolas (6-6) and Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol being ejected.
The game marked the beginning of a second four-game series between the two clubs in the span of four days.
At 51-51, Chicago is at the .500 mark for the first time since sitting at 19-19 following a victory May 12 in Minnesota.
Cody Bellinger, Christopher Morel and Mike Tauchman each had three hits for the Cubs to back left-hander Justin Steele (11-3). Steele improved to 4-1 in six career starts against St. Louis, allowing five hits and one run. He had four strikeouts and walked three.
Long reliever Dakota Hudson replaced Mikolas, who threw just 14 pitches. Hudson gave up a single before walking two to score Happ. A ground-rule double Morel added two runs for a 3-0 lead.
Hudson allowed nine hits and five earned runs in 4 1/3 innings, striking out three and walking two.
The Cubs added two runs with two outs in the third. Gomes and Miles Mastrobuoni each had an RBI single.
Nico Hoerner scored on a fielder’s choice in the fourth, giving Chicago a 6-0 advantage.
Knizner had his first multi-homer game. He led off the fourth with a home run and added a two-run homer in the eighth.
Mike Tauchman greeted reliever Andrew Suárez with a home run to start the sixth, making it 7-1. Gomes hit a two-run double in the seventh for a 9-1 lead. Tauchman also drove in a run in the ninth.
BRING ON THE HEAT
The temperature when the first pitch was thrown was 99 degrees.
Cubs: RHP Brad Boxberger (right forearm strain) is scheduled for a bullpen session Friday. He experienced no problems after his last session Tuesday. … INF Nick Madrigal (right hamstring tightness) continues to play at Triple-A Iowa. On Wednesday, he went 2 -for 4 with three runs.
Cardinals: INF Tommy Edman (right wrist inflammation) worked out with the team before Thursday’s game and took batting practice. He’s expected to go to Triple-A Memphis for a rehab assignment beginning Saturday. … RHP Ryan Helsley (right forearm strain) has been scheduled for a bullpen session Saturday.
Cardinals LHP Jordan Montgomery (6-8, 3.37) is set to start Friday. The Cubs had yet to announce a starter.