Marcus Stroman

Marcus Stroman struggles as the Cubs lose 7-2 to the Cardinals

Stroman was pulled after only 3 2/3 innings, having given up five runs and walked four.

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CHICAGO (AP) — Jordan Walker and Paul DeJong each hit a two-run homer, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 7-2 on Thursday night for their sixth straight victory.

Nolan Arenado drove in two runs and Steven Matz pitched five effective innings as St. Louis won for the the ninth time in 11 games overall. Paul Goldschmidt had two hits and scored two runs.

Marcus Stroman (10-7) pitched just 3 2/3 innings in possibly his final home start for the Cubs. The right-hander was charged with five runs — four earned — and seven hits. He struck out four and walked four.

Chicago (45-51) dropped to 7-9 in July, and Stroman could be one of the top pitchers on the market ahead of the Aug. 1 trade deadline. He is slated to face the crosstown White Sox on Wednesday.

Matz (1-7) allowed one run and three hits in his first win since Sept. 17 against Cincinnati.

St. Louis jumped in front on Willson Contreras’ RBI double in the first against his former team.

The Cardinals added four more in the fourth. Walker hit his ninth homer after a Tyler O’Neill double. Arenado added a two-run double.

DeJong made it 7-1 when he connected in the fifth against Michael Rucker. DeJong’s 13th homer went into the basket in right-center.

Yan Gomes had three hits for Chicago, including two triples. The veteran catcher entered with eight career triples in 12 seasons in the majors.

ROUGH NIGHT

Cubs third baseman Patrick Wisdom had a tough night. He kept the first inning going after misplaying a grounder, and then picked up a second error when he overthrew second an inning later. He couldn’t get the ball out of his glove after fielding a fourth-inning grounder, but the play was ruled an infield single.

There also was a scary moment at the plate in the seventh, when Kyle Leahy’s pitch appeared to strike Wisdom square in the ear flap of his helmet. He got up and went to first after he was visited by a trainer.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals: O’Neill (lower back strain) started in left after he was activated from the 60-day injured list. RHP Ryan Tepera was designated for assignment to open a roster spot. Tepera appeared in two games after signing as a free agent Monday.

UP NEXT

The four-game series resumes Friday afternoon when St. Louis RHP Jack Flaherty (7-5, 4.29 ERA) faces LHP Justin Steele (9-3, 2.96 ERA).

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