by Jimmy Golden, AP
(Montreal) (AP) – In the city where Jackie Robinson made the jump to the big leagues – and a country where gay marriage has been legal for a decade – Michael Sam has come to restart his football career.
The first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team, Sam returned to practice with the Montreal Alouettes on Monday ready to resume his Canadian Football League career after a brief leave for undisclosed personal reasons.
Speaking for just a few minutes, Sam praised last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage and said he hoped to marry someday. Although Sam’s public coming-out and his efforts to make the NFL have been cited as a catalyst for Americans’ abrupt turnaround on gay rights, he deflected credit to those who have worked on the issue for years.
“I don’t think I did anything. … I’m just happy that I can get married and it would be legal,” he said, adding that he was focusing on football for now. “It was a historical day and I’m very proud and very happy to be an American right now.”
The 2013 Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year at Missouri, Sam was selected by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh and final round of the 2014 NFL draft. He was cut by St. Louis and signed by Dallas to the practice squad, but he couldn’t make the Cowboys’ roster.
Sam agreed to a two-year deal with the Alouettes last month but left training camp on June 12, citing personal reasons. He missed the season opener on Thursday night but returned over the weekend and was back on the practice field at Montreal’s Parc Hebert on Monday.
“The door was open for him to come back,” coach Tom Higgins said, adding that Sam was treated the same as other players. “This was just more high-profile.
“He worked some things out that he needed to settle and he came back to us a much more dedicated athlete than he was before. He wants to prove that he can play on a high level.”
Neither Sam nor his coaches and teammates would comment on the personal matters that took Sam away from the team. Sam said there was never any doubt that he would return.
“I was always coming back,” he said. “I had to deal with personal matters when I was home. That’s all taken care of, so now I’m back.”
Higgins said Sam asked for and received permission to address his teammates on Sunday; the coaches left the room to the players, and Sam spoke for less than a minute. Higgins said applause could be heard through the closed door.
“He told us he’s all-in,” center Luc Brodeur-Jourdain said. “He missed the game for the short period of time he was away.”
Linebacker Kyries Hebert said Sam “got a pretty good welcome,” and predicted that he would have no trouble earning back his teammates’ trust. Higgins said Sam is trying to fit in with the Alouettes, but the attention he gets as a gay rights pioneer makes that difficult.
“He didn’t want to be standing here until he does something,” Higgins said. “Being put in the limelight doesn’t help him with any of his teammates. He hasn’t played one down in the CFL and he gets more attention than any one of his teammates. That bothers him.”
Among the adjustments for Sam are different rules in the CFL, which has a 110-yard field, three downs instead of four and offensive formations with more movement than in the NFL and American colleges.
“He still has to learn how to play the CFL game,” Brodeur-Jourdain said. “All we want to do as teammates is compete against him in practice so we can make him better as a player. Our general manager thinks he has potential. He’s part of the club. Let’s make him better.”
Sam signed autographs and posed for pictures after practice with the handful of fans waiting by the field. Among them was Mike Raimondo, who draped an Alouettes jersey with Sam’s name carefully over his arm.
“I’m new to CFL football. I’m a big hockey fan, but I’m a big Michael Sam fan,” Raimondo said. “When he signed here, I ordered the jersey right away.
“When he left, I had a heart attack.”
by RB Fallstrom, AP
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Mike Matheny has zero interest in scanning the daily statistics that show just how efficiently the St. Louis Cardinals are dealing with the opposition.
Matheny prefers that his players ignore all that, too, just as they have the hacking investigation involving the Houston Astros that seems to have quieted down. The players can keep the franchise with the majors’ best record rolling along by grinding out at-bats, grinding out innings, briefly savoring results and moving on.
“I couldn’t say I stuck my head in the sand so much I didn’t know we won 50 games,” Matheny said before the Cardinals raised their record to 51-24. “But it doesn’t really do us any good to focus on that stuff, we’ve just got to go play the game.”
It is best, he added, that contributing kids spend no time fretting about when they might be sent back down to the minors or wondering how they’ll respond to the hard times that might be around the corner.
The manager is not about to throw cold water on rookie Xavier Scruggs, a recent first-time call-up who has nine hits in his last five games and an RBI in each of the last three, helping the Cardinals run their winning streak to six and widen their lead to nine games in the NL Central.
“Oh, this is awesome,” Scruggs said. “It’s everything you dream of, just being part of the best team in baseball. Just being able to able to play a little part is just great for me.”
Some of the reasons behind the Cardinals’ run of success:
The biggest reason, by far, for a start of historic proportions is the pitching minus ace Adam Wainwright, sidelined for the year in April with a torn Achilles tendon. The 2.61 ERA leads the majors by far, and the Pirates are the only other team with an ERA below 3.00.
Over the last five games, the opposition has mustered just six runs, and that’s no isolated stretch. The Cardinals have allowed two or fewer runs an amazing 44 times, going 37-7. Michael Wacha (10-3, 2.77), Carlos Martinez (9-3, 2.80) and Lance Lynn (5-4, 2.84) are all among the ERA league leaders.
The Cardinals had enough confidence in Martinez, in his first year in the rotation, to stick with him after two rain delays in Sunday’s 4-1 victory over the Cubs that completed a three-game sweep. Medical marvel Jaime Garcia, coming off thoracic outlet surgery after years of shoulder trouble, is 3-3 with a 1.69 ERA in seven outings.
Closer Trevor Rosenthal has a 0.52 ERA and one blown save in 24 chances. St. Louis leads the league with 30 saves overall with Carlos Villanueva (1.37), Kevin Siegrist (1.52) and Miguel Socolovich (1.69) all under 2.00.
The Cardinals are 29-7 at home, the best ever in the divisional era that began in 1969 according to STATS, and they lead the majors with 22 come-from-behind wins.
The offense does its part minus Matt Holliday and Matt Adams for long stretches. Scruggs has earned recent time at first base ahead of veteran Mark Reynolds and is not being prepared for the inevitable “rough patch.”
“Mark’s still going to be a big part of what we’re doing here, but Xavier is putting together some at-bats you can’t ignore,” Matheny said. “That’s what a young guy’s supposed to do – you get an opportunity, jump on it.”
Another neophyte, outfielder Greg Garcia, is 5 for 10 with a critical homer.
Holliday is getting closer to returning from a quad injury sustained in early June but feels no pressure to because the team is doing just fine without him.
“They’re obviously playing great, so it’s no hurry,” Holliday said. “They’re finding ways to win and guys are stepping up, and that’s really the way it’s been the last few years.”
Matheny played for Tony La Russa, whose mantra was winning series. The Cardinals have done that admirably, going 18-5-2.
The manager who’s taken the Cardinals to a World Series and two NL championship series in his first three seasons thinks smaller.
“I just can’t help but keep being drawn to this very simplified idea of one pitch at a time,” Matheny said. “We don’t worry about what our record is, it’s what we can do right now. Play today. That’s it.”
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Cardinals lefty Jaime Garcia is likely to make his next start Thursday against the White Sox, getting two extra days to recover from a groin cramp he sustained running the bases.
St. Louis, which leads the majors with a 50-24 record, has a day off Monday and manager Mike Matheny said he’ll use Lance Lynn and John Lackey on regular rest ahead of Garcia.
Garcia is 3-3 with a 1.69 ERA in seven starts coming off thoracic outlet surgery. He allowed a run in seven innings his last outing Wednesday in Miami, but was injured scoring a run in the eighth.
Outfielder Matt Holliday, on the 15-day disabled list with a right quad strain since June 9, took batting practice for the second straight day Sunday and said he could begin running early this week.
Holliday said he’d attend the All-Star Game if voted in, but wasn’t sure about a target date for his return.
by RB Fallstrom, AP
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Every five or 10 minutes while the game was on hold, Carlos Martinez went to the indoor batting cage to stay loose.
The only concession the St. Louis Cardinals made to a lengthy rain delay was perhaps shortening the right-hander’s outing by one inning.
“Carlos was great, he stayed focused,” manager Mike Matheny said. “He was conscientious about staying in there and keeping his arm ready and it showed. He was ready.”
The 23-year-old Martinez was stingy before and after the break, and the Cardinals hit a season-high six doubles to sweep the Chicago Cubs with a 4-1 victory Sunday night that extended their winning streak to six games.
“He’s just looking untouchable,” said rookie Xavier Scruggs, who had an RBI single for his ninth hit in five games. “He always had the fastball in the minors when I was playing with him, but now he’s got a whole arsenal that’s just disgusting.”
Jason Heyward, Yadier Molina and Matt Carpenter each had run-scoring doubles for St. Louis, which is a major league-best 51-24 with a nine-game cushion in the NL Central. The Cardinals’ 29-7 home record also is tops in the majors and is the second-best start in franchise history, trailing only a 31-4 start by the 1885 Browns according to STATS.
Their home start is the best in the divisional era since 1969, topping the Expos’ 28-7 record in 1979.
The Cubs have lost a season-worst five in a row. They were outscored 14-4 in the series, going 2 for 27 with runners in scoring position, and are just 12-32 the last four seasons in St. Louis.
“We’ve seen Dodger pitching, we’ve seen Cardinal pitching – that’s really good pitching,” manager Joe Maddon said. “And you have a young, inexperienced group offensively, and they’re being schooled right now a little bit.”
Martinez (9-3) allowed one run and two hits in six innings with six strikeouts. The 23-year-old right-hander worked two scoreless innings before a rain delay of 1 hour and 43 minutes, stumbled a bit in the third when Dexter Fowler doubled and eventually scored on Anthony Rizzo’s sacrifice fly, but allowed only a walk after that.
“Even when it’s raining and they stopped the game, I kept the focus,” Martinez said through an interpreter. “I kept ready for when the game started again.”
Martinez and Michael Wacha (10-3) are the first teammates 23 or younger with nine or more wins in the first 75 games since Dwight Gooden and Sid Fernandez had 10 apiece for the Mets in 1986.
Jason Hammel (5-3) struck out seven, but struggled after the rain delay, giving up four runs and six hits in four innings. Hammel worked 7 2/3 scoreless innings against the Dodgers his last time out.
“Honestly, I didn’t feel any different,” Hammel said. “The difference was, I was dotting before and just couldn’t get the ball at the knees after that.
“I think it was either a strikeout or a double tonight.
Trevor Rosenthal earned his 23rd save in 24 chances in a game that was also delayed 46 minutes before the first pitch.
Heyward made an outstanding sliding catch in foul territory down the right-field line on Kris Bryant’s pop-up in the first.
Cubs: LHP Tsuyoshi Wada (deltoid) was placed on the 15-day disabled list and RHP Neil Ramirez (shoulder) was activated.
Cardinals: LHP Jaime Garcia is likely to make his next start Thursday against the White Sox, getting two extra days to recover from a groin cramp sustained running the bases. OF Matt Holliday could begin running early this week.
The Cardinals are 5-0 on Sunday night.
Cubs: Kyle Hendricks (2-4, 4.46) faces the Mets on Tuesday in New York. He has worked five innings in each of his last four starts.
Cardinals: Lance Lynn (5-4, 2.84), who faces the White Sox on Tuesday, worked six scoreless innings his first outing off the disabled list from a forearm strain.
by Josh Dubow, AP
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Jeremy Guthrie and Salvador Perez delivered a milestone win for the Kansas City Royals.
Guthrie struck out a season-high seven batters to top 1,000 for his career and Perez homered for his 500th career hit to help Kansas City complete a three-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics with a 5-3 victory on Sunday.
“We had two big milestones today, which I think are big,” manager Ned Yost said. “So they got that behind them and now they just keep moving forward.”
Omar Infante hit a tiebreaking single in a three-run sixth inning for the Royals, who have won five of six to open a nine-game road trip.
Guthrie (6-5) allowed two runs in six innings and reached 1,005 career strikeouts in his 12th big league season.
“It’s 1,000 more than I thought I’d probably ever thought I’d have,” he said. “It’s a great accomplishment to be able to get there and have the endurance to get to that number.”
Perez took much less time to reach his big number, getting there in his fifth season with a homer in the eighth inning off Edward Mujica that provided insurance for the Royals.
“It means a lot,” he said. “It’s pretty special to me.”
The Royals bullpen did the rest with Wade Davis pitching the ninth for his ninth save in as many chances as Kansas City swept the A’s for the first time since 2008.
Jesse Chavez (4-7) was hurt by an error by third baseman Max Muncy in Kansas City’s three-run sixth inning as Oakland lost its third straight following a season-long five-game winning streak.
“We were playing really good ball lately and this happens,” Muncy said. “It’s really frustrating that we had good momentum going as a team and we were playing really good ball.”
Billy Burns helped spark a two-run third inning for Oakland when he led off with a single to extend his hitting streak to 16 straight games.
Ben Zobrist drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly and Josh Reddick made it 2-0 when his popup to shallow left fell between shortstop Alcides Escobar and left fielder Alex Gordon for his 500th career hit.
A poor defensive play by Oakland helped the Royals take the lead in the sixth. With runners on first and third and one out, Perez hit a slow grounder to third base. Muncy charged and his throw home was high. Mike Moustakas scored on the fielder’s choice and the runners advanced to second and third on Muncy’s throwing error.
Alex Rios tied the game with a sacrifice fly and Infante gave the Royals their first lead with his two-out hit that knocked out Chavez.
“I got to stop the bleeding and make a pitch,” Chavez said. “It didn’t go our way. I made a pitch to the next hitter for what would have been the third out. I’ve still got to stop the bleeding there. There’s no excuse for it. It’s all my fault.”
Royals: OF Lorenzo Cain did not start after tweaking his hamstring stealing a base Saturday. He pinch hit for Eric Hosmer in the eighth and singled. Hosmer, who was moved to DH from first base, sprained his left ring finger on that same double steal Saturday and left Sunday’s game early. He is day to day. … Escobar was also removed in the eighth inning for precautionary reasons with a split nail on his right index finger, but Yost said he thought Escobar would be able to play Monday.
Athletics: Burns (hip flexor) returned to the lineup after missing the previous two games.
Burns had two hits and is one game away from tying the Oakland rookie hitting streak record of 17 games shared by Mike Edwards (1978), Luis Polonia (1987) and Terrence Long (2000).
Royals: Joe Blanton (2-0) takes the mound at Houston in the opener of a three-game series between first-place teams. Lance McCullers (3-2) pitches for the Astros.
Athletics: Kendall Graveman, who is 3-2 with a 2.31 ERA in seven starts since being recalled from the minors, starts the opener of a three-game series against Colorado.
by Steve Overbey, AP
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Chicago Cubs had several chances against St. Louis on Saturday night. It just didn’t work out.
It’s a familiar theme for their games against the Cardinals this year.
Starlin Castro and Chris Coghlan had two hits apiece, but Chicago lost 8-1 to Michael Wacha and St. Louis. The Cubs have dropped six of eight against the Cardinals this year, leaving 61 runners on base against the NL Central leaders.
“No question, we had opportunities,” manager Joe Maddon said. “We did a lot of good things early. We just have to do better. It’s very simple.”
The Cubs have lost four in a row after a four-game winning streak. They have scored just six runs in their last five games.
“We try to score 10 runs in one at-bat and that’s not going to happen,” Castro said. “Keep grinding it out, every opportunity they give to us.”
Cubs right-hander Donn Roach (0-1) lasted just 3 1/3 innings in his first major league appearance of the year. He was charged with four runs and eight hits while subbing for Tsuyoshi Wada, who has a sore elbow.
Jason Heyward reached four times in St. Louis’ fifth straight victory. The major league-best Cardinals (50-24) have five winning streaks of five games or more this season.
“We’re not completely oblivious to it, but we’re not spending a lot of time on it,” manager Mike Matheny said of the team’s record. “It’s nice watching the bulk of these guys have success.”
Wacha (10-3) allowed one run and six hits, bouncing back from a rough start at Philadelphia. The right-hander was tagged for five runs and eight hits against the Phillies in his worst start of the season last Sunday.
St. Louis improved to a major league-best 28-7 at home with its eighth consecutive win at Busch Stadium.
Xavier Scruggs, Kolten Wong and Matt Carpenter each drove in two runs as St. Louis reached the 50-win mark before July for the first time in franchise history. Scruggs, who was promoted from Triple-A Memphis on June 19, gave the Cardinals the lead for good with a run-scoring single in the fourth.
In Friday’s series opener, rookie Greg Garcia, also recalled from Memphis on June 19, connected for a tying pinch-hit homer in the eighth, and the Cardinals went on to a 3-2 victory in 10 innings.
“Greg, he’s my man and it was great to see him contribute like that,” Scruggs said. “Tonight, I just wanted to get out there and do something, too.”
Roach drove in Castro with an RBI single in the second.
Roach, who was 7-1 at Triple-A Iowa, set the Cardinals down in order in the third, but struggled in St. Louis’ four-run fourth. The Cardinals added four more in the fifth.
“I think they did a good job of staying up the middle,” Roach said. “I was looking for ground balls and they hit some up the middle and no one’s there. I obviously threw some mistakes today, but I didn’t think it was that bad.”
Cubs: OF Jorge Soler, who has been out since June 3 with a left ankle sprain, will likely start a minor league rehabilitation assignment early next week. Soler is on the 15-day disabled list.
Cardinals: LHP Jaime Garcia, who suffered a groin cramp running the bases in his last start, will not take his scheduled turn on Tuesday. He skipped a bullpen session Saturday and could return to the rotation as early as Wednesday. RHP Lance Lynn (5-4, 2.84 ERA) will start Tuesday.
Cardinals RHP Carlos Martinez (8-3, 2.89 ERA) faces RHP Jason Hammel (5-2, 2.65 ERA) in the finale of the three-game series on Sunday night. Hammel has eight quality starts in his last 11 outings. The Cardinals are 11-3 in games started by Martinez this season.
by Michael Wagaman, AP
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — With his team nearing its 43rd win of the season to tie Houston for the most in the AL, Kansas City manager Ned Yost finally relaxed and allowed himself to enjoy the moment.
The Royals are rolling again and the normally stoic Yost broke character to take it in.
Chris Young bounced back from his worst start of the year to pitch six innings and Kansas City beat the Oakland Athletics 3-2 Saturday to move a season-high 15 games over .500.
“I was sitting there thinking about that in the ninth inning, this would be a chance to get our high-water mark to 15 over,” Yost said following the Royals’ third consecutive win. “If I would say I’m not excited about being 15 over, I’d be lying. It’s great, but we want to continue to keep going, keep going, keep going.”
Kendrys Morales hit a two-run single in the sixth off Scott Kazmir (4-5) that erased a 2-1 deficit. The Royals won for the fourth time in five games on their road trip.
Young (7-3) allowed four hits and two runs. He walked one and struck out four.
That was in stark contrast to Young’s previous start against Boston when he was tagged for seven runs in 4 2/3 innings.
“He did a great job of changing eye level,” Yost said. “He’d get them looking up then pitch down. He’d get them looking down, then he’d pitch up. He moved the ball in and he’d move the ball out. He just did a great job of executing pitches.”
Ryan Madson and Wade Davis pitched one inning apiece, and Greg Holland worked the ninth for his 16th save.
Sam Fuld doubled for the A’s, who were wearing throwback uniforms from 1965 when the franchise was in Kansas City. Oakland has lost two straight after a season-high, five-game winning streak.
Oakland had two on with no outs in the eighth but failed to score. Stephen Vogt struck out looking against Davis after getting ahead in the count 3-0, and Ben Zobrist hit into a 1-6-3 double play.
“Once they get to the seventh, they feel like they have a good chance with the lead,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said of the Royals. “We had an opportunity. We just didn’t get a big hit there.”
For the second consecutive game these two bitter rivals played without incident. When they played in Kansas City in April, all three games were marred by bench-clearing dustups.
The Royals trailed 2-1 in the sixth before stringing together a walk and two hits. Lorenzo Cain and Hosmer also pulled off a double steal before Morales singled.
Young, who made a throwing error that led to Oakland’s first run, won for the third time in four starts.
Fuld doubled leading off the first, alertly stole third against the Royals shifted defense and scored when Young’s throw to third sailed wildly into foul territory.
Omar Infante doubled in the third, moved up on a balk by Kazmir and scored on a sacrifice fly by Moustakas.
A two-out throwing error by shortstop Alcides Escobar in the fifth led to an unearned run for the A’s in the fifth.
Kazmir owned the lowest home ERA in the majors going into the game, but gave up three runs and seven hits in seven innings.
Royals: RHP Yordano Ventura allowed three runs in four innings during his first rehab start for Triple-A Omaha. He has been out since June 13 with ulnar neuritis.
Athletics: OF Billy Burns (hip flexor) rested for a second straight day, but should be available for the series finale. … Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte (strained right shoulder) played catch with his right arm before the game and reported no pain. … Stephen Vogt was Oakland’s DH a day after getting hit in the right wrist by a pitch from Franklin Morales.
Royals: RHP Jeremy Guthrie (5-5) needs two strikeouts to reach 1,000 for his career. Teammate Edinson Volquez reached the milestone Friday.
Athletics: RHP Jesse Chavez (4-6) seeks his third consecutive win. He has never won more than two in a row.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) – Two University of Arkansas men’s track and field athletes have been named to the Capital One Academic All-America team.
The university announced Saturday that Nathanael Franks and Andrew Pisechko received the distinction.
Franks is a decathlete who qualified for his second NCAA outdoor championships with a season best 7,343 points at the 2015 SEC Outdoor Championships. He is working on his second master’s degree. He earned his first in businesses management and holds bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and physics.
Pisechko is a middle distance runner who helped Arkansas’ 4×800-meter relay team claim the runner up spot at the 2015 Drake Relays. He has a 4.0 cumulative grade-point average in accounting.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) – A Razorback track player is the Jamaican National Champion in the 5,000 meter run.
The University of Arkansas announced Saturday that senior Kemoy Campbell dominated the country’s best by more than a full minute to win the gold. He posted a time of 13:51.34 to win the event at Independence Park in Kingston, Jamaica.
He is qualified to represent the national team this August at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, China.
Campbell is the 2015 SEC indoor and outdoor champion at 5,000 meters. He received All-America honors for his efforts at the NCAA championships and is the Razorbacks’ first qualifier for the 2015 World Championships.
by Steve Overbey, AP
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals used power to tie the game, and took advantage of a mistake by the Chicago Cubs to win it.
Greg Garcia hit first career home run – a pinch-hit blast in the eighth inning – and Peter Bourjos scored the winning run from third on a bases-loaded, no-out, throwing error by Mike Baxter to help the Cardinals to a 3-2, 10-inning win in a battle of NL Central rivals.
It was St. Louis’ fourth win in a row and seventh straight at home, and the Cardinals improved to a major-league best 27-7 at home.
With the game tied in the 10th, Jhonny Peralta slapped a routine grounder to second base, where Baxter – the right fielder – had come in to play with the bases loaded, giving the Cubs five infielders. Baxter cleanly fielded the ball and had plenty of time, but threw wildly to the third-base side of the plate.
“I threw it away, I didn’t make the play,” Baxter said. “It’s something I’m very capable of doing.”
Bourjos began the 10th inning with a double off reliever Justin Grimm (1-2). Kolten Wong followed with a single off the second base bag and Matt Carpenter was walked to load the bases.
Seth Maness (2-0) picked up the win in relief.
Chicago lost its third in a row after a four-game winning streak.
Garcia set up the Cardinals’ sixth extra-inning win in nine tries with his homer off Pedro Strop leading off the eighth that tied it at 2. It was the Cardinals’ first pinch-hit homer of the season – from an unlikely source.
“I’m not a power hitter by any means,” Garcia said.
Garcia is 3 for 4 as a pinch-hitter since being recalled from Triple-A Memphis on June 19.
“I had a feeling he was going to throw me a fastball,” Garcia said. “I put a good swing on it. It was surreal. I can’t even put it into words.”
St. Louis manager Mike Matheny was confident that Garcia would at least get on base.
“I figured he’d go up there and put a pretty good rip into it,” Matheny said. “I didn’t expect to see the ball leave (the park). What a great surprise. He’s done a nice job whenever we do get him an opportunity.”
Kris Bryant gave Chicago a 2-1 lead by driving in Dexter Fowler with a sacrifice fly to center in the seventh off Cardinals starter John Lackey, who gave up two runs on eight hits in seven innings. Fowler started the inning with a double.
“It was a tough one, they put some good at-bats on me,” Lackey said. “A lot of deep counts and I had to throw a lot of pitches. But for the most part, I was able to do some good damage control.”
Chicago starter Jake Arrieta allowed just one run on three hits over seven innings.
“I got into a groove and was able to hold them off,” Arrieta said. “But they did what they do, they fought back. This was a tough one. We were right there.”
Randal Grichuk gave St. Louis a 1-0 lead with a run-scoring triple in the second.
Chicago, which had scored just three runs over its previous three games, tied the game in the fourth on a RBI single by Baxter, who had three hits and helped Arrieta with a leap into the stands to snare a flyball by Peralta leading off the sixth.
The Cardinals are 27-18 against the Cubs over the last two-plus seasons.
“This one stings,” Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo said. “You can’t give away a lead there.”
Cubs: Bryant returned to the starting lineup after being taken out of Thursday’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers with flu-like symptoms after the second inning. Fowler also returned after missing three games with a sore ankle suffered running the bases on Monday.
UP NEXT: Chicago RHP Donn Roach will make his first start of the season against RHP Michael Wacha (9-3, 2.85). Roach is replacing Tsuyoshi Wada, who suffered shoulder tightness in his previous start Monday. Roach was 7-1 with a 2.29 ERA for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs. Wacha began the season 7-0.