Carlson homers, drives in 4 runs as Cardinals beat Cubs 8-3

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ST. LOUIS — Dylan Carlson homered and drove in four runs, Jake Woodford pitched 5 2/3 strong innings in his first start of the season, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 8-3 on Monday night.

Woodford (2-1), who was recalled from Triple-A Memphis prior to the game, struck out six and didn’t allow a walk. Woodford pitched out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the fifth by getting Ian Happ to ground into a double play, which scored Patrick Wisdom for the only run he allowed.

John Gant pitched the final 2 1/3 innings of relief as the Cardinals ran their winning streak to three games.

It was the second career start and first decision in that role for Woodford, who made his 30th career appearance. The 24-year-old right-hander, who had made 17 appearances in relief this season, was sent down to Memphis on June 28 to build up to be a starter.

Three Cubs errors, including two straight by Javier Báez at shortstop, led to four runs for the Cardinals in the fourth. Alec Mills didn’t help his cause by walking Carlson with the bases loaded, and Paul Goldschmidt extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a bases-loaded infield single, giving St. Louis a 5-0 lead.

Carlson and Goldschmidt hit home runs off Keegan Thompson in the sixth. It was the fourth time this season the Cardinals hit back-to-back homers, but first since April 19.

Carlson’s single scored Harrison Bader to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead in the third. Carlson’s four RBIs tied a career high set earlier this season, on April 7 against Miami.

Only one of the five runs Mills (4-3) allowed was earned as the Cubs lost for the second straight game. He struck out six over four innings, but 28 of his 81 pitches came in the Cardinals’ four-run fourth.

Wisdom led off the seventh with a homer off Andrew Miller.

ROSTER MOVES

The Cubs activated RHP Dillon Maples (right triceps strain) from the 10-day injured list and optioned LHP Kyle Ryan to Triple-A Iowa.

The Cardinals optioned OF Lars Nootbaar to Memphis to make room for Woodford.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cubs: INF Matt Duffy (low back strain) is on track to come off the IL when eligible on Thursday.

Cardinals: RHP Miles Mikolas (right forearm tightness) will throw a live batting practice tomorrow with the hope of sending him on a rehab assignment this weekend. RHP Jack Flaherty (left oblique strain) threw a bullpen. RHP Carlos Martínez (right thumb ligament sprain) had surgery on Friday, likely ending his season.

UP NEXT

The Cubs will send RHP Trevor Williams (3-2, 5.51 ERA) against the Cardinals in the second game a of four-game series on Tuesday night. Williams came off the IL from an appendectomy on July 6 and allowed seven runs on 3 2/3 innings to Philadelphia that night. The Cardinals have not announced a starter.

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Joe Harris, The Associated Press

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