Cardinals lose 4-3 to Cubs on walk-off walk
CHICAGO — The St. Louis Cardinals’ playoff hopes took a big hit thanks to a costly hit by pitch.
Matt Holliday was lost to a broken right thumb after he was plunked by a 94-mph fastball in St. Louis’ 4-3, 11-inning loss to the Chicago Cubs on Thursday night.
Reliever Mike Montgomery (4-5) hit the seven-time All-Star on a 1-1 count with two outs and nobody on in the 10th.
An X-ray showed the fracture. Holliday declined to speculate if his season is over.
"Yeah, for sure, it’s super disappointing," Holliday said, "but it’s part of the sport, unfortunately."
St. Louis fell 13 games behind the Cubs in the NL Central but is a half-game out of the final wild-card spot.
"We’ve got some young talented players that are going to have to step up and get the job done," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "That’s all there is to it. There is going to be some opportunity for them now."
Holliday, who left for a pinch-runner after being checked by the trainer, had singled and scored in the first inning. He’s hitting .242 with 19 home runs and 60 RBIs.
"I definitely feel for him," Montgomery said. "It wasn’t on purpose. It’s just one of those pitches that’s a big part of the game, going inside, and it just got away."
Anthony Rizzo drew a bases-loaded, two-out walk from Zach Duke to give the Cubs their 10th straight victory.
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Pinch-hitters Willson Contreras and Jorge Soler led off with singles against the lefty Duke (2-1) and Dexter Fowler walked to load the bases with one out. Kris Bryant struck out before Rizzo, who crowds the plate, took a 3-1 pitch inside to give the Cubs their longest winning streak since capturing 12 straight in 2001.
"I don’t know," Duke said when asked if he thought it was a ball. "I can only speak for myself. It’s a tough call to not get right there."
Randal Grichuk, called up from the minors before the game, tied it for St. Louis with a pinch-hit solo home run off Travis Wood in the seventh. Brandon Moss also homered for St. Louis.
Chris Coghlan had a two-run single and David Ross an RBI bunt single in the sixth for the Cubs.
Both managers used their closers in the ninth. Chicago’s Aroldis Chapman needed three pitches to get two liners to third and a groundout, while Seung Hwan Oh struck out the side for St. Louis. Oh then worked out of a 10th-inning jam.
Cubs lefty Jon Lester allowed two runs and five hits with six strikeouts in six innings but lost a chance at his 13th win when Grichuk sent a 1-0 cutter into the left-field bleachers.
Moss hit his first homer off a lefty this season in the sixth to put the Cardinals up 2-0. Yadier Molina added three hits, including an RBI single in the first to extend his on-base streak to 24 games.
Martinez allowed three runs and seven hits over six innings. He hurt himself when he cut off a throw home that seemingly had a chance to get Rizzo on Chicago’s second run.
Holliday was to see a hand specialist Friday and then return to St. Louis.
"Trying to make the playoffs, you lose your three-hole hitter, one of the leaders of the team, it’s pretty tough," Grichuk said. "We’ve just got to regroup and get everybody to pull together."
Cardinals: A day after being scratched, 1B Matt Adams (shoulder) was placed on the 15-day disabled list. "He’s been working on some things throwing and also with his swing and something didn’t respond well," Matheny said. Grichuk was recalled from Triple-A Memphis.
The Cardinals plan to promote RHP Luke Weaver, one of their top prospects, to start Saturday at Wrigley Field. The 2014 first-round pick will replace Michael Wacha (shoulder).
"You want to sometimes throw them in there and see how they answer the call coming here in a tough environment," Matheny said. "Some guys rise to that occasion, so I’m excited to watch him pitch."
Cubs RHP Jake Arrieta (13-5, 2.59 ERA) faces RHP Adam Wainwright (9-6, 4.34) on Friday afternoon.