Cardinals winning streak: Paul Goldschmidt and Tyler O’Neill home runs help St. Louis win 13th straight game

The St. Louis Cardinals on Friday prevailed over the Cubs at Wrigley Field by a score of 8-5 in the first game of a doubleheader. With the victory, the surging Cardinals pushed their current win streak to 13 games and tightened their already firm grip on the second and final National League wild card spot. 

The 13-game win streak, which began on Sept. 11 with a win over the Reds, now stands as the second-longest in Cardinals franchise history. The longest streak was 14 wins in row from July 2 through July 18, 1935. 

With their 13th straight victory, the Cardinals also tied the longest winning streak in the majors this season. The other 13-game streaks belong to a pair of American League teams: the Oakland Athletics (May) and the New York Yankees (August).

In this one, sluggers Paul Goldschmidt and Tyler O’Neill paced the Cardinals, as each tallied his 30th home run on Friday. Goldschmidt has now hit 30 or more homers in a season on six occasions. For O’Neill, it’s his first 30-homer campaign. Of note is that O’Neill’s Friday home run traveled an estimated 454 feet and left Wrigley Field: 

Goldschmidt, now batting .293/.363/.513 on the season, and O’Neill, now batting .278/.348/.537, have keyed the offensive attack during the Cardinals’ current streak, and one or both of them may be line for a top-10 finish in the NL MVP balloting. On the mound, deadline addition J.A. Happ tossed four scoreless against the Cubs despite walking four batters. The Cardinals led 8-0 in this one, but the Cubs in the sixth hung five runs on two Cardinal relievers to make things interesting.

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The win pushes the Cardinals to 84-69 on the year and going into the second game of the doubleheader gives them a 5.0-game lead over the Phillies for the second wild card berth with nine to play. Coming into Friday’s slate, the SportsLine Projection System gave St. Louis a 99.0 percent chance of winning that wild card spot.

Friday afternoon’s win, however, potentially came at a cost for the Cardinals. Shortstop Edmundo Sosa was struck on the right hand/wrist area by a Tommy Nance sinker. Sosa, in obvious pain, immediately removed himself from the game and was replace on the bases and later at the position by Paul DeJong. The Cardinals are likely to provide an update on Sosa prior to the second game of the doubleheader.  

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