CHICAGO (AP) — Ian Happ’s first home run wound up in the street, and his second drew a curtain call from the screaming crowd.
Not a bad night for the prized rookie, and it turned out well for the Cubs, too.
Happ hit two homers, pinch hitter Jon Jay drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh with a single and Chicago beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-6 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.
Happ broke out of a 4-for-32 slump by staking Chicago to a 6-4 lead with his solo drive in the third and a three-run shot in the fourth against Michael Wacha. The first homer hugged the right-field line , bouncing onto Sheffield Avenue, and the second whipped fans into a frenzy. Happ came back out of the dugout and tipped his helmet to the screaming crowd.
“Awesome, awesome moment,” he said. “These fans are unbelievable.”
Jay broke a 6-6 tie with his two-out single off Matt Bowman (1-2) in the seventh. Anthony Rizzo had three hits and scored the go-ahead run, and the Cubs (28-27) moved back over .500 with their 10th home win in 12 games. They also swept three from the Cardinals at Wrigley Field for the first time since 2006, and they did it after an 0-6 trip against the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego.
Cubs players held a meeting before the final game against the Padres that was more of a reminder of who they are than a clear-the-air session.
“It was nothing big,” Jay said. “Not a big deal at all. Just reminding ourselves what we can do.”
Stephen Piscotty hit a three-run homer in the fourth off Kyle Hendricks. The Cardinals tied it with two in the sixth against Hector Rondon, only to lose for the eighth time in 11 games.
“I’d say we’ve had two weeks of being in every single game,” manager Mike Matheny said. “Two weeks of having multiple games that we typically would put away and for whatever reason, they’re just hard to finish now. They’re always hard to finish here.”
Singles by Rizzo and Jason Heyward put runners on first and second with two outs in the seventh. Jay — batting for Pedro Strop — lined a single to center and Rizzo crossed the plate before Heyward got tagged out in a rundown between second and third.
Strop (2-2) threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings. Carl Edwards Jr. retired the side in the eighth. Koji Uehara worked a perfect ninth for his second save in four chances after Wade Davis closed the previous two games.
Hendricks gave up four runs and four hits in four innings.
Pounded in back-to-back losses to the Dodgers, Wacha lasted just 4 1/3 innings, allowing six runs and six hits. The Cardinals had just scored four in the fourth when Chicago answered with five in the bottom half after the first two batters were retired.
“That’s on me,” he said. “They’ve been giving me a lead out there, and I’ve just been serving it right back to them and that’s not the way to go about it. Whenever we get a lead, that starter is supposed to keep that lead for us and I haven’t been doing that.”
Cardinals third baseman Jedd Gyorko singled and scored. The slugger missed two games to be with his wife Karley, who had a girl named Brooklyn Ellee on Tuesday. With Gyorko back from paternity leave, St. Louis optioned outfielder Magneuris Sierra to Double-A Springfield. The 21-year-old Sierra debuted last month and is 12 for 32 with hits in all eight games he has played in. He is the first Cardinals rookie with a hit in each of his first eight games since Homer Smoot did it in 1902.
Cardinals: INF/OF Kolten Wong (strained left elbow) will likely begin a minor-league rehab assignment in the next couple of days, manager Mike Matheny said. Wong played 41 games this season, hitting .278 with one homer and 16 RBIs before going on the DL on May 28.
Cardinals: St. Louis sends surging RHP Carlos Martinez (4-4, 3.08 ERA) to the mound as the Cardinals open a four-game series against the Cincinnati Reds. Martinez is 4-1 in his past seven starts and has lowered his ERA from 4.76. RHP Asher Wojciechowski (1-0, 5.63) pitches for the Reds.
Cubs: Chicago begins a three-game series against Miami, with RHP Eddie Butler (2-1, 4.42) pitching for the Cubs and RHP Dan Straily (4-3, 3.56) going for the Marlins.
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