Cardinals beat Cubs 8-0, move into 1st place in NL Central

ST. LOUIS (AP) – Jack Flaherty struck out nine in seven strong innings and Matt Wieters hit a three-run homer as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 8-0 Thursday in a matchup of NL Central leaders.

The Cardinals won two games in the three-game set and claimed first in the division, a game ahead of Chicago. The Cubs have lost four of six overall and 11 of their last 16 on the road.

Flaherty (5-6) allowed just one hit and walked two in recording his first win since May 14, a span of 79 days and 12 starts. The right-hander held the Cubs without a hit until newcomer Nicholas Castellanos singled to right with two out in the sixth. Flaherty retired 13 straight batters from the first to fifth innings.

Wieters capped off a four-run, sixth-inning outburst with a three-run homer off Derek Holland to give the Cardinals a 6-0 lead.

Jose Martinez, Kolten Wong and Yairo Muniz had RBI singles for the Cardinals, who are coming off a 16-9 record in July.

Jon Lester (9-7) gave up five earned runs on nine hits over five-plus innings. He struck out six and did not walk a batter.

Wong and Paul DeJong had three hits apiece.

The home team has won 11 of 12 games between the teams this season.

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