Cubs Open Key Series with 9-0 Rout of Cards

The St. Louis Cardinals and starting pitcher Lance Lynn were flat in Monday’s home loss to Chicago.

Extra rest didn't benefit Lance Lynn. The St. Louis Cardinals' offense was silent, too.

Lynn (11-9) surrendered six runs in 2 1/3 innings on nine days' rest after spraining an ankle in his last start as the Cubs whipped the Cardinals 9-0 on Monday afternoon.

The NL Central-leading Cardinals maintained a 5 1/2-game lead over Pittsburgh, which lost 3-1 to Cincinnati. The Cubs are 7 1/2 games back.

Lynn didn't appreciate the extra time off.

"It didn't help," Lynn said. "When you're in a rhythm and a creature of habit, the extra time is never wanted. It's just part of it, but you've got to go up there and pitch when your name is called."

Lynn's ankle wasn't the issue -- his control was.

"Just didn't have any command, the ball was all over the place," Lynn said. "Early on, I was all over the zone and when I started making pitches they were already locked in and I couldn't do anything about it."

Manager Mike Matheny had no problem with the right-hander's velocity.

"We were behind in the counts and we didn't see any groundballs, which is telling you one of two things: that we don't have any movement or we're up in the zone too much," Matheny said. "Both of those things are typically things that Lance doesn't have an issue with."

Monday's drubbing was St. Louis' worst home loss of this season. The Cardinals, who still have a major league-best 49-23 home record, have dropped their last two at home by a combined score of 16-1.

"Just rough, right from the beginning," Matheny said. "And working into tough counts and then getting a lot of the plate, and that doesn't typically end up well with a good hitting team, and this team's swinging it well."

Dexter Fowler had a leadoff home run and two-run double in the first two innings, and Dan Haren worked seven innings for the Cubs.

Addison Russell's three-run homer capped a five-run third that made it 8-0. The Cubs have won four in a row and got an 11-game trip off to a rocking start.

Haren (9-9) had five strikeouts and two walks. He contributed a single and sacrifice fly in Chicago's second victory in eight games in St. Louis this season.

Fowler's leadoff homer was his fifth this season and the 14th of his career.

The Cubs are 36-29 on the road, second best in the NL behind the Cardinals' 38-27.

"I loved the fact we played well here," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "We have to learn to play well in this venue."

NO FREE PASSES

Cubs starting pitchers have walked three or fewer in 65 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the majors.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cubs: Kyle Schwarber (rib/oblique) took swings indoors and manager Joe Maddon didn't rule out the rookie for later in the series.

Cardinals: 2B Kolten Wong (calf tightness) was a late lineup scratch. He struck out pinch hitting and reached first in the ninth. ... Randal Grichuk (elbow) pinch ran in the ninth after being activated off the DL but has not been cleared for hitting or throwing.

UP NEXT

Michael Wacha (15-4, 2.69) pitches for the first time since Aug. 28. He's 4-0 with a 2.88 ERA in nine career starts with six or more days' rest. Jason Hammel (7-6, 3.55) faces the Cardinals for the third time this season. He's 1-3 with a 6.31 ERA record for his career against St. Louis.

Link to box score: Chicago Cubs (79-57) 9 at St. Louis (87-50) 0


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