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Cubs ride Cardinals’ defensive mistakes to even the NLDS at 1-1

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Some defensive miscues by the Cardinals — and a home run by Jorge Soler — allowed the Cubs to jump out to a sizable early lead and rode that all the way to a 6-3 victory on Saturday night in Game 2 of the NLDS. The series is now tied with each team having won one game.

The Cardinals went up 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning when Matt Carpenter drilled a solo home run to straightaway center field against starter Kyle Hendricks. The Cubs immediately responded, capitalizing on Kolten Wong‘s misfire to complete the last leg of a 6-4-3 double play in the first inning plus a Jaime Garcia throwing error to first base, to score five runs in the top of the second. Jorge Soler’s two-run home run to center field served as the cherry on top. Soler finished 2-for-2 with a double and a pair of walks along with the round-tripper.

Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia left after two innings due to a stomach virus, which likely had an impact on his performance. Lance Lynn, previously tabbed to start Game 4, relieved Garcia in the third inning. It’s unknown if his use on Saturday will alter the Cardinals’ rotation plans.

Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks faltered after striking out back-to-back hitters to begin the fifth, allowing back-to-back solo home runs to Kolten Wong and Randal Grichuk. He was pulled and the Cubs’ bullpen held the fort from there. Travis Wood tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings followed by a dominant eighth from Trevor Cahill. Closer Hector Rondon, he of locked bathroom fame, worked around a one-out Jason Heyward single in the ninth to close out the 6-3 win.

The two clubs will enjoy a day off on Sunday. The NLDS will continue on Monday in Chicago at Wrigley field with Michael Wacha starting for the Cardinals and Jake Arrieta taking the hill for the Cubs.

Carlos Martinez was hospitalized for respiratory problems over the weekend

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Last night Cardinals closer Carlos Martinez picked up his 20th save in his team’s win over the Nats. This past weekend was far less fun for him.

Martinez rejoined the team yesterday, two days after he was hospitalized to deal with respiratory issues that were ultimately determined to be allergies and asthma, which have given him issues over the past couple of years. Martinez said that he was having trouble breathing during Saturday’s game against the Brewers at Busch Stadium and went to the hospital for tests. He stayed overnight and was released on Sunday.

Yesterday was back to business. He came into the game with two outs in the ninth and threw only two pitches. Strike one to Ryan Zimmerman before getting him to line out to center field and end the game. Sure beats the hospital.