Cubs overcome 5-run deficit to beat Cards 6-5, Flaherty hurt

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ST. LOUIS — Willson Contreras hit a tiebreaking single in the 10th inning to drive in his third run of the game, and the Chicago Cubs overcame a five-run deficit to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-5 on Sunday.

St. Louis led 5-0 but starter Jack Flaherty left after two innings because of right shoulder tightness, and the Cubs tied the score with a five-run fourth. The Cardinals have lost three of their last four games and seven of their last 10.

Contreras hit a tying two-run single in the fourth and led off the 10th with a single off Zack Thompson (1-1) that scored automatic runner Nelson Velazquez.

“I was just trying to hit a ground ball to second base,” Contreras said. “I finally got a fastball up, and I was trying to get on top it.”

Contreras, who struck out in his first two trips to the plate, found a hole in the shift for his 31st RBI.

“He didn’t get frustrated,” Chicago manager David Ross said. “He locked it back in.”

David Robertson (2-0) retired three straight batters in the bottom half, and the Cubs took two of three from their rival. Chicago has won four of its last five series in St. Louis.

“This is an intense rivalry, an intense place to come and play,” Chicago outfielder Rafael Ortega said. “I’m excited that we were able to take care of this series.”

Ross agreed, “We play these guys really tough. Our pitching showed up, we made pitches. Our guys fought really hard, I’m super proud of them.”

Flaherty was making his third start this season after missing the first 64 games while recovering from shoulder surgery. He gave up one hit, struck out two and walked two, throwing 49 pitches.

Flaherty was not available after game. St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol said Flaherty had a, “dead arm sensation.” Marmol also said the ailment was not connected to Flaherty’s previous injury.

Nick Wittgren allowed four straight singles starting the fourth, including Alex Rivas’ RBI hit. Johan Oviedo gave up a one-out double to Rafael Ortega, and Contreras followed with the tying hit.

Nolan Arenado had a run-scoring single in the first, Tommy Edman grounded into a run-scoring forceout in the second and Brendan Donovan, Paul Goldschmidt and Juan Yepez homered in a 12-pitch span in the third off Alec Mills. Donovan and Goldschmidt hit back-to-back drives, with Goldschmidt’s his team-leading 18th.

LIGHTS ON

The Cardinals play 10 of their next 11 games at night. They have played 33 day games this season.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals: LHP Steven Matz, sidelined since May 23 with shoulder impingement, is to pitch two innings at Triple-A Memphis on Tuesday. He is still at least two weeks away from returning to the Cardinals starting rotation.

UP NEXT

Cubs: RHP Keegan Thompson (7-2, 3.10 will face Cincinnati RHP Luis Castillo (2-4, 3.71) on Tuesday in the first of a three-game set in Chicago. Thompson has allowed just one run over his last 12 innings,

Cardinals: RHP Adam Wainwright (5-5, 3.32) takes on Miami RHP Pablo Lopez (5-3, 2.61) in the first of a three-game set on Monday in St. Louis. Wainwright is 7-2 with a 2.99 ERA in 15 appearances against the Marlins.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.