- Jesse joined ESPN Chicago in September 2009 and covers MLB for ESPN.com.
CHICAGO — The St. Louis Cardinals tied the New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics for the longest win streak of the season by virtue of an 8-5 victory over the Chicago Cubs in Game 1 of a doubleheader on Friday.
The 13 consecutive wins is the second longest for the Cardinals since they joined the National League in 1892. They won 14 in a row in 1935.
“We’re aware,” Friday’s Game 1 starter, J.A. Happ, said after the game. “The good thing to see is the focus. That’s the stuff (win streaks) that happens when you’re on a good team and things are going well.”
The Cardinals were aided by three two-run home runs. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt hit his 30th of the year in the third inning. Pinch hitter Jose Rondon went deep in the fifth, while outfielder Tyler O’Neill hit his 30th, also in the fifth inning. His blast gave the Cardinals three 30-homer hitters for just the second time in franchise history, as third baseman Nolan Arenado already has 33.
Happ was asked if the team can appreciate the length of the win streak while in the middle of it. The Cardinals are the eighth team in history to record a 13-game win streak or better in September (or later).
“We’re still in the middle of this thing (playoff race), coming down to it,” he said. “We still feel it. Not pressure but the need to go out and perform with focus. We’re in a good spot to do that.”
The one piece of bad news for St. Louis from Game 1 is shortstop Edmundo Sosa left the game after getting hit by a pitch in a hand. X-rays were negative.
“Thankfully, it looks like no fracture,” manager Mike Shildt said. “It was scary looking for sure.”
Shildt indicated Sosa could miss three to five days. Entering Game 2 of their doubleheader on Friday evening, the Cardinals held a 4.5-game lead over the Philadelphia Phillies for the second NL wild-card spot.
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