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Cardinals 4, Cubs 3: Late St. Louis rally ruins a very good outing by Marcus Stroman

The Cubs righthander was completely dominant in the first game of Thursday’s doubleheader, but the Cubs lost anyway.

Photo by Joe Puetz/Getty Images

I wasn’t going to write a separate recap of this game, but since there are still a few hours until Game 2, here are a few words about the Cubs’ 4-3 loss to the Cardinals in Game 1. The defeat dropped the team’s record in one-run games to 13-20, and it ruined a fine outing by Marcus Stroman.

The Cubs got started early. With one out in the first inning, Willson Contreras went deep [VIDEO].

Contreras also doubled and scored twice in this game, so since he was NOT traded Tuesday, Willson is 3-for-7 with a double, triple, home run and two times hit by a pitch. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that Contreras’ uncertainty about being traded weighed on his performance and without that over his head anymore this year, he’s back to hitting the way he was before July.

Meanwhile, Marcus Stroman was mowing down Cardinals hitters. Through six innings he allowed just two singles, both to Brendan Donovan, didn’t walk anyone and struck out six. There was a brief time when he walked around the back of the mound after a strikeout, with David Ross and a trainer coming out to look at him, but he continued without issue. Through six he threw only 76 pitches (50 strikes).

Stroman also had some defensive help from Rafael Ortega in the fourth [VIDEO].

The Cubs extended the lead to 3-0 in the sixth. Contreras led off with a double, and one out later, Seiya Suzuki singled him in [VIDEO].

Nico Hoerner then singled Suzuki to third, where he scored on a sac fly by Patrick Wisdom [VIDEO].

Nolan Gorman and Paul Goldschmidt homered off Stroman in the seventh to break up Stroman’s shutout. The sixth inning ran quite long and perhaps Stroman sitting in the dugout for a long time took away some of whatever he had previously. A double and a pair of fly balls tied the game 3-3. Despite all that, this was a solid outing for Stroman.

The Cubs had chances to score with RISP in the seventh and eighth, but failed to bring any runners home and left eight runners on base overall.

Brandon Hughes relieved Stroman, got out of the seventh and threw a scoreless eighth. The Cubs, though, could not score again and the Cardinals won the game off Erich Uelmen with a pair of walks and a single by Lars Nootbaar in the bottom of the ninth.

The nightcap of this doubleheader starts at 6:45 p.m. CT, as the Cubs try to salvage one game of this three-game set. Sean Newcomb will be added to the active roster to start the game for the Cubs; a roster move will be required to do that and it’ll likely be a position player (perhaps Frank Schwindel optioned to Iowa?). Old friend Jose Quintana will start for the Cardinals. TV coverage will again be via Marquee Sports Network. A game preview with lineups, etc. for Game 2 will post at 5:30 p.m. CT.