CHICAGO — The St. Louis Cardinals were frustrated Friday, by Jake Arrieta and by umpires.
Arrieta struck out 10 in seven innings and the Chicago Cubs beat the sloppy Cardinals 5-0 as St. Louis fell a game behind the Mets and a half-game behind the Giants for the two NL wild-card berths.
Mike Leake (9-11) gave up five runs, seven hits and three walks in 3 1/3 innings.
“I couldn’t locate early,” he said. “I was slightly erratic. I just started out on the wrong foot.”
After Jhonny Peralta and Kolten Wong led off the third inning with singles, Leake was struck by a pitch in a bunt situation, only to have plate umpire CB Buckner rule a swinging strike. After manager Mike Matheny debated the call with Buckner and first-base umpire Jim Reynolds briefly, the pitcher bunted into a double play and Matt Carpenter struck out.
“I was surprised at the call,” Leake said. “It could have turned into a turning point if we would have capitalized.”
Video review is not allowed on that type of play.
“I would like to see them change anything that’s at a pivotal point in the game and can be reviewed,” Matheny said.
Arrieta (18-7) allowed five hits and walked one, Anthony Rizzo had three hits and Ben Zobrist drove in two runs.
“I don’t give up many hits, so if I can keep guys off base via the walk, I’m going to be in a pretty good spot,” Arrieta said.
The Cubs scored four runs in the first inning off Leake en route to their 98th victory, the most since they last played in the World Series in 1945. They also tied a team record with their 56th home win.
Pedro Strop came off the disabled list to work the eighth, and Travis Wood and Carl Edwards Jr. finished the five-hitter.
Rizzo, Zobrist and Chris Coghlan drove in runs in the first off Leake, winless in four starts since recovering from shingles.
“Those are the kind of innings that have hurt him this year,” Matheny said. “When he’s able to stay away from the big inning, you see him go deep in the game.”
Leake allowed another run on one of two wild pitches. Cardinals’ gaffes included Wong face-planting into the turf chasing Rizzo’s first-inning double and Matt Adams getting picked off first in the fourth.
Cardinals: LF Matt Holliday (broken right thumb) took batting practice off RHP Mike Mayers before the game. “He blistered a couple balls,” Matheny said. “It was exciting to see.” Holliday will likely have another BP session before he’s activated. … SS Aledmys Diaz (arm fatigue) was out of the lineup.
GROOMSMAN STRIKES OUT
Arrieta and Carpenter were college teammates at TCU. Arrieta was Carpenter’s wedding groomsman. Yet Carpenter can’t solve his friend. He went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts, leaving him 0 for 24 in the regular season against Arrieta.
LHP Jaime Garcia will take the Cardinals rotation spot of struggling RHP Luke Weaver on Monday vs. Cincinnati.
RHP Jason Hammel (15-9, 3.56 ERA), contending for the final Cubs postseason rotation spot, faces rookie RHP Alex Reyes (3-1, 1.08) on Saturday.