ST. LOUIS — Starlin Castro hit one of Chicago’s three solo homers and Felix Doubront pitched seven strong innings in his National League debut, sending the Cubs to a 5-1 victory over the slumping St. Louis Cardinals in the opener of a day-night doubleheader Saturday.
Logan Watkins and Chris Valaika also connected for Chicago in the makeup of a May 14 rainout. The last-place Cubs hit four home runs Friday, giving them seven in two games against the Cardinals.
St. Louis has lost four in a row for the second time this season. The Cardinals began the day one game ahead of Atlanta and 1 1/2 up on Pittsburgh for the second NL wild card.
PIRATES 3, REDS 2: At PIttsburgh, Neil Walker hit a three-run homer in the first inning and the Pirates made it hold up behind starter Vance Worley, getting their fourth straight victory.
Walker’s 18th home run put the Pirates ahead 3-0 against Alfredo Simon four batters into the game. Pittsburgh’s winning streak matches its longest of the season.
Worley (6-4) allowed two runs — one earned — and three hits in 6 1/3 innings to snap a career-worst, three-start skid. Mark Melancon pitched a perfect ninth for his 26th save after left-hander Justin Wilson and Tony Watson combined for 1 2/3 scoreless innings.
MARLINS 4, BRAVES 0: At Atlanta, Jarred Cosart pitched seven effective innings, and Miami stopped a three-game losing streak.
Cosart (3-1) allowed seven hits, struck out five and walked one. The right-hander, who was acquired in a July 31 trade with Houston, is 3-0 with a 0.65 ERA in his past four starts.
Donovan Solano hit a solo homer in the first and finished with three hits for Miami, which is 8-7 against Atlanta this year. Giancarlo Stanton had two hits and drove in a run.
Atlanta had won three in a row. Aaron Harang (10-9) yielded four runs, three earned, and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.
PHILLIES 7, METS 2: At New York, Ryan Howard drove in three runs, Marlon Byrd homered and Philadelphia defeated the Mets.
Journeyman right-hander Jerome Williams pitched into the seventh inning to win his third straight decision since joining the last-place Phillies, who won for the seventh time in nine games. They batted around in the sixth, scoring five runs off Bartolo Colon on seven hits — all singles.