Peter Lambert's major league debut exceeded even his own expectations.

Lambert allowed four hits over seven innings and struck out nine, helping the Colorado Rockies beat the Chicago Cubs 3-1 on Thursday.

"What a great day," Lambert said. "Wrigley Field. It was awesome. The atmosphere. The fans. it was crazy out there. I thought I would go out there and feel the heart pumping, but I was all right."

A 22-year-old right-hander selected in the second round with the 44th overall pick of the 2015 amateur draft, Lambert retired 11 straight batters during a stretch before Kris Bryant doubled with one-out in the sixth. Bryant scored on Javier Báez's two-out single.

Lambert (1-0) walked one and threw 63 of 95 pitches for strikes, ending his outing by striking out the side in the seventh. He set a Rockies record for strikeouts by a pitcher in his debut.

He also singled on his first pitch as a big league batter, using a two-tone bat to loop a fastball from José Quintana (4-5) to right-center field.

"He's a good athlete, even when he swings the bat — if you really watch his mechanics are outstanding," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "He was able to take the game he's been pitching in Triple-A and bring to the big leagues."

Lambert, from San Dimas, California, pitched with family looking on — including brother Jimmy, a 24-year-old right-hander with Double-A Birmingham in the Chicago White Sox organization. He is on the seven-day injured list,

Lambert, 2-2 with a 5.07 ERA in 11 starts this season at Triple-A Albuquerque, was called up before the game.

Colorado rebounded after losing the first two games of the series. Chicago's NL Central lead was cut to a percentage point over second-place Milwaukee.

Quintana dropped to 0-4 in his last six starts, giving up three runs and six hits in 7 1/3 innings. He has not won since beating St. Louis on May 5.

Cardinals 3, Reds 1: After sputtering for most of May, the St. Louis Cardinals are now running past opponents.

Paul DeJong homered and St. Louis tied its season high with four stolen bases in a 3-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday that completed a 4-1 homestand.

"We're always going to look to attack," Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. "We don't hold our cards back a whole lot. It's just about opportunity."

After dropping five games back in the division in late May, St. Louis closed within 2½ games behind the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs and second-place Milwaukee. St. Louis started 20-10 but is just 31-29 overall.

DeJong hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer off Michael Lorenzen (0-1) in the seventh inning, DeJong's ninth home run this season and first since May 18. He had been in a 3-for-43 slide with no extra-base hits.

"Probably too patient, taking too many heaters early in the count," DeJong said. "Today I felt on that last at bat I was sticking to the middle, and it showed up and I put a good swing on it."

Matt Carpenter, Kolten Wong, Marcell Ozuna and Dexter Fowler swiped bases for the Cardinals, who are tied with Milwaukee for the NL lead with 37. Wong became the only player in the major leagues who has 10 steals without being caught.

St. Louis stole three bases off DeSclafani after not registering a theft in two previous games against him.

John Gant (5-0) pitched 1 1/3 perfect innings in his ninth relief appearance of four outs or more this season. He is tied with Adam Wainwright for the team lead in wins.

Jordan Hicks threw a 1-2-3 ninth for his 12th save in 13 chances.

Cardinals starter Dakota Hudson allowed one run and five hits in 6 1/3 innings, which matched his high in 12 starts this season.


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