Jack Flaherty tossed seven innings of three-hit ball, Tommy Edman and Paul Goldschmidt drove in the only runs and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Kansas City Royals 2-0 on Tuesday night.
Flaherty (6-6) struck out seven with a lone walk in his sixth consecutive stingy start since the All-Star break. He's allowed 20 hits with 50 strikeouts and 0.70 ERA over that span.
The right-hander headed for the showers after throwing 110 pitches, and the St. Louis bullpen nailed down the win. Andrew Miller worked around a single in the eighth and retired Alex Gordon in the ninth, and Carlos Martínez got the final two outs, completing the four-hitter and earning his 13th save.
Glenn Sparkman (3-8) did everything the Royals asked over six sharp innings. He allowed two runs, one of them earned, but still hasn't won since a July 16 shutout of the White Sox.
The most spirit the woebegone Royals showed all night came when Kolten Wong legged out an infield single in the fifth, and manager Ned Yost complained about interference on the throw. His heated exchange with plate umpire Pat Hoberg escalated until first base ump Greg Gibson tossed him. It was the third time this season Yost has been ejected.
Both Cardinals runs were scored in scrappy fashion. The first came when Dexter Fowler reached on an error in the first, advanced on a groundout and scored on Goldschmidt's sacrifice fly, and the second came on Edman's single in the third — just before he was caught between bases to end the inning.
The way Flaherty was going, that was all St. Louis needed.
He gave up a two-out double to Hunter Dozier and intentionally walked Jorge Soler in the first, but got Cheslor Cuthbert to pop out and end the inning. Flaherty proceeded to retire 12 more in succession before Nicky Lopez led off the sixth inning with a base hit.
The Cardinals called up touted prospect Randy Arozarena from Triple-A Memphis, though he was not in the starting lineup. The speedy outfielder was hitting .368 and had reached base safely in 37 consecutive games for the Redbirds. "I knew it was coming," Arozarena said. "I knew it was close."
St. Louis fired assistant hitting coach Mark Budaska during the day off Monday and promoted Memphis hitting coach Jobel Jimenez to the big league club. "I ultimately made the decision," said manager Mike Shildt, who cited "philosophical differences" in making the move.
Phillies 4, Cubs 2: J.T. Realmuto homered and drove in the tiebreaking run with an RBI double in the seventh inning to lift the Philadelphia Phillies over the Chicago Cubs.
The Phillies will have a familiar face in the dugout Wednesday when new hitting coach Charlie Manuel arrives. The franchise icon was hired to replace John Mallee as hitting coach earlier in the day. He has a lot of work to do to revive an underachieving offense that overcame 15 strikeouts for the win, but the pitching staff did the job against the NL Central leaders.
Jason Vargas allowed two runs and five hits in six innings. Blake Parker (2-2) and Mike Morin each tossed a hitless inning and Hector Neris finished for his 21st save in 25 tries. Neris retired Jason Heyward on a grounder to end the game with two runners on.
Cubs starter Jose Quintana had a career-best 14 strikeouts in six innings, allowing two runs — one earned — and five hits.
Pinch-hitter Andrew Knapp led off the bottom of the seventh with a single off Kyle Ryan (3-2) and scored from first when Realmuto hit a sharp grounder down the left-field line. Roman Quinn's RBI triple with two outs in the eighth gave Philadelphia an insurance run.
Realmuto hit his 16th homer the opposite way to right to give the Phillies a 2-1 lead in the fifth.
Nicholas Castellanos led off the sixth with his 16th homer to left to tie it at 2-2.
Scott Kingery's sacrifice fly gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead in the third. Castellanos singled leading off the fourth and later scored on Javier Baez's sac fly.
Manuel, who was working as senior adviser to general manager Matt Klentak, will join the team exactly six years after managing his last game. Manuel led the Phillies to five NL East titles, two NL pennants and the 2008 World Series championship. His 780 wins as manager are the most in team history.
Astros, White Sox split: Zack Greinke tossed six solid innings in his second start with the Astros, George Springer and José Altuve hit solo home runs and Houston topped the Chicago White Sox 6-2 in the first game of a doubleheader on Tuesday at Guaranteed Rate Field.
The Sox salvaged a split, out-hitting the Astros 10-4 in the nightcap en route to a 4-1 victory.
Springer connected on the first pitch of the day as the AL West-leading Astros won for the ninth time in 10 games. He also threw out a runner at the plate from right field.
Greinke (12-4) allowed two runs on seven hits in winning for the second time since Houston acquired him from Arizona in a deal at the trade deadline. The 35-year-old righty struck out six, walked two and hit a batter in a 102-pitch outing that was sharper than his Astros debut last week when he allowed five runs in six innings to Colorado.
Will Harris, Ryan Pressly and Collin McHugh each followed Greinke with a perfect inning.
Robinson Chirinos drove in two runs late with a pair of singles.
Eloy Jiménez and José Abreu drove in runs with doubles as Chicago came back to tie it from an early 2-0 deficit.
The Astros took the lead for good in the sixth when Yordan Alvarez scored an unearned run on the first of three passed balls charged to Welington Castillo.
Alvarez raced home from third to break a 2-all tie when Castillo couldn't handle Dylan Cease's shoulder high pitch to Aledmys Diaz. Castillo recovered the ball and threw to Cease covering the plate, but Alvarez narrowly beat the tag on a play that withstood video review.
Jake Marisnick scored from third in the seventh to make it 4-2 when Castillo failed to catch a high pitch to Alvarez.
Making his seventh start, Cease (2-5) allowed four runs — two earned — in six-plus innings. The rookie right-hander yielded five hits and walked five.
Springer launched Cease's first pitch to the back of the left-field seats for his 26th homer and 33rd career leadoff shot.
Greinke allowed three singles in the second, but escaped unscathed when Springer threw out Castillo at the plate to end the inning.
Altuve led off the third with a line shot just over the left-center wall to give Houston a 2-0 lead.
Jiménez's double to the left-center gap in the fourth drove in Abreu from first to cut it to 2-1. Abreu's RBI double with two outs in the fifth tied it at 2.
With Houston ahead 4-2, Chirinos drove in insurance runs in the eighth and ninth.
Tuesday's straight doubleheader was scheduled after Monday night's game was postponed by rain.
Cardinals: The Cardinals placed outfielder José Martínez on the injured list after he collided with the wall in Pittsburgh on Sunday. Martínez sprained the AC joint in his right shoulder. "I think a week will go by and he'll get out there and start swinging the bat again," Shildt said. "He'll be back as soon or as close to that 10-day mark as possible."
Cubs: RHP Craig Kimbrel (right knee inflammation) threw a bullpen session. RHP Brandon Kintzler (right pectoral inflammation) also threw in the bullpen. Manager Joe Maddon said reports on both were positive.
Phillies: LF Corey Dickerson left the game after he was hit in on the left hand by a pitch in the third inning.
The Cardinals send Dakota Hudson (10-6, 4.01 ERA) to the mound to face Royals right-hander Brad Keller (7-12, 4.09) as the clubs wrap up their two-game set tonight.
Cubs LHP Cole Hamels (6-3, 3.09 ERA) makes his first start against the Phillies in Philadelphia today. Phillies RHP Aaron Nola (10-3, 3.67) gets the nod. Hamels, the 2008 NLCS and World Series MVP, was traded from Philadelphia to Texas in July 2015.