Paul Goldschmidt’s 2 HRs just enough as Cardinals nip Cubs

Paul Goldschmidt homered twice and drove in four runs as the St. Louis Cardinals edged the visiting Chicago Cubs 4-3 on Sunday for their season-high fifth straight win.

Ian Happ hit two homers and drove in three runs for Chicago, which has lost four straight and seven of nine.

Chicago trailed 4-2 before Happ hit a leadoff homer in the ninth inning against Ryan Helsley, who recorded his 17th save, tied for the major league lead, after Seiya Suzuki flied out with runners on the corners.

St. Louis starter Sonny Gray (7-2) allowed one hit over five scoreless innings with two walks and eight strikeouts.

Masyn Winn went 1-for-3 to extend his hitting streak to 15 games for St. Louis, which has won 10 of its last 12 games. Alec Burleson had a pair of singles to extend his hitting streak to 10 games.

The start of the game was delayed by just over 2 1/2 hours due to rain.

The Cardinals broke a scoreless tie with one out in the third inning on Goldschmidt’s two-run homer against Javier Assad (4-1). The 424-foot blast landed in the third deck of the left-field seats.

Goldschmidt recorded his 27th career multi-homer game and first this season with a two-run shot in the fifth inning. The one-out homer scored Brendan Donovan, who drew a leadoff walk.

Assad allowed four runs on five hits over five innings. He walked three and struck out eight.

Chicago cut the lead in half and homered for the first time in seven games on Happ’s two-run shot against Andrew Kittredge in the seventh inning.

The Cubs threatened against JoJo Romero with two runners on and one out in the eighth inning. After center fielder Michael Siani made a diving catch on Cody Bellinger’s liner, Christopher Morel was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Romero escaped the jam when Nico Hoerner grounded into a force out.

St. Louis played without right fielder Lars Nootbaar, who was scratched from the starting lineup prior to the game for precautionary reasons due to a minor hamstring injury.

The Cardinals completed a two-game sweep after Friday’s opener of the three-game series was postponed by rain.