Cards win 14 straight for longest streak this year

CHICAGO — The St. Louis Cardinals matched a team record with their 14th straight win on Friday night after sweeping a doubleheader with the Chicago Cubs.

The streak also broke a tie with the New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics for the longest one this season.

“We’re aware,” Friday’s Game 1 starter, J.A. Happ, said. “The good thing to see is the focus. That’s the stuff (win streaks) that happens when you’re on a good team and things are going well.”

St. Louis rode Tyler O’Neill‘s and Paul Goldschmidt‘s 30th homers and Jose Rondon‘s pinch-hit two-run shot for their 8-5 win in Game 1 while O’Neill’s three-run shot and a pair of solo homers by Lars Nootbaar powered their 12-4 victory in Game 2.

Happ was asked if the team can appreciate the length of the win streak while in the middle of it. The Cardinals are the eighth team in history to record a 14-game win streak or better in September (or later).

“We’re still in the middle of this thing (playoff race), coming down to it,” he said. “We still feel it. Not pressure but the need to go out and perform with focus. We’re in a good spot to do that.”

The one piece of bad news for St. Louis from Game 1 is shortstop Edmundo Sosa left the game after getting hit by a pitch in a hand. X-rays were negative.

“Thankfully, it looks like no fracture,” manager Mike Shildt said. “It was scary looking for sure.”

Shildt indicated Sosa could miss three to five days. The Cardinals hold a 5-game lead over the Philadelphia Phillies for the second NL wild-card spot.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this story.

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