Cubs take DH opener from Cardinals
St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Logan Watkins, Chris Valaika and Starlin Castro all hit solo home runs to back a strong Cubs debut from Felix Doubront as Chicago took a 5-1 victory in the opener of Saturday's doubleheader against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Doubront (1-0), acquired in a trade-deadline deal with the Red Sox, was sharp in his first start since June 20, scattering seven hits over as many frames.
"He was very impressive," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said of Doubront. "He did a nice job of containing a pretty good lineup."
The only run the left-hander allowed came in the second inning when Jhonny Peralta scored on Jon Jay's double-play ball.
"We either had tough at-bats or we were hitting it right at them," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.
All three of Chicago's home runs were served up by Justin Masterson (6-9), who surrendered five runs on six hits and failed to make it out of the fifth.
Chris Coghlan gave the Cubs an early 2-0 lead in the second inning when he hit a bases-loaded single to right. Watkins scored easily and Valaika was thrown out on a play at home, but the call was reversed when replay showed Valaika got his hand on the plate before A.J. Pierzynski applied the tag.
Watkins launched one into the right-field bullpen for his first career home run leading off the fourth, and Valaika made it back-to-back blasts with one into the left-field bullpen.
Castro went deep in the fifth, and Doubront and Chicago's bullpen closed out the victory.
Doubront set down the final nine hitters he faced, Neil Ramirez shook off a leadoff walk in the eighth and Justin Grimm set down the Cardinals in order in the ninth.
Doubront was activated off the 15-day disabled list before the game. He had been sidelined with a strained calf ... Castro matched his career high with 14 home runs ... Masterson has lasted five or fewer inning in four of his six starts with the Cardinals.
08/30 20:16:42 ET