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.
The only run the left-hander allowed came in the second inning when Jhonny Peralta scored on Jon Jay's double-play ball.
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 17:08:45 ET