July 31 (UPI) -- Paul Goldschmidt broke a 1-1 tie with his 25th home run of the season, helping the St. Louis Cardinals slip by the Chicago Cubs 2-1. St. Louis now leads Chicago by one game for first place in the National League Central.
"I was just trying to get a pitch in the middle of the plate and stay short to it," Goldschmidt told reporters. "I didn't want to foul off a good pitch to hit because he's got strikeout stuff. It's really, really good, so you may only get that one pitch per game or at-bat."
Cubs starter Yu Darvish and Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright had a duel early on Tuesday at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Neither pitcher surrendered a run for the first three innings. The Cubs got the bats going in the top of the fourth frame.
Javier Baez then came to the plate and plated Heyward with an RBI single, giving Chicago a 1-0 edge. The Cardinals went on to tie the game after a wild pitch from Darvish.
Wainwright got into trouble in the top of the sixth frame, loading the bases with two outs. But Cardinals reliever Giovanny Gallegos got Kyle Schwarber to fly out to end the inning.
Cardinals right fielder Jose Martinez grounded out to leadoff the bottom of the sixth inning. Goldschmidt walked to the plate as the second batter of the inning. He blasted a 1-1 Darvish fastball into left center field for a 392-foot solo shot. The blast had an exit velocity of 97 mph and left the field in 5.2 seconds.
Goldschmidt's go-ahead big fly proved the be the decisive run in the division clash as the Cardinals' bullpen allowed just one hit over the final 3.1 innings.
Goldschmidt was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored in the win. Heyward was 3-for-5 with a run scored for Chicago. Wainwright allowed five hits and one run in 5.2 innings, but Gallegos earned the win for St. Louis. Darvish allowed six hits and two runs in six innings and took his fifth loss of the season for the Cubs.
The Cardinals host the Cubs at 8:15 p.m. EDT Wednesday in St. Louis.