Bryant, Soler homer to lead Cubs past Cardinals 5-4

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CHICAGO (AP) _ Jorge Soler and Kris Bryant hit back-to-back homers to start the fifth inning, and the Chicago Cubs bullpen pitched 6 1-3 innings and held off a late rally to beat Michael Wacha and the St. Louis Cardinals 5-4 on Saturday for their fifth straight win.

Chicago is five games behind NL Central-leading St. Louis, which got a two-run homer from Matt Carpenter in the ninth. The Cubs entered the contest one game behind Pittsburgh for the top NL wild-card spot.

Bryant’s drive into the last row of the left field bleachers gave him 25 homers, tying the Cubs record for a rookie set by Billy Williams in 1961.

Cubs pitchers hit St. Louis batters three times. After Hector Rondon plunked pinch-hitter Greg Garcia to start the ninth, both he and manager Joe Maddon were ejected.

Trevor Cahill (1-3) pitched 3 1-3 scoreless innings in relief of starter Travis Wood.

Wacha (16-6) allowed four runs in five innings.