Cardinals lose 8-2 to Cubs, magic number down to 2

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By JEFF MELNICK Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Andrew Miller and Ryan Helsley were hit hard as St. Louis’ bullpen stumbled during an 8-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Friday night, but the Cardinals’ magic number for clinching the NL Central dropped to two.

Miller (5-6), Helsley and Giovanny Gallegos allowed each of Chicago’s runs after Dakota Hudson struck out 10 in five scoreless innings.

The Cardinals (90-70) lost their third consecutive game after winning six in a row. Their magic number for clinching their first division title since 2015 was sliced to two when second-place Milwaukee lost 11-7 at Colorado.

Ian Happ and Robel Garcia homered for Chicago, which had lost nine in a row. The Cubs were swept in a four-game series against the Cardinals last weekend.