ST. LOUIS (AP) - Dexter Fowler had a leadoff home run and two-run double in the first two innings and Dan Haren worked seven innings for the Chicago Cubs, who whipped the St. Louis Cardinals 9-0 on Monday.
The NL Central-leading Cardinals maintained a 5 1/2-game lead over Pittsburgh, which lost 3-1 to Cincinnati. The Cubs are 7 1/2 games back.
Addison Russell's three-run homer capped a five-run third that made it 8-0. The Cubs have won four in a row and got an 11-game trip off to a rocking start.
Haren (9-9) had five strikeouts and two walks. He contributed a single and sacrifice fly in Chicago's second victory in eight games in St. Louis this season.
Lance Lynn (11-9) surrendered six runs in 2 1-3 innings on nine days rest after getting extra time to recover from a sprained ankle in his last start.
The Cardinals are 3-4 on this homestand with two games to go. They're a major league-best 49-24 at Busch Stadium, but this was their most lopsided setback at home. They've been outscored 16-1 the last two games.
Fowler's leadoff homer was his fifth this season and the 14th of his career. Russell, the ninth-place hitter, hit his 13th homer in the third. The Cubs have five homers the last two games.
The Cubs are 36-29 on the road, second best in the NL behind the Cardinals' 38-27.
NO FREE PASSES
Cubs starting pitchers have walked three or fewer in 65 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the majors.
Cubs: Kyle Schwarber (rib/oblique) took swings indoors and manager Joe Maddon didn't rule out the rookie for later in the series.
Cardinals: 2B Kolten Wong (calf tightness) was a late lineup scratch. He struck out pinch hitting and reached first in the ninth. Randal Grichuk (elbow) pinch ran in the ninth after being activated off the DL, but has not been cleared for hitting or throwing.
Michael Wacha (15-4, 2.69) pitches for the first time since Aug. 28. He's 4-0 with a 2.88 ERA in nine career starts with six-or-more days rest. Jason Hammel (7-6, 3.55) faces the Cardinals for the third time this season. He's 1-3 with a 6.31 ERA record for his career against St. Louis.