Molina exits with thumb sprain as Cardinals beat Cubs 4-3

CHICAGO (AP) — Yadier Molina exited with a sprained left thumb suffered as the Cubs ran themselves out of late scoring chances, and the St. Louis Cardinals ended Chicago's five-game winning streak and avoided a sweep with a 4-3 win Sunday.

The Cardinals moved six games ahead of Chicago in the NL Central. The Pirates were still playing Sunday and are 4 1/2 back of St. Louis.

Molina was injured tagging out Anthony Rizzo on a sacrifice-fly attempt in the eighth. Right fielder Jason Heyward had the assist, throwing out Rizzo on Addison Russell's no-out, bases-loaded fly.

Starlin Castro started the ninth with a single, but pinch-runner Quintin Berry was thrown out trying to steal second by Molina's replacement, Tony Cruz. Trevor Rosenthal then struck out Jorge Soler and got Kyle Schwarber to ground out for his 46th save.

Carlos Martinez (14-7) pitched into the seventh. Rookies Tommy Pham and Stephen Piscotty homered.

Jon Lester (10-11) allowed four runs in six innings.