St. Louis Cardinals match team record with 14th straight win

CHICAGO -- The St. Louis Cardinals matched a team record with their 14th straight win Friday night after sweeping a doubleheader with the Cubs.

The streak broke a tie with the New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics for the longest one this season and rocketed the Cardinals into control of the second National League wild card, leading Philadelphia by five games.

"We're aware," Friday's Game 1 starter, J.A. Happ, said. "The good thing to see is the focus. That's the stuff [win streaks] that happens when you're on a good team and things are going well."

St. Louis rode Tyler O'Neill's and Paul Goldschmidt's 30th homers and Jose Rondon's pinch-hit two-run shot for their 8-5 win in Game 1 while O'Neill's three-run shot and a pair of solo homers by Lars Nootbaar powered their 12-4 victory in Game 2.

The 14 consecutive wins are tied for the most since the Cardinals joined the National League in 1892. They also won 14 in a row in 1935.

Manager Mike Shildt said the pair of victories Friday mirrored a collective approach that has made the Cardinals suddenly look formidable down the stretch.

"Today and the whole time, it's been a complete team effort," Shildt said. "Across the board, if you look today, you can pretty much name everybody.

"It's a special group. You've got real pros. When you've got that consistency, special things happen."

The Cardinals are the eighth team in history to record a 14-game win streak or better in September or later.

"Everybody is kind of feeding off each other's energy right now," said Nootbaar, an outfielder who hit his fourth and fifth homers in his 52nd game. "You want to join the party, kind of. When you're loose and playing your game, you think you can beat anybody."

The one piece of bad news for St. Louis from Game 1 is shortstop Edmundo Sosa left after getting hit on the hand by a pitch. X-rays were negative.

"Thankfully, it looks like no fracture," Shildt said. "It was scary looking for sure."

Shildt indicated Sosa could miss three to five days.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.