ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Chicago Cubs' kids roughed up an All-Star reliever who has been close to untouchable.
Rookies Javier Baez and Jorge Soler had two RBIs apiece against Pat Neshek in a go-ahead eighth inning, leading the last-place Cubs to a 7-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night.
"That's baseball," Neshek said. "This game's not for the weak. You can't beat yourself up too much."
The 22-year-old Soler homered twice and was 3 for 3 with three RBIs. He homered in his first career at-bat Wednesday and has seven hits in 11 at-bats over his first three games since being recalled from Triple-A Iowa.
"I can't expect that we'll expect that every single day," manager Rick Renteria said. "That would be impossible."
Soler signed a nine-year contract in 2012 out of Cuba and began the year at Double-A Tennessee.
"I feel so happy," Soler said through an interpreter. "I don't know how to explain it. Everything is going so good right now."
Baez had a tiebreaking two-run double in the eighth. He is batting .192 in 99 at-bats, but has seven homers and 15 RBIs.
"I was just trying to make contact," Baez said. "I think that's my greatest at-bat since I came up."
The Cardinals lost in the return of Yadier Molina. The All-Star catcher, who had been sidelined by a torn ligament in his right thumb, and went 0 for 3 and was hit by a pitch in his first major league game since July 9.
The crowd at Busch Stadium gave Molina a standing ovation when he walked in from the bullpen after pregame warmups, and another cheer before he batted in the first inning.
Neshek (6-1) led NL relievers with a sparkling 0.81 ERA entering the game. It was 2-all when he came in to begin the eighth, and he gave up hits to the first three batters.
"Everybody that's watched this team all season long realizes that just hasn't happened," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "He's been incredible."
Chicago's Neil Ramirez (2-1) allowed two hits in a scoreless seventh.