CHICAGO -- On a rare off night for Jake Arrieta, the Cubs bashed their way to the brink of the NLCS and a spot in the record book.

Rookies Jorge Soler, Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber connected as the Cubs set a postseason mark with six home runs and beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 8-6, last night for a 2-1 lead in their Division Series.

In the first playoff game at Wrigley Field in seven years, Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo and Dexter Fowler also went deep for Chicago, which held a share of the previous postseason record with five homers in NLCS Game 1 in 1984.

"Pretty impressive," manager Joe Maddon said. "You know, I know the wind was blowing out -- we'll concede that -- but most of them were properly struck. We are definitely capable of that."

The Cardinals led the majors with 100 victories this season, but if the Cubs win Game 4 this afternoon, they will advance to the NLCS for the first time in 12 years. The Cubs' Jason Hammel will face the Cards' John Lackey.

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Jason Heyward and Stephen Piscotty homered for St. Louis, which got to Arrieta for four runs in his worst start in four months. Arrieta is 18-1 with a 1.00 ERA in his last 22 starts dating to June 21, but he was far from his usual dominant self. He hadn't allowed more than three runs in a game since a June 16 loss to Cleveland.

Said Castro, "Today we got his back -- just like he always got our backs." -- AP