Coverage of today's Cards and Cubs game can be heard on Newstalk 97.3 WTIM beginning at 2:30pm.
Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Ryan Sweeney went 2-for-4 with a three-run
home run and four RBI as the Chicago Cubs hung on to beat the St. Louis
Cardinals, 7-6, in the opener of a three-game set.
Luis Valbuena smacked a two-run shot and crossed the plate three times for the
Cubs, who handed the Cardinals their fourth straight loss.
Kevin Siegrist (1-2) gave up the tie-breaking two-run homer to Valbuena in the
seventh and was tagged with the loss.
"He was the right guy, he just couldn't get it done," Cardinals manager Mike
Matheny said of Siegrist.
Justin Grimm (3-2) struck out two in a scoreless seventh inning to earn the
Cardinals starter Joe Kelly only lasted 4 2/3 innings, allowing eight hits and
Chicago starter Travis Wood, who hasn't recorded a win since June 15, allowed
seven hits and five runs -- two earned -- in five innings of work.
"I really wanted to go deep in the game," Wood said. "I wasn't really throwing
pitches all over the place. They fouled off a lot of pitches today and made me
work. I was only able to go five, but luckily I was able to keep it close and
we were able to pull it out."
The Cubs had a sloppy first inning in the field. Arismendy Alcantara threw the
ball over Starlin Castro's head at second on a double play attempt, allowing
Matt Carpenter to score. Chris Coghlan then had trouble fielding a line drive
hit into left by Jon Jay, plating Matt Holliday and Matt Adams.
Sweeney's homer tied the game at three apiece in the second. Valbuena walked
and Welington Castillo singled before Sweeney hit one over the ivy in left-
Sweeney delivered again an inning later. With runners on first and second,
he singled to left to score Valbuena and put the Cubs up 4-3.
Wood helped himself out and stretched Chicago's lead to two runs with a solo
homer in the fourth.
The back-and-forth tussle continued in the fifth. Carpenter and Holliday each
hit solo home runs to tie the game at 5-5.
The Cardinals took the lead in the sixth. Mark Ellis reached first on a
fielder's choice, then moved to second after a passed ball. Oscar Taveras
came in to pinch-hit and hit a single to left to push Ellis across.
After Anthony Rizzo was hit by a pitch to start the bottom of the seventh,
Valbuena hit a home run -- the fifth of the game -- putting the Cubs ahead,
The Cubs loaded the bases in the eighth, but were unable to extend their lead.
Hector Rondon allowed one hit in the ninth for his 12th save of the season.
The Cardinals were 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position, while the Cubs
were 2-for-6 ... All three of Chicago's runs in the first inning were unearned
... Wood now has three home runs on the season ... Rizzo hit a single in the
third inning to extend his hitting streak to 10 games ... The season series
between the Cubs and Cardinals is now tied at five games apiece.