Cardinals 7, Cubs 1

By Chris Rewers on Friday, September 24, 2010

Heroes: Relievers Justin Berg, Scott Maine, Marcos Mateo, and James Russell combined to allow two hits over 5 2/3 shutout innings.

Goat: A rusty Tom Gorzelanny (7-9) was rocked for seven runs - all earned - on seven hits in 3 1/3 innings while walking five and striking out four.

Key Play: Gorzelanny gave up a three-run homer to Allen Craig in the first inning.

Comments: The Cubs (69-84) have been outscored 20-1 in their last two games and have managed just three runs in four games on the current final homestand of the season.

The second-place Cardinals (79-74) trailed the front-running Reds by seven games in the NL Central pending Cincinnati's game at San Diego on Friday night. The Reds' magic number for clinching the division title was three.

St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright (20-11), who became the majors' third 20-game winner, allowed six hits over six innings while striking out seven and walking one. Aramis Ramirez (2-for-4) hit his 24th home run of the season, off Wainwright, in the second inning. The other 20-game winners are Roy Halladay and C.C. Sabathia.

Starlin Castro (1-for-3), who has committed 27 errors on the season, has not commited one in his last four starts.

Next: Rookie Casey Coleman (2-2, 5.02 ERA) will make his sixth start of the season Saturday (WGN, 12:05 p.m.) and will oppose St. Louis stalwart Chris Carpenter (15-8, 3.28).

The slumping Carpenter has allowed 15 earned runs in his last three starts and has given up four runs in one inning in each of those outings.

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