Cardinals 8, Cubs 7

By Chris Rewers on Sunday, September 26, 2010

Heroes: Relievers Justin Berg, Scott Maine, Marcos Mateo, Andrew Cashner, James Russell, and Thomas Diamond combined for 4 2/3 scoreless innings.

Goat: Jeff Samardzija (2-2) was roughed up for eight runs - all earned - on seven hits in 4 1 /3 innings while walking seven and striking out two. Samardzija exited after 95 pitches.

Key Play: Samardzija served up a three-run homer to Albert Pujols in the first inning, putting St. Louis ahead to stay.

Comments: The Cubs finished 35-46 at Wrigley Field, with a final home attendance of 3,062,973.

Blake DeWitt went 2-for-4 to lead the Cubs' eight-hit attack against Jake Westrook (9-11) and four relievers. Rookie catcher Welington Castillo, who got a rare start, went 1-for-4 with a double.

Next: The Cubs (70-85) will get another taste of the pennant race Monday (WGN, 9:05 p.m.) when they visit it the San Diego Padres.

The Padres (87-68) trail first-place San Francisco by a half-game in the NL West and lead Atlanta by a half-game in the NL wild-card race.

Carlos Zambrano (9-6, 3.56 ERA), who is 5-0 with an 0.89 ERA in his last five starts, will try for his seventh 10-win season in the last eight years. Zambrano is one strikeout shy of tying Charlie Root (1,459) for second on the Cubs' all-time career strikeouts list.

San Diego will counter with Tim Stauffer (5-4, 1.95) who is 2-1 with a 2.57 ERA in four starts since joining the Padres rotation on Sept. 6.

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