Cubs 5, Cardinals 1

By Chris Rewers on Monday, September 13, 2010

Hero: Jeff Samardzija (1-1) worked 5 2/3 shutout innings and added an RBI single en route to his third major league victory and first as a starter. Samardzija allowed six hits, walked four, and struck out one.

Goat: Jeff Baker (0-for-5), batting leadoff for the second straight game, hit into a forceout with two on to end the top of the second and flew out with runners on second and third to end the eighth.

Key Play: Marlon Byrd made a spectacular catch as he rammed into the centerfield fence to retire Colby Rasmus and end the seventh inning, saving at least one run and preserving a 4-1 Cubs lead.

Comments: It's wait 'til next year. Officially. The Cubs (63-81) were eliminated from playoff contention by virtue of first-place Cincinnati's 7-2 victory over Arizona on Monday. The second-place Cardinals (74-68) fell seven games behind the Reds with just 20 games left to play.

The Cubs have claimed six of 10 from St. Louis this season, including three out of four at Busch Stadium.

Aramis Ramirez, playing for the first time since Sept. 5 because of a sore quad, went 1-for-5 with a double and scored the Cubs' first run in the second inning.

Starlin Castro, who is bothered by a left hip bruise, was a late scratch from the lineup and was replaced by Darwin Barney (1-for-5).

Alfonso Soriano (1-for-4) contributed a two-run, two-out single in the third inning off St. Louis starter Jamie Garcia (13-8).

Next: Randy Wells (6-13, 4.61 ERA) will try to reverse his recent downward spiral Tuesday (WCIU, 7:15 p.m.) against the host Cardinals. Wells is 1-6 with a 5.85 ERA in nine starts since July 28. Opponents are hitting .282 against him over that stretch.

Right-hander Adam Wainwright (18-10, 2.38), still a Cy Young contender despite a recent four-game slump, will start for St. Louis. Wainwright is 11-2 with a 1.52 ERA in 14 starts at Busch Stadium this year.

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