Cubs 7, Cardinals 2

By Chris Rewers on Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Hero: Randy Wells (7-13) allowed one (earned) run and five hits over eight innings while striking out five and walking none to earn just his second win in his last 10 starts. Wells - a native of nearby Belleville, Ill. - was making his first career start at Busch Stadium. He also drove in a single-game career-high two runs with a pair of RBI singles. Wells entered the game with three RBI in 91 career at-bats.

Goat: Aramis Ramirez, who went 1-for-4 with a walk, was on second base with one out in the top of the ninth when Geovany Soto flied out deep to center.

"And for some reason, the runner on second, Ramirez, isn't tagging," Cardinals radio broadcaster Mike Shannon said. "Must be because of his (sore) quad."

Mike, there's no need for you to make excuses for Ramirez's lack of hustle.

The Cubs were leading 7-1 at the time of Ramirez's baserunning gaffe, but it's little things like this that the Cubs need to do a whole lot better in 2011.

Key Plays: The Cubs scored their first three runs off Adam Wainwright (18-11) on two-out RBI singles by Darwin Barney, Wells, and Xavier Nady.

Comments: Albert Pujols was scratched after getting an injection in his sore left elbow on Monday. In 10 games against the Cubs this season, Pujols is batting .314 with six homers and 10 RBI. He has a .291 career average against the Cubs with 46 home runs - the most against any opponent.

The Cubs (64-81) have won 13 of 20 and five of seven series since Mike Quade took over as manager Aug. 23. They have won four straight at Busch Stadium since losing their first game of the season in St. Louis on Aug. 13.

Xavier Nady (3-for-5) had three RBI and rookie Darwin Barney (3-for-4, 2B) had his first career three-hit game as the Cubs outhit the Cardinals 15-6. The bottom three in the Cubs lineup - Tyler Colvin, Barney, and Wells - were a combined 7-for-11 against Wainwright with three RBI and three runs scored.

The second-place Cardinals (74-69), who have lost 15 of their last 21, remained seven games behind first-place Cincinnati with 19 games to play. St. Louis is hitting just .224 since Aug. 27, including .197 with runners in scoring position. The Cardinals, who were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position Tuesday, have averaged 3.4 runs per game over that span.

Next: A terrific pitching matchup is on tap Wednesday (CSN, 7:15 p.m.) as the Cubs try to complete a three-game series sweep in St. Louis.

Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano (8-6, 3.88 ERA) is 5-0 with a 1.60 ERA in seven starts since returning to the starting rotation on Aug. 9.

The Cardinals will counter with staff ace Chris Carpenter (15-6, 3.09) who is 11-3 with a 2.72 ERA in 17 home starts this season. One of those losses came at the hands of the Cubs and Zambrano on Aug. 14.

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