Cardinals 9, Cubs 1

By Chris Rewers on Friday, May 13, 2011

Hero: Jeff Baker, who started in right field, continued his phenomeanl hitting against left-handed pitching, going 3-for-4 and driving in the Cubs' only run with a sixth inning single. Baker is 16-for-31 (.516 BA) against lefties this season. Baker's three singles came against St. Louis southpaw Jaime Garcia (5-0). He lined out to first baseman Albert Pujols against right-handed reliever Mitchell Boggs in the eighth.

Goat: Casey Coleman (1-3) is sorely lacking in command and confidence and seems destined for a return trip to Iowa soon. On Thursday, Coleman allowed a leadoff homer to Matt Holliday in the second and went on to surrender five runs in the inning. He allowed six runs - all earned - on nine hits while walking four and striking out none.

"Command is so important for him - it's his whole game," Cubs manager Mike Quade said. "He can't get away with the ball up, he doesn't have enough velocity. ... It's fun to watch when he's locked in but a heck of a battle when he's not."

Key Play: Jon Jay (3-for-6, 3 RBI) broke the game open with a two-run double to the right-field corner, giving the Cardinals a 4-0 advantage.

Comments: The Cubs (16-20) lost for just the fourth time in their last 16 games against left-handed starters. ... With nine more hits, the Cubs finished the three-game series with 39. They stranded eight more baserunners and finished the series with 25 left on base. With the wind gusting out to center, the Cubs managed just two extra-base hits - doubles by Starlin Castro and Reed Johnson.

Next: Ryan Dempster (1-4, 7.20 ERA) who has looked sharp in his last two starts will oppose San Francisco left-hander Madison Bumgarner (0-5, 4.21) Friday (CSN, 1:20 p.m.) in the opener of a three-game series at Wrigley Field. Like Demspter, Bumgarner had a shaky start to the season but he's allowed just two runs and struck out 19 in his last 19 innings.

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