Change in plans
Day after winning with a bunt, Cubs use homer to get past Cards
Monday, July 30, 2012
CHICAGO — One day after losing on a little hit, it was a big hit that doomed the St. Louis Cardinals.
Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning Sunday that lifted the Chicago Cubs over St. Louis 4-2.
Cubs starter Paul Maholm allowed one run and four hits over 62⁄3 innings. He walked four and struck out five.
“He kept us off-balance,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “He did a nice job of pitching, mixed up everything, used both sides of the plate, up and down. We couldn’t get anything going.”
Starlin Castro led off the 10th with a single against Trevor Rosenthal (0-1) and Rizzo followed with his seventh homer.
On Saturday, Reed Johnson’s bunt single in the seventh inning provided the go-ahead run for the Cubs.
James Russell (5-0) worked an inning for the win. The Cubs are 12-3 in their last 15 home games.
A struggling Carlos Beltran homered off Shawn Camp with one out in the St. Louis eighth, tying it at 2. The opposite-field solo shot was his 23rd homer of the year, but just his third in July. The All-Star is hitting .188 this month.
Maholm exited with the bases loaded in the seventh, but reliever Manny Corpas retired Allen Craig on a fly ball to end the threat.
Maholm has allowed one run or fewer in six straight starts, becoming the first lefty in modern Cubs history to do so. He had won the previous five outings.
“I just go out there as long as I can, as hard as I can, and be aggressive and try to be ahead,” Maholm said. “Fortunately for me, for the last month or so it’s been working out pretty well.”
Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright gave up two runs in six innings. He wasn’t fooling anybody early, allowing six of the first nine batters to reach base.
David DeJesus tripled in the Chicago first and scored on Castro’s groundout. Darwin Barney doubled in the second and scored on an error in the second.
“No fastball control whatsoever,” Wainwright said. “Luckily I had a good breaking ball and a good cutter going. The fastball and changeup combo were balls out of my hand most of the time. Early on we had to make some adjustments on how we were going to attack guys and try to figure out a way to make it work.”
Wainwright settled down to retire 12 of his final 14 batters.
Beltran’s homer got Wainwright off the hook for what could have been his first loss in 13 career appearances at Wrigley Field. He is 5-0 at the ballpark, including his 20th win in 2010 when he finished second in the NL Cy Young voting.
The Cubs took a 2-0 lead in the second when with runners on first and second Maholm hit a groundball to the first baseman. Matt Carpenter threw to second to get the force, but shortstop Daniel Descalso’s throw back to first got away from second baseman Tyler Green. Descalso was charged with an error and Barney scored from second.
“(Green) was there in time,” Matheny said. “It was just a lot of moving targets. It was a shame it rolled so far that the run scored.”
Before the back-to-back losses over the weekend, the Cardinals had won seven of eight. With Sunday’s defeat, St. Louis fell 71⁄2 games behind Cincinnati in the NL Central.
“You’re talking about a team that knows how to win and knows how to get things done,” Wainwright said of the Cardinals.
“It could be one home run, it could be one double, it could be one shutout thrown by a pitcher. You never what it could be to start the engine running, but we’re something like that away from being a real tough team the rest of the way,” he said.
Notes: Cardinals SS Rafael Furcal (back tightness) missed a second straight game. Trainer Greg Hauck said he doesn’t expect it to be an extended absence. ... Cardinals 1B Lance Berkman (general soreness) was also held out of the lineup, but pinch-hit in the seventh, drawing a walk. He was immediately removed for a pinch-runner. ... After an off-day today, the Cardinals travel to Colorado, where Kyle Lohse (10-2, 2.71) faces Jeff Francis (3-2, 4.97) on Tuesday.