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Sweeney, Cubs edge Cards

Jul 26, 2014 - 5:15 AM Chicago, IL ( - Ryan Sweeney went 2-for-4 with a three-run home run and four RBI as the Chicago Cubs hung on to beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 7-6, in the opener of a three-game set.

Luis Valbuena smacked a two-run shot and crossed the plate three times for the Cubs, who handed the Cardinals their fourth straight loss.

Kevin Siegrist (1-2) gave up the tie-breaking two-run homer to Valbuena in the seventh and was tagged with the loss.

"He was the right guy, he just couldn't get it done," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Siegrist.

Justin Grimm (3-2) struck out two in a scoreless seventh inning to earn the win.

Cardinals starter Joe Kelly only lasted 4 2/3 innings, allowing eight hits and five runs.

Chicago starter Travis Wood, who hasn't recorded a win since June 15, allowed seven hits and five runs -- two earned -- in five innings of work.

"I really wanted to go deep in the game," Wood said. "I wasn't really throwing pitches all over the place. They fouled off a lot of pitches today and made me work. I was only able to go five, but luckily I was able to keep it close and we were able to pull it out."

The Cubs had a sloppy first inning in the field. Arismendy Alcantara threw the ball over Starlin Castro's head at second on a double play attempt, allowing Matt Carpenter to score. Chris Coghlan then had trouble fielding a line drive hit into left by Jon Jay, plating Matt Holliday and Matt Adams.

Sweeney's homer tied the game at three apiece in the second. Valbuena walked and Welington Castillo singled before Sweeney hit one over the ivy in left- center.

Sweeney delivered again an inning later. With runners on first and second, he singled to left to score Valbuena and put the Cubs up 4-3.

Wood helped himself out and stretched Chicago's lead to two runs with a solo homer in the fourth.

The back-and-forth tussle continued in the fifth. Carpenter and Holliday each hit solo home runs to tie the game at 5-5.

The Cardinals took the lead in the sixth. Mark Ellis reached first on a fielder's choice, then moved to second after a passed ball. Oscar Taveras came in to pinch-hit and hit a single to left to push Ellis across.

After Anthony Rizzo was hit by a pitch to start the bottom of the seventh, Valbuena hit a home run -- the fifth of the game -- putting the Cubs ahead, 7-6.

The Cubs loaded the bases in the eighth, but were unable to extend their lead.

Hector Rondon allowed one hit in the ninth for his 12th save of the season.

Game Notes

The Cardinals were 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position, while the Cubs were 2-for-6 ... All three of Chicago's runs in the first inning were unearned ... Wood now has three home runs on the season ... Rizzo hit a single in the third inning to extend his hitting streak to 10 games ... The season series between the Cubs and Cardinals is now tied at five games apiece.