Cardinals
Cubs
2 - 3 Final/11
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Blanco sends Cubs past Cards

Aug 8, 2008 - 11:32 PM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Henry Blanco singled in the winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning Friday, lifting the Chicago Cubs to a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Jim Edmonds hit a pair of solo homers against his former team to pace the Cubs (70-46), who increased their lead over the Cardinals in the National League Central to seven games.

"We played very well, but so did they. We just had a couple of execution things go wrong," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "It was an exciting game, but we came out on the wrong end of it."

Derrek Lee drew a leadoff walk in the 11th against Ryan Franklin (4-5) and moved to third on Aramis Ramirez's single to right field. After an intentional walk to Kosuke Fukudome, Blanco ended things by ripping a single past shortstop Cesar Izturis. It marked the 25th loss for a Cardinals reliever this season.

"I knew they were going walk Fukudome," Blanco said. "I had enough time to think about what I wanted to do. (Manager Lou Piniella) told me to look for a slider in that spot from Franklin, but that pitch was a little outside. Then he gave me a fastball to hit."

St. Louis did receive a strong outing from starter Braden Looper, who allowed Edmonds' two homers and four other hits in seven innings. The righthander walked one and struck out three.

"The first one was a bad pitch and I was trying to establish the inside part of the plate, but I let one come back over the middle right into his sweet spot," Looper said of the homers by Edmonds. "The second pitch I thought was a good pitch. It was like he hit a pop-up to left."

Looper was in line for the win before Edmonds sent a 1-2 pitch the opposite way over the left field wall with one out in the seventh for his 15th homer, tying the game at 2-2.

It was the third multi-homer game of the season for Edmonds, who played with the Cardinals from 2000 to 2007. He was also an integral part of their World Series-winning team in 2006.

"It was not something I was thinking about. I was trying to put the bat on the ball," Edmonds said. "The first one, I put the barrell on a fastball. The second was a split that I was able to stay behind."

Edmonds had a chance to end it in the bottom of the ninth but grounded out to strand a pair of runners.

"His performance was pretty impressive. I tip my cap," Piniella said. "He has come in here and hit for some power and has made some nice plays in center field."

In the top of ninth, Izturis reached third with two outs. Skip Schumaker narrowly missed scoring Izturis when he put down a bunt on which second baseman Mark DeRosa was able to make a nice play, ending the threat.

Cubs starter Ted Lilly worked 7 1/3 innings, allowing two runs and seven hits. The veteran lefthander walked two and struck out three.

Carlos Marmol, Jeff Samardzija and Bobby Howry combined to surrender one hit over 3 2/3 innings after Lilly departed. Howry (5-4) struck out two in a perfect 11th for the win.

"Heck of a ballgame," Piniella said. "There was good pitching and some clutch hitting. Our bullpen did a great job, and so did Lilly."

After Edmonds homered in the bottom of the first, Joe Mather sent a shot into the left field bleachers with two outs in the second to tie the game. It was Mather's sixth homer.

Mather also had a single in the sixth, setting the stage for Adam Kennedy's RBI groundout that gave the Cardinals a 2-1 lead.

St. Louis had a chance to extend the lead later in the sixth after loading the bases with one out. But Troy Glaus hit a shallow fly ball to left fielder Alfonso Soriano, who threw out Mather at the plate.

An inning earlier, the Cardinals also wasted a chance when Izturis was tagged out at the plate after Looper missed on a squeeze attempt.

"That was one of the execution things that we missed," La Russa said. "On the bunt, Looper squared off too soon and Cesar broke too soon. The other play is just trying to force the defense to make a play. Mather is a great runner, but the outfielder (Soriano) made a great throw."

St. Louis was playing the opener of a 10-game road trip.








  • NL
    FINAL 11
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    - - - - - - - - -
    ST LOUIS 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0
    CHICAGO CUBS 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
    10 11 R H E
    -- -- - - -
    ST LOUIS 0 0 2 8 1
    CHICAGO CUBS 0 1 3 10 1 (FINAL 11)

    BATTERIES: STL

    Aug 8 5:30 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY HENRY BLANCO SCORED DERREK LEE.
    FINAL SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 3, ST LOUIS 2

    Cardinals 2, Cubs 3  Bot 11, 0 OutsAug 8 5:30 PM
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    Cardinals 2, Cubs 2  Top 11, 0 OutsAug 8 5:14 PM
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    Cardinals 2, Cubs 2  Bot 10, 0 OutsAug 8 5:04 PM
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    Cardinals 2, Cubs 2  Bot 8, 0 OutsAug 8 4:33 PM


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    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JIM EDMONDS (15) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 7TH OFF BRADEN LOOPER.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 2, CHICAGO CUBS 2
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: M DEROSA (.276, 0-FOR-2)

    Cardinals 2, Cubs 2  Bot 7, 0 OutsAug 8 4:05 PM
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    Cardinals 2, Cubs 1  Bot 7, 0 OutsAug 8 3:59 PM


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    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY ADAM KENNEDY SCORED SKIP SCHUMAKER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J MATHER ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 2
    CHICAGO CUBS 1 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: A PUJOLS (.348, 0-FOR-2)

    Cardinals 2, Cubs 1  Top 6, 0 OutsAug 8 3:43 PM
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    Cardinals 1, Cubs 1  Bot 5, 0 OutsAug 8 3:34 PM


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    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JOE MATHER (6) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    3RD OFF TED LILLY.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 1, CHICAGO CUBS 1
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: A KENNEDY (.276, 1-FOR-1)

    Cardinals 1, Cubs 1  Top 3, 0 OutsAug 8 2:58 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JIM EDMONDS (14) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 2ND OFF BRADEN LOOPER.
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 0, CHICAGO CUBS 1
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: M DEROSA (.278, 12 HR, 63 RBI)

    Cardinals 0, Cubs 1  Bot 2, 0 OutsAug 8 2:49 PM
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