for this game

Izturis drives in game-winner as Cardinals upend Cubs

Sep 10, 2008 - 4:12 AM ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- The ninth inning has not been kind to the Chicago Cubs.

For the second straight game, the struggling Cubs fell in the final frame on Tuesday, as Cesar Izturis' check-swing fielder's choice lifted the St. Louis Cardinals to a 4-3 victory over the Cubs, who have lost eight of nine.

"We're playing like we're waiting to get beat," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "You don't have a big enough lead in September to play ball like that. You have to stay aggressive. You have to do the things you've done all year. We're not executing, we're making mistakes and we're getting beat."

The Cubs had already blown a three-run lead in the sixth, as All-Star Ryan Dempster served up a three-run homer to Albert Pujols. In the ninth, the Cardinals' heroics came with small ball and a bit of luck.

With fireballer Carlos Marmol (2-4) on the mound for Chicago, Yadier Molina led off with a single and pinch runner Brendan Ryan advanced to second on the reliever's balk. Felipe Lopez followed with a walk and the runners advanced on Brian Barden's sacrifice bunt.

That left it up to Izturis, who hadn't driven in a run since August 22. The light-hitting infielder fought off several pitches from Marmol before finally making contact. On a pitch tailing low, Izturis checked his swing and bounced a soft grounder off the top of his bat to Chicago second baseman Mark DeRosa. Ryan's headfirst slide barely beat the throw to give the Cardinals the win.

"I just tried to make contact right there and try to put the ball in play and win the game," Izturis said. "It means a lot to us, especially against the Cubs."

Chris Perez (3-2) pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up the victory.

The Cubs endured another walk-off loss in their previous game on Sunday, as closer Kerry Wood gave up three runs in the ninth as the Reds rallied for a 4-3 triumph.

Dempster cruised through his first five innings before a couple of mistakes finally cost him in the sixth. Skip Schumacher led off with a double, who advanced to third on Aaron Miles' bunt single. That brought up the red-hot Pujols, who wasted no time.

"We need to win every game that we can," Pujols said. "When you have a guy like Dempster throwing out there, he's having a great year. He's probably one of the best right now in the league. He keeps the ball down pretty well and mixing up all his pitches."

The star first baseman, making a late MVP push as the Cardinals continue to stick around in the wild-card race, drove the first pitch he saw - a high fastball on the outer edge of the plate - over the right-center field wall. Pujols has homered in three straight games and has 33 homers and 98 RBI.

"He is a tough guy to pitch around when the guy behind him (Ryan Ludwick) has 30-something home runs and 100 RBI, too," Dempster said. "I made a mistake and I paid for it. It wasn't even a strike, actually; it was up out of the zone and he hit it the other way. What can you do?"

The Cubs' All-Star sluggers did their part early on to give Dempster an early lead. Derrek Lee ripped an RBI double to deep left in the first off St. Louis starter Kyle Lohse and Aramis Ramirez followed with a ground-rule double to quickly make it 2-0.

Ramirez added a run-scoring single in the third to give the Cubs a three-run cushion.

Dempster went seven innings, giving up seven hits and three runs while striking out six and walking a pair. Lohse lasted 5 1/3 innings, yielding eight hits and three runs. He struck out five and walked two.

"Tonight was a battle from the first pitch on," Lohse said. "I would obviously like to go out and have a better start tonight. But the bottom line is we won the game and that's what really matters."








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

    BATTERIES: CHN - RYAN DEMPSTER, CARLOS MARMOL (8TH) AND GEOVANY SOTO
    STL - KYLE LOHSE, JASON MOTTE (6TH), RYAN FRANKLIN
    (7TH), RON VILLONE (9TH), CHRIS PEREZ (9TH) AND YADIER

    Sep 9 10:58 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY CESAR IZTURIS SCORED BRENDAN RYAN.
    FINAL SCORE: ST LOUIS 4, CHICAGO CUBS 3

    Cubs 3, Cardinals 4  Bot 9, 0 OutsSep 9 10:57 PM
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    DialH Added 5 roots

    Cubs 3, Cardinals 3  Bot 9, 0 OutsSep 9 10:51 PM
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    alamowx Added 5 roots

    Cubs 3, Cardinals 3  Top 9, 0 OutsSep 9 10:38 PM
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    Cubs 3, Cardinals 3  Bot 8, 0 OutsSep 9 10:29 PM
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    bouch Added 5 roots

    Cubs 3, Cardinals 3  Bot 8, 0 OutsSep 9 10:24 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 72 roots (Close Finish)

    Cubs 3, Cardinals 3  Bot 7, 0 OutsSep 9 10:07 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY ALBERT PUJOLS (33) TO RIGHT CENTER
    WITH 0 OUT IN THE 6TH OFF RYAN DEMPSTER SCORED SKIP SCHUMAKER AND
    AARON MILES.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 3, ST LOUIS 3
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: R LUDWICK (.298, 1-FOR-2)

    Cubs 3, Cardinals 3  Bot 6, 0 OutsSep 9 9:50 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 16 roots

    Cubs 3, Cardinals 3  Bot 6, 0 OutsSep 9 9:50 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ARAMIS RAMIREZ SCORED RYAN THERIOT.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A RAMIREZ ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 3
    ST LOUIS 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: M DEROSA (.287, 0-FOR-1)

    Cubs 3, Cardinals 0  Top 3, 0 OutsSep 9 8:50 PM
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    McTool Added 5 roots

    Cubs 2, Cardinals 0  Bot 2, 0 OutsSep 9 8:36 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: CHN - RYAN DEMPSTER
    STL - KYLE LOHSE

    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: S SCHUMAKER (.305, 8 HR, 43 RBI)
    T GLAUS (.270, 23 HR, 89 RBI)
    A PUJOLS (.359, 32 HR, 95 R

    Cubs 2, Cardinals 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsSep 9 8:24 PM
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    GREGnKY Added 5 roots

    Cubs vs. CardinalsSep 9 11:06 AM