for this game

Harden, Cubs stave off Cardinals

Sep 12, 2008 - 5:03 AM By James Walsh PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- Rich Harden threw six solid innings and the Cubs took advantage of an injury-riddled Cardinals lineup to win consecutive games for the first time this month, defeating St. Louis, 3-2, on Thursday.

Harden (5-1) was in control with his fastball and off-speed pitches, surrendering two runs with five hits and a walk.

Making his first start since August 29 due to arm discomfort, the 26-year old improved to 5-0 with a 1.91 ERA over his last eight starts.

"It was good to get back out there," said Harden, who threw 55 of 86 pitches for strikes. "I was trying to keep my walks down, that was my goal, just trying to locate everything and not overthrow today."

Jeff Samardzija tossed a scoreless seventh and Carlos Marmol pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth, striking out pitch-hitter Josh Phelps, before St. Louis staged a rally off closer Kerry Wood in the ninth.

Brendan Ryan doubled off the Cubs' closer leading off but was erased on a sacrifice attempt as he overslid third. Skip Schumaker singled to put runners on first and second before Wood recovered, striking out Aaron Miles and getting Albert Pujols on a pop-up to record his 30th save.

"It was fun when it was over," Wood said. "But you never want to put yourself in a situation facing the best hitter in the game with a chance to end it. We came out on the right end of that."

"I wanted to hit in that situation," Pujols said. "I got a good pitch to hit and I couldn't come through. You can't come through every time."

Chicago (88-58) now leads Milwaukee (83-64) in the National League Central to 5 1/2 games with 16 to play after taking two of three from the Cardinals.

"You've got to kick it in September," said Cubs manager Lou Piniella, whose team has won three of their last 11. "If you don't play well in September, no lead is big enough."

With Troy Glaus, Rick Ankiel, and Yadier Molina nursing injuries, the Cardinals lacked their usual run producers, mustering two extra-base hits while outhitting the Cubs, 10-7. St. Louis remains 4 1/2 games behind Milwaukee for the wild card.

"This is a game we needed to turn around," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "This was a winnable game."

The Cubs broke open a scoreless game in the fifth, plating two runs without the benefit of a hit.

Geovany Soto drew a walk from Todd Wellemeyer (12-7) to start the frame before Reed Johnson reached on Pujols' fielding error. Successive walks to Alfonso Soriano and Ryan Theriot along with Derrek Lee's groundout gave Chicago a 2-0 cushion.

"The fifth inning got away from us and we couldn't come back," said Wellemeyer, who allowed two unearned runs with three hits and four walks. "I probably threw too many pitches, got a little tired, started leaning to the left and pulling everything."

Back-to-back doubles by Mark DeRosa and Mike Fontenot in the sixth expanded the lead to 3-0.

St. Louis drew close with two runs in the sixth as Pujols doubled home Miles and Felipe Lopez singled to plate Pujols.

The RBI for Pujols was his 100th of the season, placing the slugger with Ted Williams and Al Simmons as the only major leaguers to collect 100 RBIs in each of their first eight seasons.






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    Yankee82 Added 5 roots

    Cubs 3, Cardinals 2  FinalSep 11 11:35 PM


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

    BATTERIES: CHN - RICH HARDEN, JEFF SAMARDZIJA (7TH), CARLOS MARMOL (8TH), KERRY
    WOOD (9TH) AND GEOVANY SOTO
    STL - TODD WELLEMEYER, KYLE MCCLELLAN (6TH), RUSS
    SPRINGER (8TH),

    Sep 11 11:20 PM
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    Cubs 3, Cardinals 2  Top 8, 0 OutsSep 11 10:24 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Cubs 3, Cardinals 2  Bot 7, 0 OutsSep 11 10:10 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY FELIPE LOPEZ SCORED ALBERT PUJOLS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, F LOPEZ ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 3
    ST LOUIS 2 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: A KENNEDY (.268, 1-FOR-2)

    Cubs 3, Cardinals 2  Bot 6, 0 OutsSep 11 10:02 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ALBERT PUJOLS SCORED AARON MILES.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A PUJOLS ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 3
    ST LOUIS 1 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: R LUDWICK (.295, 0-FOR-2)

    Cubs 3, Cardinals 1  Bot 6, 0 OutsSep 11 9:58 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MIKE FONTENOT SCORED MARK DEROSA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M FONTENOT ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 3
    ST LOUIS 0 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: G SOTO (.290, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Cubs 3, Cardinals 0  Top 6, 0 OutsSep 11 9:45 PM


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    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY DERREK LEE SCORED REED JOHNSON.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, R THERIOT ON SECOND, A SORIANO ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 2
    ST LOUIS 0 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: A RAMIREZ (.279, 0-FOR-2)

    Cubs 2, Cardinals 0  Top 5, 0 OutsSep 11 9:33 PM


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    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO RYAN THERIOT SCORED GEOVANY SOTO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R THERIOT ON FIRST, A SORIANO ON SECOND, R
    JOHNSON ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 1
    ST LOUIS 0 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: D LEE (.294, 0-FOR-2)

    Cubs 1, Cardinals 0  Top 5, 0 OutsSep 11 9:33 PM
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    Cubs vs. CardinalsSep 11 2:40 PM