for this game

Cubs edge Cardinals, clinch NL Central

Sep 21, 2008 - 12:38 AM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- One day after failing to get the job done, the Chicago Cubs took care of business on Saturday.

Ted Lilly tossed six innings and added an RBI single to lead the Cubs to a 5-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals and their second straight National League Central Division title.

Alfonso Soriano delivered a two-run single and Mark DeRosa also plated a run for the Cubs (93-60), who have qualified for the postseason in consecutive years for the first time since appearing in three straight World Series from 1906-08.

"This feels nice," Lilly said. "It's what it's all about - getting to the postseason. Hopefully, we can carry this on and go deep in the playoffs."

"In the two years I have been here, I have shared and heard the frustrations of all these Cubs fans," Chicago manager Lou Piniella said. "But you can't look at the past, you have to look at the present. This team is talented and can do some things in the postseason, but it can't carry the weight of all the past failures on its back and win. It just can't because that is too much pressure. I'm going to try and eliminate that."

Lilly (16-9) kept St. Louis off the scoreboard for five innings before tiring in the sixth. The lefthander yielded four runs and six hits, walking two and striking out five en route to his third straight win.

Carlos Marmol tossed a perfect eighth before Kerry Wood worked around a leadoff walk in the ninth for his 32nd save.

"They did a great job holding the game for us after I gave up the home run to (Troy Glaus in the sixth)," Lilly said. "They have done a great job for us all year."

Behind ace Carlos Zambrano, Chicago had a chance to clinch the NL Central on Friday with a loss by Milwaukee and a victory of its own. The Brewers did their part, falling to the Cincinnati Reds, but Zambrano was tagged for eight runs in just 1 2/3 innings as the Cubs dropped a 12-6 decision to the Cardinals.

In this one, Chicago got to Joel Pineiro early, scoring three times in the second inning and twice more in the fourth.

Former Cardinal Jim Edmonds led off the second with a double and Geovany Soto walked before a fielder's choice by DeRosa put runners on the corners. Kosuke Fukudome walked to load the bases and, after Lilly struck out, Soriano singled to left field, plating two.

Left fielder Brian Barton allowed the ball to get past him for an error, permitting Fukudome to score and give Chicago a 3-0 bulge.

"It's one of those plays where I have to see the ball into my glove," Barton said. "I was expecting a higher bounce, and the ball got past me. I feel like if I make that play, it's a different ballgame."

Another miscue plagued St. Louis in the fourth as third baseman Glaus misplayed leadoff hitter Soto's grounder. DeRosa followed with a double to deep left field that scored Soto for a four-run cushion.

After moving to third on a groundout by Fukudome, DeRosa scampered home on Lilly's bunt single for a 5-0 advantage.

"I didn't want to pop the ball up and give them a chance for a double play," Lilly said of his bunt. "Fortunately, I got a pitch that I could get the bunt down. Sometimes what you do early in the game matters in the end."

That run proved crucial as the Cardinals rallied for four runs in the sixth. Cesar Izturis hit a one-out single and Albert Pujols drew a two-out walk before a double steal put two runners in scoring position.

Felipe Lopez's infield single scored Izturis, and Glaus followed with his 25th homer of the season, a three-run shot that cut the deficit to 5-4.

Adam Kennedy kept alive the inning with a walk, but Lilly avoided further damage by getting Barton to ground out to shortstop.

"It's a good example of how you compete in this league," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "We gave them five runs and the game could have got away, but our pitcher held it together and we got four runs. They were just good enough to hold us off in the end."

Lilly improved to 6-2 lifetime against St. Louis and 3-0 in five starts this season.

The Cardinals did not get another baserunner until Glaus drew a leadoff walk in the ninth from Wood. But the closer allowed nothing else, inducing a flyout to center field by Aaron Miles to seal the win and push the Cubs into the playoffs.

"This is a great feeling," DeRosa said. "Last year when we got in, it was relief after the bad start we had. We talked before the game today that if we won, we would enjoy this. But we realize there is a bigger prize at stake."

Pineiro (6-7) lasted six innings, surrendering five runs - three earned - and six hits. The righthander, who had won three of his previous four decisions, walked two and struck out three.








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

    BATTERIES: STL - JOEL PINEIRO, RYAN FRANKLIN (7TH) AND JASON LARUE
    CHN - TED LILLY, CARLOS MARMOL (8TH), KERRY WOOD (9TH)
    AND GEOVANY SOTO

    HOME RUNS: STL - TROY GLAUS (25) O

    Sep 20 6:18 PM
  • 55
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    bouch Added 5 roots

    Cardinals 4, Cubs 5  Top 9, 0 OutsSep 20 6:16 PM
  • 50
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    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Cardinals 4, Cubs 5  Bot 7, 0 OutsSep 20 5:50 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY FELIPE LOPEZ SCORED CESAR IZTURIS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, F LOPEZ ON FIRST, A PUJOLS ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 1
    CHICAGO CUBS 5 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: T GLAUS (.266, 0-FOR-2)

    Cardinals 1, Cubs 5  Top 6, 0 OutsSep 20 5:29 PM
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    Walt Added 5 roots

    Cardinals 0, Cubs 5  Bot 5, 0 OutsSep 20 5:11 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE BY TED LILLY SCORED MARK DEROSA.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, T LILLY ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 0
    CHICAGO CUBS 5 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: A SORIANO (.291, 1-FOR-2, 2 RBI)

    Cardinals 0, Cubs 5  Bot 4, 0 OutsSep 20 5:01 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MARK DEROSA SCORED GEOVANY SOTO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M DEROSA ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 0
    CHICAGO CUBS 4 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: K FUKUDOME (.259, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Cardinals 0, Cubs 4  Bot 4, 0 OutsSep 20 4:58 PM
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    Yankee82 Added 5 roots

    Cardinals 0, Cubs 0  Top 2, 0 OutsSep 20 4:32 PM


  • NL
    AT CHICAGO CUBS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ALFONSO SORIANO SCORED JIM EDMONDS AND MARK
    DEROSA. ERROR BY BRIAN BARTON ALLOWED KOSUKE FUKUDOME TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, A SORIANO ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 0
    CHICAGO CUBS 3 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: R THERIOT (.299, 0-FOR-1)

    Cardinals 0, Cubs 3  Bot 2, 0 OutsSep 20 4:32 PM
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    theonecabby Added 5 roots

    Cardinals vs. CubsSep 20 1:47 PM