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Chicago at St. Louis

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Chi. Cubs «0200000002100
St. Louis000000100190

Maddux cashes in as Cubs clip Cardinals

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- Greg Maddux won his final start at 40-year-old Busch Stadium, prompting a flood of memories.

"I took some time to reflect back on my experiences here because I guess you're going to blow it up once the season is over," Maddux said after throwing 5 2/3 scoreless innings in the Chicago Cubs' 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night. "Great fans, and all that.

"I'm sure they'll be the same fans just a block down the road or whatever."

Maddux topped 400 innings over the last two seasons, triggering an automatic $9 million option for next season, when he struck out Hector Luna for the second out in the fourth inning of his 317th career victory.

"If they want me I'd love to come back," Maddux said. "I'm not going to play because I can, I'm going to play because I deserve it."

The Cubs got just enough off Mark Mulder early and took two of three from the team with the NL's best record, winning their first season series in St. Louis since 1995.

Neifi Perez had an RBI double and Matt Murton a run-scoring single on consecutive at-bats with two outs in the second for the Cubs, who were 5-3 in St. Louis. The Cardinals lead the majors with an 88-52 record and have lost only three of 16 series since the All-Star break, all three to the Cubs.

The Cubs are 8-4 against the Cardinals this season, but 61-67 otherwise. The Cardinals are 42-20 against the NL Central overall, with a losing record only against Chicago.

"I mean, that's just baseball," infielder Abraham Nunez said. "I can't explain the success they've had against us."

Albert Pujols hit his 37th homer and singled twice for the Cardinals. David Eckstein got an infield hit in the third to extend his hitting streak to a season-best 13 games.

Maddux (12-11) allowed seven hits, struck out four and walked two. He escaped a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the third when Jim Edmonds grounded into a home-to-first double play and John Mabry struck out. The Cardinals were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position against Maddux, who finished 13-8 with a 2.97 ERA at Busch.

His outing was perhaps shortened by a grounder off his right foot that ended up as an infield hit for Eckstein in the third.

"It was one of those games where I just felt I was always in a jam," Maddux said. "You never really get a chance to kind of get your second wind or whatever.

"I hit a wall and when you're done the bullpen has a lot better chance than you do. The bullpen was great."

Mulder (15-7) scattered 10 hits in his third complete game of the year and 25th of his career, continuing a second-half surge. He allowed two runs, struck out three and didn't walk a batter, throwing 96 pitches. He's 2-1 with two complete games in his last four starts, giving up four earned runs in 34 innings, a 1.06 ERA.

"When I'm throwing a good sinker, I get a lot of quick outs," Mulder said. "If I get beat, I want to get beat on my best pitches and that's what happened. I can handle that."

Pujols homered for the second time in three games with two outs in the seventh off Michael Wuertz to make it 2-1. He was 3-for-4, raising his average to .337.

Ryan Dempster, the Cubs' fourth pitcher, worked the ninth for his 24th save. He got Nunez on a called third strike with a runner on third for the final out.

Notes

  • St. Louis' So Taguchi doubled in the sixth for his first extra-base hit since Aug. 16.
  • Eckstein is 23-for-56 during his streak.
  • Perez grounded into double plays in the seventh and ninth, giving him a team-leading 20 this season.
  • Edmonds made a running over-the-shoulder catch of pinch-hitter Jose Macias' drive to the center field wall leading off the eighth.
  • Attendance of 47,789 was the Cardinals' 38th sellout and 30th straight game with 40,000 or more.
  • Maddux is one behind Phil Niekro for 15th on the career victory list.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Greg Maddux improves to 12-11 with the 317th victory of his career.  (AP)
Greg Maddux improves to 12-11 with the 317th victory of his career. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

M. Murton
AB 3
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 1
St. Louis

M. Mulder
IP 9.0
H 10
ER 2
BB 0
K 3
 
Chicago Cubs
Jerry Jr. Hairston, CF-LF4020000 .266
Ronny Cedeno, SS4000002 .280
Derrek Lee, 1B4020010 .344
Nomar Garciaparra, 3B4010001 .270
Michael Barrett, C4010002 .280
Jeromy Burnitz, RF4120011 .268
Neifi Perez, 2B4111002 .286
Matt Murton, LF3011000 .333
    Corey Patterson, CF0000000 .223
Greg Maddux, P2000011 .206
    Michael Wuertz, P0000000 .000
   a- Jose Macias, PH1000000 .269
    Roberto Novoa, P0000000 .000
    Ryan Dempster, P0000000 .071
Totals342102039 
a-flied out for Wuertz in the 8th
Batting
2B - Neifi Perez (28, Mulder)
RBI - Neifi Perez (49), Matt Murton (6)
2-OUT RBI - Neifi Perez (23), Matt Murton (2)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Maddux-Barrett-Lee
Chicago Cubs
Greg Maddux (W,12-11) 5.2700240 4.28
Michael Wuertz (H,12) 1.1111121 4.08
Roberto Novoa (H,10) 1000010 4.06
Ryan Dempster (S,24) 1100010 3.57
WP - Ryan Dempster (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Greg Maddux 92-60, Michael Wuertz 27-16, Roberto Novoa 9-5, Ryan Dempster 16-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Greg Maddux 8-4, Michael Wuertz 1-1, Ryan Dempster 2-0
Batters Faced - Greg Maddux 25, Michael Wuertz 6, Roberto Novoa 3, Ryan Dempster 4
St. Louis Cardinals
David Eckstein, SS5010001 .285
Abraham Nunez, 3B-2B5020011 .301
Albert Pujols, 1B4131011 .337
Jim Edmonds, CF4000013 .264
John Mabry, RF-3B4000032 .257
So Taguchi, LF-RF4020000 .295
Yadier Molina, C2000201 .257
Hector Luna, 2B2000013 .280
   a- John Rodriguez, PH-LF1010100 .300
Mark Mulder, P3000015 .140
   b- Skip Schumaker, PH1000001 .125
Totals351913818 
a-walked for Luna in the 6th
b-hit into fielder's choice for Mulder in the 9th
Batting
2B - So Taguchi (18, Maddux)
HR - Albert Pujols (37, Wuertz)
RBI - Albert Pujols (104)
2-OUT RBI - Albert Pujols (31)
SB - So Taguchi (10, 2nd base off Maddux/Barrett)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Eckstein-Nunez-Pujols, Mulder-Nunez-Pujols, Nunez-Eckstein-Pujols
St. Louis Cardinals
Mark Mulder (L,15-7) 91022030 3.54
Pitches-Strikes - Mark Mulder 96-67
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mark Mulder 12-9
Batters Faced - Mark Mulder 34
Game Information
Attendance - 47789
Game Time - 2:34
Temperature - 85
Umpires - Home - Lance Barksdale, First Base - Jim Reynolds, Second Base - Wally Bell, Third Base - John Hirschbeck