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Chicago at St. Louis

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Chi. Cubs «0005201008130
St. Louis001020002573

Cardinals lose Pujols with strained muscle, then game

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- Chicago has been playing without its All-Star first baseman for more than a month. The Cardinals are concerned they might be without theirs for a while, too.

Aramis Ramirez hit a grand slam and St. Louis slugger Albert Pujols strained his right oblique muscle in the second inning of the Cubs' 8-5 victory Saturday. Pujols, who leads the major leagues with 25 home runs and 65 RBI after winning the NL MVP award last year, will be re-evaluated on Sunday but is expected to go on the DL.

"Obviously, we have significant concerns about the severity," team physician Dr. George Paletta said. "This injury can put you out for weeks."

Paletta said Pujols, who pulled up and grabbed his right side while chasing a foul pop by Ramirez in the second, could be out for as long as six weeks.

"If you told me right now he'd be out two weeks, that's a lot better than the rest of the year," manager Tony La Russa said. "I just don't think after talking to Dr. Paletta that two weeks from now, Albert will be ready to go."

Phil Nevin, acquired on Wednesday from the Rangers, added a two-run homer in his first start with the Cubs. Nevin is expected to help make up for the loss of first baseman Derrek Lee, who is sidelined with a broken right wrist.

"I haven't been nervous in a game in a long time," Nevin said. "I had a little bit of that today.

"I keep looking down and seeing 'Chicago,' it's pretty cool."

The Cubs took advantage of three errors to score five runs in the fourth against Mark Mulder, including third baseman Scott Rolen's second fielding error in two games. Chicago has taken the first two games of the three-game series, the Cardinals' first home series loss after a 9-0 start at new Busch Stadium, and is 6-2 against St. Louis overall this year.

"They helped us with some errors by guys that don't make them," manager Dusty Baker said. "Maybe it's just our time to get some breaks, but we capitalized on them."

Mulder (5-4) lost his third straight start and allowed eight runs and 12 hits, five of the runs earned, in 6 2/3 innings. Since throwing 8 1/3 scoreless innings against the Mets on May 17, he has surrendered 19 runs, 16 earned, in 17 1/3 innings.

Glendon Rusch (2-5) started for the first time since April 29 and earned his first victory since April 16. In five innings he gave up three runs and four hits while avoiding the long ball.

Entering the game, he was among the NL leaders with 13 homers allowed in only 37 innings. More important, his stint provided some relief for the bullpen after a 14-inning victory on Friday night.

"I was happy to get us into the middle of the game, especially after everybody we used yesterday," Rusch said. "It was just a great game all around."

Yadier Molina hit a two-run single off Scott Williamson in the ninth to cut the Cubs' lead to 8-5 but Bob Howry got Aaron Miles to ground out with Molina on first for his first save.

Williamson injured his elbow throwing a breaking ball on his last pitch and trainer Mark O'Neal recommended that the reliever be placed on the 15-day disabled list. O'Neal characterized the injury as tendinitis unrelated to Williamson's two previous elbow reconstructions.

O'Neal said Williamson would meet with Reds surgeon Tim Kremchek, who performed both of those operations, on Monday in Cincinnati.

"Right now he's sore and I think the best for us is to put him on the DL," O'Neal said. "I don't anticipate this being anything more than 15 days, but we need to know we have somebody who can pitch two or three days from now and I can't guarantee them that right now."

The Cardinals delayed a possible DL move on Friday with Jim Edmonds, who's been out a week with an abdominal strain. A third All-Star, Cy Young winner Chris Carpenter, is on the DL already but is expected to return to the rotation on Tuesday.

Fielding errors by shortstop David Eckstein and Rolen, sandwiched around a single by Michael Barrett, loaded the bases with none out in the fourth. Ramirez hit his 10th homer, and sixth career grand slam, on a 2-0 pitch to erase a 1-0 deficit.

Center fielder So Taguchi dropped the ball while attempting to make a throw after Jacque Jones' single later in the inning. Ronny Cedeno added an RBI single for a 5-1 lead as the Cubs sent 10 batters to the plate.

Nevin hit his 10th homer in the fifth after walking as a pinch hitter in his debut on Friday night. Nevin, who had been a designated hitter with Texas, started at first base.

Reliever Roberto Novoa added a run-scoring ground-rule double, his first career hit in seven at-bats, in the seventh.

David Eckstein had an RBI single in the third and Mulder had a run-scoring single in the fifth, his fifth RBI of the season.

Barrett's second straight three-hit game made him 13-for-28 against St. Louis pitching this season with three homers and 10 RBI.

Notes

  • The Cardinals are 0-6 since May 12 in games in which they committed an error. They're 26-9 with perfect fielding and 8-12 otherwise.
  • Paid attendance of 45,820 was the largest, by 21, in a season-long sellout at Busch.
 
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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Phil Nevin's two-run homer in the fifth inning is his first since being traded to the Cubs.  (AP)
Phil Nevin's two-run homer in the fifth inning is his first since being traded to the Cubs. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

Y. Molina
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 3
Chicago

A. Ramirez
AB 5
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 4
 
Chicago Cubs
Juan Pierre, CF4000001
Neifi Perez, 2B5100005
Michael Barrett, C4230100
Phil Nevin, 1B5212002
Aramis Ramirez, 3B5114000
Matt Murton, LF5120010
Jacque Jones, RF4130100
Ronny Cedeno, SS5021012
Glendon Rusch, P1000002
    Roberto Novoa, P1011000
    Scott Williamson, P0000000
    Bob Howry, P0000000
Totals3981382212 
Batting
2B - Jacque Jones (, Mulder), Roberto Novoa (, Mulder)
HR - Phil Nevin (, Mulder), Aramis Ramirez (, Mulder)
SH - Glendon Rusch 2 ()
RBI - Phil Nevin 2 (), Aramis Ramirez 4 (), Ronny Cedeno (), Roberto Novoa ()
2-OUT RBI - Roberto Novoa ()
SB - Juan Pierre (, 2nd base off Mulder/Molina)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Cedeno-Perez-Nevin, Cedeno-Perez-Nevin, Perez-Cedeno-Nevin
Chicago Cubs
Glendon Rusch (W,-) 5433250
Roberto Novoa 3100110
Scott Williamson 0.2222120
Bob Howry (S,) 0.1000000
WP - Scott Williamson 2 ()
Pitches-Strikes - Glendon Rusch 90-59, Roberto Novoa 33-19, Scott Williamson 20-10, Bob Howry 5-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Glendon Rusch 5-3, Roberto Novoa 4-3, Bob Howry 1-0
Batters Faced - Glendon Rusch 19, Roberto Novoa 10, Scott Williamson 5, Bob Howry 1
St. Louis Cardinals
David Eckstein, SS4011002
Hector Luna, LF-1B4000011
Albert Pujols, 1B1000010
    John Rodriguez, LF3000020
Scott Rolen, 3B4110010
Juan Encarnacion, RF4020010
So Taguchi, CF2200212
Yadier Molina, C4123011
Aaron Miles, 2B3100103
Mark Mulder, P1011000
    Brad Thompson, P0000000
   a- Timo Perez, PH0000100
    Tyler Johnson, P0000000
Totals30575489 
a-walked for Thompson in the 8th
Batting
2B - Juan Encarnacion (, Novoa), Yadier Molina (, Rusch)
SH - Mark Mulder ()
RBI - David Eckstein (), Yadier Molina 3 (), Mark Mulder ()
2-OUT RBI - David Eckstein (), Yadier Molina 2 ()
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Rolen-Miles-Luna
E - David Eckstein (, Wild throw), Scott Rolen (, Misplayed grounder), So Taguchi (, Misplayed grounder)
St. Louis Cardinals
Mark Mulder (L,-) 6.21285212
Brad Thompson 1.1100000
Tyler Johnson 1000010
HBP - Pierre (by Mark Mulder)
Pitches-Strikes - Mark Mulder 101-63, Brad Thompson 14-9, Tyler Johnson 18-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mark Mulder 16-5, Brad Thompson 1-2, Tyler Johnson 2-0
Batters Faced - Mark Mulder 37, Brad Thompson 4, Tyler Johnson 3
Game Information
Attendance - 45820
Game Time - 2:43
Temperature - 88
Umpires - Home - Mike Reilly, First Base - Adam Dowdy, Second Base - Jeff Kellogg, Third Base - Andy Fletcher