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Chicago at St. Louis

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Chi. Cubs (53-46) «0002400107141
St. Louis (45-52)000100000180

Cubs' Lilly nabs seventh consecutive decision, beats Cards

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- Adam Wainwright was such a force over the first three innings, striking out six of his first 10 batters, that Ted Lilly figured he would have to be on his game.

Then the Chicago Cubs' offense kicked in.

Lilly won his seventh straight decision in a romp as Cliff Floyd and Mike Fontenot both drove in two runs in a 7-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night.

"It looked early like Wainwright was going to be really tough, so I felt there was going to be very little room for error," Lilly said. "But our lineup is tough. One of the things about pitching in this division for me is I don't have to face the Cubs."

Alfonso Soriano lacked only a home run for the cycle for the Cubs, who have won nine of 12 and pulled within two games of NL Central-leading Milwaukee, which lost 7-3 at Cincinnati. Chicago's 31-15 record since June 3 is the best in the major leagues in that span.

"I saw they lost again," Soriano said of the Brewers, "so it's a very important win for us."

Juan Encarnacion had four singles and an RBI for the Cardinals, who have lost the first two games of a seven-game homestand against the two teams they're chasing in the NL Central. The defending World Series champions, who have been bedeviled by injuries, are 45-52 and nine games out of first place.

Manager Tony La Russa pointed out the Cardinals lost their first two games after the All-Star break, yet finished their first trip 5-5.

"We've been in this position, it seems like, most of the season," La Russa said. "We've just lost the first two games of the series. We'll play as hard as we can and as good as we can."

Lilly (11-4) worked seven innings and gave up a run and six hits with two strikeouts and three walks. He topped his previous career best of six straight victories in 2003. He has been dominant in July, going 5-0 with a 1.83 ERA in five starts, and is 7-0 with a 2.77 ERA in eight starts dating to June 15.

He added a run-scoring single off Troy Percival, his fourth hit of the season, in the eighth. The Cubs scored five runs with two-out hits, a night after scoring all four runs with two outs.

"When you get two-out hitting, it's a little bit of a demoralizer," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "We've been doing a good job at it, at least in this series."

Wainwright (9-8) allowed six runs and nine hits in five innings. He had one more strikeout the last two innings, tying his career best in his first year as a starter.

"I felt great," Wainwright said. "There's no excuse for what happened to me. This team needed a big start from me and I didn't give them one."

Floyd and Jacque Jones had two-out RBI singles in the fourth to put the Cubs ahead 2-0.

The Cardinals shaved the deficit to one in the bottom of the inning when So Taguchi drew a leadoff walk, stole second on a pickoff play, went to third on Lilly's wild throw and scored on Encarnacion's hit.

Then the Cubs put it away with a four-run fourth that featured a triple by Soriano and doubles by Aramis Ramirez and Floyd. Ryan Theriot had an RBI single, Floyd's double drove in two runs and Fontenot's single made it 6-1.

Wainwright, who had won his previous three starts, has struggled in three starts against Chicago. He's 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA, allowing 23 earned runs in 23 innings.

Notes

  • Piniella won his 1,572nd game, breaking a tie with Dick Williams for 17th place on the career list. La Russa is third with 2,342. "I've been doing this a long time and sooner or later I'll pass some of these guys," Piniella said. "Dick's a pretty good manager, a real good manager in fact, probably should be in the Hall of Fame."
  • Jones is batting .361 (13-for-36) with eight RBI in 11 games since the All-Star break. He's 11-for-20 (.550) with eight RBI against St. Louis this year.
  • Albert Pujols of the Cardinals was 0-for-4 to drop to 0-for-9 the first two games of the series.
 
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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In 2003 he won six straight games. Ted Lilly tops that this season with his seventh decision in a row. (AP)
In 2003 he won six straight games. Ted Lilly tops that this season with his seventh decision in a row. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

M. Fontenot
AB 5
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
Chicago

C. Floyd
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Chicago Cubs
Alfonso Soriano, LF5130020 .299
Ryan Theriot, SS5021003 .279
Derrek Lee, 1B4200124 .335
Aramis Ramirez, 3B5120002 .323
Cliff Floyd, RF4222011 .290
    Angel Pagan, RF1000000 .281
Mike Fontenot, 2B5022001 .331
Jacque Jones, CF4121001 .251
Koyie Hill, C4000013 .162
Ted Lilly, P4011020 .167
    Michael Wuertz, P0000000 .000
    Scott Eyre, P0000000 .000
Totals41714718  
Batting
2B - Alfonso Soriano (29, Jimenez), Aramis Ramirez 2 (20, Wainwright, Jimenez), Cliff Floyd (7, Wainwright), Jacque Jones (16, Percival)
3B - Alfonso Soriano (5, Wainwright)
RBI - Ryan Theriot (27), Cliff Floyd 2 (33), Mike Fontenot 2 (20), Jacque Jones (28), Ted Lilly (4)
2-OUT RBI - Cliff Floyd 2 (15), Mike Fontenot 2 (7), Jacque Jones (21)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Theriot-Fontenot-Lee, Fontenot-Lee, Ramirez-Fontenot-Lee, Theriot-Fontenot-Lee
E - Ted Lilly (2, Throwing)
Chicago Cubs
Ted Lilly (W,11-4) 7611320 3.46
Michael Wuertz 1200000 3.80
Scott Eyre 1000100 6.06
Pitches-Strikes - Ted Lilly 89-56, Michael Wuertz 10-8, Scott Eyre 8-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ted Lilly 8-9, Michael Wuertz 1-1, Scott Eyre 1-1
Batters Faced - Ted Lilly 28, Michael Wuertz 4, Scott Eyre 3
St. Louis Cardinals
David Eckstein, SS4000004 .298
So Taguchi, CF3110100 .297
Albert Pujols, 1B4000002 .314
Juan Encarnacion, RF4041000 .293
Scott Rolen, 3B4000004 .261
Chris Duncan, LF4010001 .293
Yadier Molina, C3000111 .245
Brendan Ryan, 2B3020101 .339
Adam Wainwright, P1000011 .257
   a- Skip Schumaker, PH1000000 .312
    Kelvin Jimenez, P0000000 .000
   b- Ryan Ludwick, PH0000100 .252
    Troy Percival, P0000000 .000
Totals3118142  
a-grounded out for Wainwright in the 5th
b-walked for Jimenez in the 7th
Batting
RBI - Juan Encarnacion (36)
SB - So Taguchi (6, 3rd base off Lilly/Hill)
Team LOB - 7
St. Louis Cardinals
Adam Wainwright (L,9-8) 5966170 4.45
Kelvin Jimenez 2200000 9.47
Troy Percival 2311010 3.55
Pitches-Strikes - Adam Wainwright 92-57, Kelvin Jimenez 27-17, Troy Percival 30-20
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Adam Wainwright 6-2, Kelvin Jimenez 4-2, Troy Percival 3-2
Batters Faced - Adam Wainwright 25, Kelvin Jimenez 8, Troy Percival 9
Game Information
Attendance - 45316
Game Time - 2:35
Temperature - 83
Umpires - Home - Jerry Meals, First Base - Scott Barry, Second Base - Gary Darling, Third Base - Larry Poncino