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St. Louis at Chicago

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St. Louis (59-62) «202010100680
Chi. Cubs (63-60)0210010004101

Pujols, Ankiel power Cards at Wrigley, trim deficit to three games

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Rick Ankiel showed off the arm that once made him a promising pitcher. His perfect peg from left field in the first inning cut down a runner and got the St. Louis Cardinals headed toward victory Monday.

Several innings later, Ankiel demonstrated the power that's helped him make a remarkable transition with his fourth home run.

Both helped the Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 6-4 and move within three games of first in the NL Central.

"Today was a good day," Ankiel said. "Every day is a learning experience."

Milwaukee moved back into a tie with Chicago for the NL Central lead by winning at Arizona on Monday night.

Chicago leadoff hitter Ryan Theriot drove a pitch to left in the first that a leaping Ankiel couldn't catch. But when the ball bounded off Wrigley Field's hard ivy-covered wall, Ankiel hustled to pick it up and then made a one-hop throw to Scott Rolen at third to cut down the speedy Theriot.

"An aggressive play by Theriot," Chicago manager Lou Piniella said. "I'll tell you what, Ankiel is an athlete. I didn't think he had a chance at him. You can tell he was a pitcher."

Ankiel was startled at first to see Theriot try to stretch.

"I know when I got to it he was rounding the bag, so it surprised me a little bit," Ankiel said.

"It was a great play and unbelievable throw. I just saw something that maybe I hadn't seen before," Rolen said.

"It was a perfect throw. It hit the dirt and softened up for me when it got there. But it was right on the base. When the ball came out, I was saying 'that was special.'"

Ankiel's pitching career was sidetracked by wildness and injury. He made a permanent switch to the outfield in 2005, missed all of last season with a knee injury and has worked his way back through the minors in his new position. He's been hitting balls over the fence at a steady pace and had 32 homers this year in Triple-A when called up.

"We knew he could hit when he pitched," said Chicago's Daryle Ward, who had one of three Cubs homers and finished with three hits. "You got to give it to him."

The game was delayed 1 hour, 27 minutes by rain in the bottom of the seventh. The Cardinals salvaged one win in what was supposed to be a four-game series before Sunday night's game was postponed. Chicago won on Friday and Saturday.

Albert Pujols hit his 28th homer in the fifth, and Rolen had a two-run double in the first and a run-scoring double in the third for the Cardinals.

Joel Pineiro (3-1), who spent most of his season in the Red Sox bullpen before being acquired at the trade deadline, went five innings to win his third consecutive start. He allowed three runs and seven hits, including back-to-back homers to Ward and Mark DeRosa in the second inning. Derrek Lee homered off Troy Percival in the sixth.

The Cubs had first and second against closer Jason Isringhausen in the eighth after a walk and Ward's single, but DeRosa hit into a double play. Isringhausen also worked a perfect ninth for his 23rd save in 25 chances.

Cubs starter Ted Lilly (13-6), who was 8-1 in his previous 10 starts, gave up seven hits and five runs over six innings.

The Cardinals broke a 2-2 tie in the third. Pujols walked, Juan Encarnacion doubled and then Rolen hit a two-hopper toward third. Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez lost his footing as the ball bounded by him for an RBI double. Jim Edmonds followed with a run-scoring grounder and St. Louis had a two-run cushion.

"I tried to get the long hop. ... The ball went by me," Ramirez said.

The Cubs then bunched singles from Theriot, Lee and Ramirez to make it 4-3 in the bottom half. Pujols' long homer to left made it 5-3 in the fifth.

Lee hit Percival's first pitch for his 14th homer, cutting it to 5-4 in the sixth. One out later, Ward greeted Randy Flores with a double, but Ryan Franklin ended the inning with runners at first and third by getting Jason Kendall to fly out.

Ankiel's homer made it a two-run game in the seventh before the rains hit.

"You don't just roll out on the field and go from a pitcher to a hitter," Franklin said.

"He was really determined to get where he wants to be. I think everybody in the league tips their hat to him on how hard he's worked and all the trials and tribulations that he's been through."

Rolen's two-out, two-run double in the first gave the Cards an early lead.

Notes

  • St. Louis' Tony La Russa managed his 4,408th game, tying him with Bucky Harris for third place on the career games managed list.
  • Hitless in his previous 10 at-bats entering the game, Rolen finished 3-for-4.
  • It was Ankiel's first outfield assist.
 
Copyright 2015 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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Right-hander Joel Pineiro wins his third consecutive start, improving to 3-1 with the Cardinals.  (AP)
Right-hander Joel Pineiro wins his third consecutive start, improving to 3-1 with the Cardinals. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

S. Rolen
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 3
Chicago

D. Ward
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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St. Louis Cardinals
Brendan Ryan, 2B4110021 .337
Rick Ankiel, LF5221011 .313
Albert Pujols, 1B3211202 .321
Juan Encarnacion, RF5110004 .288
Scott Rolen, 3B4033000 .270
Jim Edmonds, CF4001001 .245
Yadier Molina, C2000211 .274
Joel Pineiro, P1000002 .000
   a- Ryan Ludwick, PH1000010 .245
    Troy Percival, P0000000 .000
    Randy Flores, P0000000 .000
    Ryan Franklin, P0000000 .000
   b- Chris Duncan, PH1000010 .270
    Jason Isringhausen, P0000000 .000
David Eckstein, SS3000101 .294
Totals3368656  
a-struck out for Pineiro in the 6th
b-struck out for Franklin in the 8th
Batting
2B - Rick Ankiel (2, Lilly), Juan Encarnacion (16, Lilly), Scott Rolen 2 (22, Lilly, Lilly)
HR - Rick Ankiel (4, Pignatiello), Albert Pujols (28, Lilly)
SH - Brendan Ryan (2), Joel Pineiro (1)
RBI - Rick Ankiel (7), Albert Pujols (80), Scott Rolen 3 (56), Jim Edmonds (34)
2-OUT RBI - Scott Rolen 2 (19)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Rick Ankiel 1
DP - Ryan-Eckstein-Pujols, Rolen-Ryan-Pujols
St. Louis Cardinals
Joel Pineiro (W,4-2) 5733032 4.34
Troy Percival (H,1) 0.1111001 2.82
Randy Flores0100000 4.10
Ryan Franklin (H,20) 1.2000120 1.75
Jason Isringhausen (S,23) 2100100 1.62
Pitches-Strikes - Joel Pineiro 69-49, Troy Percival 5-4, Randy Flores 2-1, Ryan Franklin 26-14, Jason Isringhausen 16-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joel Pineiro 5-5, Troy Percival 1-0, Ryan Franklin 2-1, Jason Isringhausen 1-4
Batters Faced - Joel Pineiro 20, Troy Percival 2, Randy Flores 1, Ryan Franklin 6, Jason Isringhausen 7
Chicago Cubs
Ryan Theriot, SS4120000 .290
Jacque Jones, CF-RF4000021 .269
Derrek Lee, 1B3121110 .317
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4011001 .318
Daryle Ward, RF4131001 .329
    Felix Pie, PR-CF0000000 .217
Mark DeRosa, 2B4111002 .290
Matt Murton, LF3000100 .254
Jason Kendall, C4010002 .240
Ted Lilly, P2000011 .138
    Carmen Pignatiello, P0000000 .000
    Kerry Wood, P0000000 .000
   a- Mike Fontenot, PH1000010 .285
    Michael Wuertz, P0000000 .000
   b- Jake Fox, PH1000000 .200
Totals34410425  
a-struck out for Wood in the 7th
b-flied out for Wuertz in the 9th
Batting
2B - Ryan Theriot (23, Pineiro), Daryle Ward (9, Flores)
HR - Derrek Lee (14, Percival), Daryle Ward (2, Pineiro), Mark DeRosa (8, Pineiro)
RBI - Derrek Lee (64), Aramis Ramirez (74), Daryle Ward (13), Mark DeRosa (59)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - DeRosa-Theriot-Lee
E - Mark DeRosa (8, Misplayed grounder)
Chicago Cubs
Ted Lilly (L,13-6) 6755331 3.88
Carmen Pignatiello0111001 6.75
Kerry Wood 1000000 4.05
Michael Wuertz 2000230 3.63
IBB - Molina by Ted Lilly, Pujols by Michael Wuertz
Pitches-Strikes - Ted Lilly 112-69, Carmen Pignatiello 1-1, Kerry Wood 8-7, Michael Wuertz 32-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ted Lilly 6-9, Michael Wuertz 2-1
Batters Faced - Ted Lilly 28, Carmen Pignatiello 1, Kerry Wood 3, Michael Wuertz 8
Game Information
Attendance - 40141
Game Time - 2:42
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Mark Carlson, First Base - Derryl Cousins, Second Base - Angel Hernandez, Third Base - Ted Barrett