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Chicago at St. Louis

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Chi. Cubs (18-12) «0006003009120
St. Louis (19-12)000111000360

Lilly gets job done as Cubs beat rival Cardinals

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- The top offense in the major leagues surfaced again on Saturday. Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella only asks that his team try to minimize the lows.

Mike Fontenot hit a three-run homer and had a career-best four RBI, leading Chicago to a 9-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Geovany Soto added a two-run double in a four-run sixth for the Cubs, who finished with 12 hits and are averaging six runs per game. They've also scored three or fewer in 13 games, five times during a recent stretch of six losses in eight games.

"We've got a good offense," Fontenot said. "We've had a little lull for a little bit, but I think in the long scheme of things our offense will come through."

It was more than enough for Ted Lilly, who worked seven solid innings, recorded his 1,000th strikeout and added his second career extra-base hit. The only thing Piniella didn't like about Lilly's day was his needless belly-flop side into second on what should have been a stand-up double to start the seventh.

"Oh Lord," Piniella said, shaking his head. "Left his hands nice and low so the shortstop or second baseman could step on them or he could jam them."

Kyle Lohse (3-1) faced 10 batters in the fourth and allowed eight runs overall in six-plus innings, entering the game with a 2.36 ERA and exiting at 3.79. He had won seven consecutive decisions dating to last season.

Lohse matched a career worst for runs allowed and Fontenot's homer was the first he had given up in 42 2/3 innings dating to 2007.

"That one inning was a bad time," Lohse said. "One inning where it just got out of whack."

Albert Pujols hit his sixth homer for St. Louis and has reached base in all 31 games, two shy of his career-best start in 2005. Yadier Molina also went deep in front of a Busch Stadium-record sellout crowd of 46,792.

Lilly (2-4) hit a season best for innings, allowing three runs and six hits. He is 2-1 with a 2.84 ERA in his last three starts, recovering from an 0-3 record and 9.16 ERA his first four outings.

Lilly struck out four, giving him 1,002 for his career, and walked none while throwing a season-high 112 pitches. He believes he's been making do with lower velocity, although he's happy with his arm strength.

"I don't even know what it is on the gun, I just don't think it's to where it'll be at some point, and hopefully it's soon," Lilly said. "I still feel like even if that's not the case I should be able to go out there and win games and change speeds and locate."

Kosuke Fukudome had a pair of doubles among his three hits and drove in two runs. The Cubs had a season-high six doubles, rebounding from a pair of wrenching losses, and have yet to lose three in a row.

Seven straight Cubs reached safely with one out in the fourth, with Lohse unraveling after giving up hits to Lee and Fukudome after being ahead 0-2 in the count against both. Fukudome doubled off the base of the right-field wall for an RBI and Soto had a two-run double before Fontenot hit a three-run drive into the St. Louis bullpen for a 6-0 lead.

Lohse said he tried to throw a cutter down and inside to Fukudome, and instead the pitch caught the inside corner. He said the home run pitch to Fontenot was aimed at the inside corner but drifted over the plate.

"It's a game of inches," Lohse said. "If it gets in there two or three more inches, it's a popup."

Fukudome was elevated to the cleanup spot from fifth with Aramis Ramirez nursing a sore left wrist after getting hit by a pitch on Friday. Ramirez could be back in the lineup on Sunday.

Fukudome said through an interpreter that the switch was a surprise.

"I didn't change anything, my approach was just the same as any other day," he said. "I think we're a better team when Ramirez is in the lineup."

The Cubs batted around again in a three-run seventh with Lilly's leadoff double chasing Lohse and the rest of the damage off Russ Springer. Alfonso Soriano and Fukudome had RBI doubles and Fontenot walked with the bases loaded.

Notes

  • Cubs RHP Juan Mateo, who was outrighted to Class A Daytona on Friday, declined the move on Saturday and elected for free agency.
  • Lilly is 4-2 with a 3.06 ERA against the Cardinals.
  • The former attendance record at three-year-old Busch Stadium was 46,237 last Sept. 22 against the Astros.
 
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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Ted Lilly has rebounded after a bad start and is 2-1 with a 2.84 ERA in his last three outings.  (US Presswire)
Ted Lilly has rebounded after a bad start and is 2-1 with a 2.84 ERA in his last three outings. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
Chicago

K. Fukudome
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
Chicago

M. Fontenot
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 4
 
Chicago Cubs
Alfonso Soriano, LF4111101 .169
Ryan Theriot, SS5110003 .316
Derrek Lee, 1B4210102 .352
Kosuke Fukudome, RF5132002 .348
Mark DeRosa, 3B4110103 .277
Geovany Soto, C3112200 .333
Mike Fontenot, 2B3114212 .286
Reed Johnson, CF4010004 .278
    Carlos Marmol, P1000012 .000
Ted Lilly, P2110000 .222
   a- Felix Pie, PH-CF2010002 .224
Totals37912972  
a-singled for Lilly in the 8th
Batting
2B - Alfonso Soriano (2, Lohse), Kosuke Fukudome 2 (10, Lohse, Springer), Mark DeRosa (6, An. Reyes), Geovany Soto (11, Lohse), Ted Lilly (1, Lohse)
HR - Mike Fontenot (2, Lohse)
SH - Ted Lilly (3)
RBI - Alfonso Soriano (9), Kosuke Fukudome 2 (12), Geovany Soto 2 (23), Mike Fontenot 4 (11)
2-OUT RBI - Mike Fontenot (6)
SB - Alfonso Soriano (3, 3rd base off Springer/Molina)
Team LOB - 9
Chicago Cubs
Ted Lilly (W,2-4) 7633142 5.97
Carlos Marmol 2000010 1.29
HBP - Ankiel (by Carlos Marmol)
Pitches-Strikes - Ted Lilly 112-78, Carlos Marmol 24-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ted Lilly 9-8, Carlos Marmol 1-4
Batters Faced - Ted Lilly 28, Carlos Marmol 7
St. Louis Cardinals
Skip Schumaker, LF4000003 .303
    Anthony Reyes, P0000000 .000
Brendan Ryan, 2B3110010 .333
   a- Adam Kennedy, PH-2B1000000 .310
Albert Pujols, 1B4111010 .359
Ryan Ludwick, RF4011020 .303
Troy Glaus, 3B4000011 .239
Rick Ankiel, CF3000001 .280
Yadier Molina, C3121000 .289
   b- Chris Duncan, PH1000001 .279
Kyle Lohse, P2000000 .143
    Russ Springer, P0000000 .000
   c- Brian Barton, PH-LF1000101 .317
Cesar Izturis, SS3010002 .216
Totals3336315  
a-flied out for Ryan in the 8th
b-popped out for Molina in the 9th
c-walked for Springer in the 7th
Batting
2B - Ryan Ludwick (8, Lilly)
HR - Albert Pujols (6, Lilly), Yadier Molina (2, Lilly)
RBI - Albert Pujols (21), Ryan Ludwick (15), Yadier Molina (10)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Glaus-Ryan-Pujols
St. Louis Cardinals
Kyle Lohse (L,3-1) 6988201 3.79
Russ Springer 1111300 9.00
Anthony Reyes 2200220 5.27
Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Lohse 106-67, Russ Springer 27-14, Anthony Reyes 35-19
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Lohse 11-6, Russ Springer 2-1, Anthony Reyes 2-2
Batters Faced - Kyle Lohse 28, Russ Springer 7, Anthony Reyes 10
Game Information
Attendance - 46792
Game Time - 2:53
Temperature - 57
Umpires - Home - Tim McClelland, First Base - Mike DiMuro, Second Base - Larry Vanover, Third Base - Mike Everitt