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Chicago at St. Louis

Scoreboard
Chi. Cubs (86-58)201000000390
St. Louis (78-66) «000003001490

Pujols homers again, Cardinals plate winner in ninth against Cubs

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- Highly agitated, Lou Piniella rolled up his sleeves during a postgame news conference to illustrate a point. The fiery manager wants his players to roll up their sleeves, too, and finish off the competition in the NL Central.

"We're playing like we're waiting to get beat," Piniella said after a 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night. "You don't have a big enough lead in September to play ball like that."

Albert Pujols homered for the third straight game to erase an early three-run deficit and pinch-runner Brendan Ryan slid in just ahead of the tag on a ninth-inning grounder against a drawn-in infield with the deciding run.

"Hopefully, we don't feel too comfortable," Pujols said. "Hopefully, we'll say it's another win against a great ballclub.

"We've still got five more games against these guys and we're going to see them in a couple of weeks in Wrigley."

Aramis Ramirez had three hits and two RBI for the Cubs, who have lost eight of nine while scoring three runs or fewer six times. The Cubs came in with a 4½-game lead on the Brewers in the AL Central, but Piniella thinks players are acting as if they've already won the division

"Teams that play ball like that invariably get caught, no matter how big the lead," Piniella said. "You've got to stay aggressive, you've got to do the things you've done all year.

"We're not executing, we're making mistakes and we're getting beat. I'm getting quite tired of watching it, to be honest with you. "

The Cardinals started the night 4½ games behind Milwaukee in the wild-card race.

Ryan Theriot, a late addition to the Cubs' lineup after reporting Tuesday with lingering effects from dizziness and dehydration that forced him out of Sunday's game, had two hits to begin rallies in the first and third. He's 9-for-17 against Kyle Lohse.

Yadier Molina singled off Carlos Marmol (2-4) to start the bottom of the ninth and was replaced by Ryan, who advanced on Marmol's first balk of the season. The balk was called when the pitcher came set before a fourth pickoff attempt. Felipe Lopez walked after fouling off four full-count pitches and the runners moved up on a sacrifice before Cesar Izturis' soft grounder to second gave Ryan just enough time to beat Mark DeRosa's relay to the plate.

"Cesar put it in play and Brendan got a great jump," manager Tony La Russa said. "A lot of solid baseball at the end."

Marmol had thrown 6 2/3 innings this season against the Cardinals without allowing an earned run, including the eighth Tuesday, before faltering.

Chris Perez (3-2) worked around Ron Villone's leadoff walk to Kosuke Fukudome in the ninth, erasing him on Alfonso Soriano's double-play ball and getting Theriot on a soft infield liner to second.

Pujols' 33rd homer was a three-run shot off Ryan Dempster that tied it in the sixth. Pujols, who has seven RBI the last three games and 98 on the year, hammered a first-pitch fastball an estimated 404 feet over the wall in center. Skip Schumaker doubled to start the inning and Aaron Miles bunted for a hit to set up the rally.

"He could have popped it up or flied out but he didn't," Dempster said of Pujols. "He does what he does and he hit it out and unfortunately we didn't get it done."

The Cardinals missed a chance for more when Dempster struck out pinch hitter Adam Kennedy with runners on second and third to end the inning.

Dempster, who has allowed homers in his last two starts after going 69 2/3 innings without surrendering a long ball, recovered with a perfect seventh to end his outing. He struck out six, and walked two -- both to Molina -- while allowing seven hits.

The Cubs jumped on Lohse in the first for three straight one-out hits, including consecutive RBI doubles by Derrek Lee and Ramirez, for a 2-0 lead. Theriot singled to start that salvo, and he tripled and scored in the third on Ramirez' single to make it 3-0.

Lohse failed in his seventh attempt to match his career best of 14 victories for the Twins in 2003, leaving with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth. Rookie Jason Motte stranded them, striking out Dempster and getting Alfonso Soriano on a flyout to the warning track in right.

Lohse has four straight no-decisions and is 0-3 with a 4.01 ERA in seven starts overall since beating the Phillies on Aug. 1.

Notes

  • Pujols was named the Cardinals' recipient of the Roberto Clemente Award for community service in a pre-game ceremony.
  • Cardinals 3B Troy Glaus strained his right shoulder striking out to end the third and was taken out. La Russa said Glaus had an injection behind the shoulder on Sunday and expects him to miss a few games.
  • Jim Edmonds is 0-for-9 in St. Louis since joining the Cubs and 2-for-20 overall, although he walked in his last two at-bats Tuesday. He also just missed by inches becoming the first player to foul a ball into the writer's press box in the third deck, the ball striking just outside the window, before striking out to end the first.
 
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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Pinch-runner Brendan Ryan beats the tag in the ninth, giving the Cardinals' playoff push a big boost.  (AP)
Pinch-runner Brendan Ryan beats the tag in the ninth, giving the Cardinals' playoff push a big boost. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

A. Pujols
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Chicago

A. Ramirez
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Chicago Cubs
Alfonso Soriano, LF5000016 .285
Ryan Theriot, SS5220010 .311
Derrek Lee, 1B4111021 .296
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4032000 .279
Mark DeRosa, RF-2B4000013 .285
Jim Edmonds, CF2000211 .232
    Felix Pie, PR-CF0000000 .222
Geovany Soto, C4020011 .292
Mike Fontenot, 2B3000100 .297
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
Ryan Dempster, P3010013 .161
    Kosuke Fukudome, RF0000100 .262
Totals3439348  
Batting
2B - Derrek Lee (36, Lohse), Aramis Ramirez (39, Lohse)
3B - Ryan Theriot (4, Lohse)
RBI - Derrek Lee (81), Aramis Ramirez 2 (102)
2-OUT RBI - Aramis Ramirez (26)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Ramirez-Fontenot-Lee, Marmol-Lee
Chicago Cubs
Ryan Dempster 7733261 3.02
Carlos Marmol (L,2-4) 1.1211110 2.69
Pitches-Strikes - Ryan Dempster 103-67, Carlos Marmol 29-21
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ryan Dempster 6-8, Carlos Marmol 2-1
Batters Faced - Ryan Dempster 29, Carlos Marmol 7
St. Louis Cardinals
Skip Schumaker, CF4120020 .307
Troy Glaus, 3B2000011 .269
    Aaron Miles, 2B2110000 .316
Albert Pujols, 1B4123000 .361
Ryan Ludwick, RF4010000 .296
Rick Ankiel, LF4010020 .264
Yadier Molina, C2010201 .308
    Brendan Ryan, PR0100000 .242
Felipe Lopez, 2B-3B3010101 .262
Kyle Lohse, P2000000 .103
    Jason Motte, P0000000 .000
   a- Adam Kennedy, PH1000012 .269
    Ryan Franklin, P0000000 .000
    Ron Villone, P0000000 .000
    Chris Perez, P0000000 .000
   b- Brian Barden, PH0000000 .000
Cesar Izturis, SS4001010 .246
Totals3249437  
a-struck out for Motte in the 6th
b-hit a sacrifice bunt for Perez in the 9th
Batting
2B - Skip Schumaker (20, Dempster), Felipe Lopez (23, Dempster)
HR - Albert Pujols (33, Dempster)
SH - Brian Barden (1)
RBI - Albert Pujols 3 (98), Cesar Izturis (19)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Franklin-Izturis-Pujols, F. Lopez-Miles-Pujols
St. Louis Cardinals
Kyle Lohse 5.1833250 3.80
Jason Motte 0.2000010 0.00
Ryan Franklin 2100120 3.75
Ron Villone0000100 5.11
Chris Perez (W,3-2) 1000000 3.41
IBB - Fontenot by Kyle Lohse
WP - Kyle Lohse (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Lohse 98-58, Jason Motte 10-7, Ryan Franklin 22-13, Ron Villone 5-1, Chris Perez 4-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Lohse 6-5, Ryan Franklin 3-0, Chris Perez 1-1
Batters Faced - Kyle Lohse 26, Jason Motte 2, Ryan Franklin 7, Ron Villone 1, Chris Perez 2
Game Information
Attendance - 43806
Game Time - 2:43
Temperature - 65
Umpires - Home - Bob Davidson, First Base - Alfonso Marquez, Second Base - Mike Reilly, Third Base - Andy Fletcher