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St. Louis at Chicago

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St. Louis (8-3) «1002012107123
Chi. Cubs (5-4)100030000461

Cardinals 7, Cubs 4

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Chris Duncan is back and better than ever -- at the plate, anyway.

Despite some adventuresome fielding, the St. Louis Cardinals are happy to have Duncan back in the lineup every day.

"When he's healthy, he's clutch," manager Tony La Russa said Thursday after Duncan atoned for some adventurous fielding with a home run, two singles and three RBI in the Cardinals' 7-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

In winning for the seventh time in eight games, St. Louis struck first in a 16-game season series against its longtime rival. The Cubs' frustration showed when Milton Bradley was ejected for arguing a called strike in the sixth inning.

St. Louis, which leads the league in scoring, battered five Chicago pitchers. Duncan, back after missing the second half of last season with a degenerative disk in his neck, is batting .389 with 10 RBI.

"His toughness is off the charts," La Russa said. "You see it the way he plays, the way he runs the bases, the way he defends, the way he takes at-bats. He's never going to give in."

Duncan's two-run homer gave St. Louis a 3-1 lead and he followed Yadier Molina's go-ahead single in the seventh with a hit of his own to make it 6-4.

Things didn't go as smoothly for Duncan in left field. He failed to catch a popup that led to the Cubs' first-inning run off of Adam Wainwright and he dropped a routine fly to get Wainwright in trouble in the sixth.

Wainwright responded to the bases-loaded, one-out situation by striking out Bradley and getting Alfonso Soriano to fly out.

"After I dropped that ball and he was able to get out of that jam, that just set the tone," Duncan said. "I think I broke back and then tried to make up for it and started running hard. I went at it and didn't slow down, so it kind of bounced off me. I just flat-out missed it."

Said La Russa: "I liked the fact that [Wainwright] picked up Chris on that play. Chris would have been walking the streets tonight if that leads to the inning that beats us."

Instead, Bradley ended up being the angry one.

Ever combative and combustible, the Cubs' newest $30 million acquisition got in umpire Larry Vanover's face after the strike-three call. Bradley had been on his best behavior since joining the team and had downplayed his reputation as a hothead.

He left the clubhouse before the media was allowed to enter and was unavailable for comment. When asked about Bradley's reaction to Vanover's call, Cubs manager Lou Piniella said only: "What do you want me to say?"

Though television replays made it appear Wainwright (2-0) received a generous call, he said the pitch "was too close to take."

Making his first start of the year for the Cubs, Sean Marshall left after five innings with a 4-3 lead. The bullpen then imploded, as has been the case often this season, wasting Kosuke Fukudome's three-run homer.

Aaron Heilman served up Kahlil Greene's tying homer in the sixth, David Patton (0-1) walked pinch-hitter Joe Thurston to lead off the seventh, Neal Cotts gave up Duncan's run-scoring single and Angel Guzman allowed Brian Barden's eighth-inning homer.

Twice, a perturbed Piniella instructed pitching coach Larry Rothschild to make changes on the mound. Piniella, who like most managers usually makes such moves himself, later got more agitated when asked about it.

"What's the difference whether the pitching coach, the manager, the hitting coach or the third-base coach ... makes pitching changes?" he said.

"I'm not trying to make a point about anything. You guys want to make a big deal out of who makes pitching changes. It doesn't matter. What matters is when the pitcher comes into the ballgame that he gets some outs."

Notes

An MRI Thursday confirmed that Cardinals RHP Chris Carpenter has a tear of the left oblique muscle. He received an injection and his condition will be re-evaluated next week. The Cardinals still expect him to miss four to eight weeks. ... Bradley didn't start for a third straight game due to a groin injury and Piniella said it could be five days before he is ready to return to right field. Micah Hoffpauir got his first start in place of Bradley and went 0-for-4. ... Ludwick's RBI infield single in the first extended his hitting streak to 19 games dating to last season.

 
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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Players of the Game
Chicago

K. Fukudome
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
St. Louis

C. Duncan
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 3
 

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St. Louis Cardinals
Brendan Ryan, 2B3110022 .267
   a- Joe Thurston, PH-2B1100100 .417
Rick Ankiel, CF5010001 .188
Albert Pujols, 1B3110201 .341
Ryan Ludwick, RF5011002 .375
Yadier Molina, C4111114 .324
Chris Duncan, LF4133012 .389
    Kyle McClellan, P0000000 .000
   b- Colby Rasmus, PH1000011 .241
    Ryan Franklin, P0000000 .000
Khalil Greene, SS4111012 .233
Brian Barden, 3B4131000 .412
Adam Wainwright, P1000000 .333
    Skip Schumaker, LF1000010 .281
Totals36712747  
a-walked for Ryan in the 7th
b-struck out for McClellan in the 9th
Batting
2B - Brendan Ryan (1, Marshall), Rick Ankiel (1, Marshall)
HR - Chris Duncan (2, Marshall), Khalil Greene (1, Heilman), Brian Barden (2, Guzman)
SH - Adam Wainwright 2 (3)
RBI - Ryan Ludwick (9), Yadier Molina (9), Chris Duncan 3 (10), Khalil Greene (5), Brian Barden (3)
2-OUT RBI - Yadier Molina (3), Chris Duncan (4)
CS - Chris Duncan (1, 2nd base by Heilman/Soto)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Molina-Ryan
E - Chris Duncan (2, Dropped fly), Albert Pujols (2, Missed catch of throw), Brendan Ryan (1, Missed catch of throw)
St. Louis Cardinals
Adam Wainwright (W,2-0) 6644461 3.31
Kyle McClellan (H,2) 2000020 1.50
Ryan Franklin (S,2) 1000020 0.00
IBB - Theriot by Adam Wainwright
WP - Adam Wainwright (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Adam Wainwright 106-57, Kyle McClellan 32-23, Ryan Franklin 9-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Adam Wainwright 4-8, Kyle McClellan 4-1, Ryan Franklin 1-0
Batters Faced - Adam Wainwright 28, Kyle McClellan 7, Ryan Franklin 3
Chicago Cubs
Alfonso Soriano, LF3210213 .308
Kosuke Fukudome, CF5123001 .375
Derrek Lee, 1B3001022 .200
Micah Hoffpauir, RF4000012 .250
Aramis Ramirez, 3B3020101 .310
Mike Fontenot, 2B4000003 .226
Geovany Soto, C4000023 .071
Ryan Theriot, SS3110100 .387
    Luis Vizcaino, P0000000 .000
Sean Marshall, P2000021 .000
    Aaron Heilman, P0000000 .000
   a- Milton Bradley, PH1000013 .056
    David Patton, P0000000 .000
    Neal Cotts, P0000000 .000
    Angel Guzman, P0000000 .000
    Aaron Miles, SS1000010 .091
Totals33464410  
a-struck out for Heilman in the 6th
Batting
2B - Kosuke Fukudome (4, Wainwright)
HR - Kosuke Fukudome (3, Wainwright)
SF - Derrek Lee (2)
RBI - Kosuke Fukudome 3 (8), Derrek Lee (7)
SB - Ryan Theriot (3, 2nd base off Wainwright/Molina)
CS - Kosuke Fukudome (2, 2nd base by Wainwright/Molina)
Team LOB - 7
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E - Alfonso Soriano (2, Misplayed grounder)
Chicago Cubs
Sean Marshall 5733241 4.50
Aaron Heilman (BS,1) 1111001 1.59
David Patton (L,0-1) 0.2122200 5.79
Neal Cotts 0.1100000 3.38
Angel Guzman 1111011 6.35
Luis Vizcaino 1100020 0.00
IBB - Pujols by Sean Marshall, Pujols by David Patton
Pitches-Strikes - Sean Marshall 93-55, Aaron Heilman 9-5, David Patton 22-9, Neal Cotts 10-5, Angel Guzman 15-10, Luis Vizcaino 21-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Sean Marshall 5-6, Aaron Heilman 2-0, David Patton 1-1, Neal Cotts 1-0, Angel Guzman 2-0, Luis Vizcaino 1-0
Batters Faced - Sean Marshall 24, Aaron Heilman 3, David Patton 5, Neal Cotts 2, Angel Guzman 4, Luis Vizcaino 4
Game Information
Attendance - 38909
Game Time - 2:59
Temperature - 48
Umpires - Home - Larry Vanover, First Base - Sam Holbrook, Second Base - Dan Iassogna, Third Base - Charlie Reliford