St. Louis at Chicago

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St. Louis (8-5)00310001000561
Chi. Cubs (7-4) «001031000027100

Ramirez's 11th-inning homer propels Cubs past Cards

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

CHICAGO -- When the Chicago Cubs are in need of a big hit late in a game, Aramis Ramirez is the man they want at the plate.

Ramirez was 0-for-5 before hitting a game-winning, two-run homer in the 11th inning to give the Cubs a 7-5 victory against the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday.

"It seems like every time there is a big moment in the game and Rammy is up, he is winning the game for us," Cubs shortstop Ryan Theriot said. "He definitely has the flare for the dramatics and a knack to win games."

Dennys Reyes (0-1), a left-hander normally used to face lefties, was forced to face to some right-handed batters with the Cardinals bullpen worn thin in the 11th inning.

He walked Alfonso Soriano leading off, then Kosuke Fukudome bunted into a fielder's choice.

With two outs, Ramirez hit a 1-0 pitch from Reyes into the left-center bleachers for his third homer of the season.

"It wasn't fair, but if a guy can pull it off, it's him," said Cardinals manager Tony La Russa about putting Reyes in a tough spot. "He's got a ton of experience."

Khalil Greene homered for the Cardinals, who have dropped the last two games after winning the opener of a four-game series against the Cubs.

On Friday, trailing 7-6, Soriano hit a two-run home run to help give the Cubs a 8-7 victory.

"Execution has to improve. Same thing yesterday," said La Russa. "They (Cubs) walked the leadoff man in the 10th and 11th inning and got away with it. That's where our execution has to improve. Their execution was better than ours."

Angel Guzman (1-0) pitched a scoreless 11th inning for his first career victory and Theriot had three hits for the Cubs.

The win ties Cubs with the Cardinals for first place in NL-Central.

"You win now, you have less to worry about in September. One win now counts the same as a win in September," Ramirez said.

Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse couldn't hold a 4-1 lead.

Theriot tripled to leadoff the fifth and Aaron Miles drove him in with a grounder back to Lohse.

With two outs, Lohse walked Soriano and Fukudome, and Derrek Lee doubled down the left-field line to tie the score at 4.

The Cubs took the lead in the sixth inning off Cardinals reliever Kyle McClellan. With two outs, Geovany Soto walked, Theriot singled and Miles followed with an RBI single off his former team to break a 4-all tie.

But the lead didn't last long for the Cubs.

Cubs reliever Carlos Marmol retired the middle of the Cardinals order when he entered with two on and none out in the seventh, but allowed consecutive doubles to Chris Duncan and Yadier Molina in the eighth to tie the score.

Fukudome's double in the third drove in Soriano for the Cubs' first run.

Lohse was unable to back up a career-best three-hitter in a 3-0 win to Houston on Sunday. He allowed four runs on five hits in a no-decision. He had four strikeouts and walked two.

"It was one of those games where he (Lohse) had trouble finishing guys," La Russa said.

Cubs starter Ryan Dempster, who was 14-3 and a 2.86 ERA at Wrigley Field last season, had a so-so first home start of 2009.

He gave up back-to-back walks to start the third inning, and after Lohse popped up a bunt attempt, Skip Schumaker singled in a run.

With two outs, Dempster walked Albert Pujols to load the bases and Ryan Ludwick extended his hitting streak to 21-games with a two-run single to put the Cardinals up 3-0.

Greene led off the fourth inning with his second homer of the season.

Dempster eventually settled down and retired nine of the last 10 batters he faced.

Notes

  • Cubs OF Milton Bradley has been suspended two games for arguing balls and strikes and making contact with umpire Larry Vanover. The discipline announced Saturday by Major League Baseball stems from an outburst in Thursday's loss to the Cardinals. Bradley was caught looking at a called third strike with the bases loaded while pinch hitting in the sixth inning. Bradley, who was out of the starting lineup for the fifth straight game, will appeal the suspension. He grounded out in a pinch-hit appearance in the ninth.
  • Newly acquired Bears quarterback Jay Cutler threw the ceremonial first pitch and sang the seventh-inning stretch.
  • Pujols went 0-for-4 with a walk.
 
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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The Cubs are already partying as 11th-inning hero Aramis Ramirez leaps toward home plate. (AP)
The Cubs are already partying as 11th-inning hero Aramis Ramirez leaps toward home plate. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

K. Fukudome
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
St. Louis

R. Ludwick
AB 5
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 

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St. Louis Cardinals
Skip Schumaker, 2B5111113 .268
Rick Ankiel, CF6000025 .179
Albert Pujols, 1B4000110 .298
Ryan Ludwick, RF5022002 .405
Chris Duncan, LF3110201 .381
Yadier Molina, C4011003 .310
Khalil Greene, SS3211101 .234
Brian Barden, 3B2100110 .409
   a- Joe Thurston, PH-3B1000112 .345
Kyle Lohse, P2000002 .143
    Kyle McClellan, P0000000 .000
   b- Brendan Ryan, PH0000100 .267
    Jason Motte, P0000000 .000
   c- Colby Rasmus, PH1000012 .235
    Ryan Franklin, P0000000 .000
    Chris Perez, P0000000 .000
   d- Adam Wainwright, PH0000000 .333
    Dennys Reyes, P0000000 .000
Totals3656587  
a-struck out for Barden in the 8th
b-walked for McClellan in the 7th
c-struck out for Motte in the 8th
d-hit a sacrifice bunt for Perez in the 11th
Batting
2B - Ryan Ludwick (3, Dempster), Chris Duncan (6, Marmol), Yadier Molina (2, Marmol)
HR - Khalil Greene (2, Dempster)
SH - Yadier Molina (2), Adam Wainwright (4)
RBI - Skip Schumaker (4), Ryan Ludwick 2 (15), Yadier Molina (10), Khalil Greene (6)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Ludwick 2 (5)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Chris Duncan 1
E - Khalil Greene (3, Misplayed grounder)
St. Louis Cardinals
Kyle Lohse 5544240 2.57
Kyle McClellan 1211110 2.57
Jason Motte 1000010 7.50
Ryan Franklin 2200110 0.00
Chris Perez 1000210 4.50
Dennys Reyes (L,0-1) 0.2122101 4.15
Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Lohse 96-60, Kyle McClellan 19-9, Jason Motte 15-9, Ryan Franklin 34-22, Chris Perez 20-9, Dennys Reyes 9-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Lohse 7-3, Kyle McClellan 1-1, Jason Motte 2-0, Ryan Franklin 3-2, Chris Perez 2-1, Dennys Reyes 1-1
Batters Faced - Kyle Lohse 21, Kyle McClellan 6, Jason Motte 3, Ryan Franklin 9, Chris Perez 6, Dennys Reyes 4
Chicago Cubs
Alfonso Soriano, LF4210220 .292
Kosuke Fukudome, CF-RF5221111 .375
Derrek Lee, 1B6012013 .217
Aramis Ramirez, 3B6112010 .333
Micah Hoffpauir, RF3010000 .333
    Reed Johnson, CF2000000 .333
Geovany Soto, C2100301 .105
Ryan Theriot, SS5130011 .400
Aaron Miles, 2B4012102 .133
Ryan Dempster, P2000000 .000
   a- Mike Fontenot, PH1000012 .222
    Neal Cotts, P0000000 .000
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
    Kevin Gregg, P0000000 .000
   b- Milton Bradley, PH1000000 .053
    Aaron Heilman, P0000000 .000
   c- Joey Gathright, PH1000013 .000
    Angel Guzman, P0000000 .000
Totals42710778  
a-struck out for Dempster in the 6th
b-grounded out for Gregg in the 9th
c-struck out for Heilman in the 10th
Batting
2B - Kosuke Fukudome (6, Lohse), Derrek Lee (3, Lohse)
3B - Ryan Theriot (1, Lohse)
HR - Aramis Ramirez (3, Reyes)
RBI - Kosuke Fukudome (10), Derrek Lee 2 (9), Aramis Ramirez 2 (11), Aaron Miles 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Kosuke Fukudome (3), Derrek Lee 2 (5), Aramis Ramirez 2 (8), Aaron Miles (1)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Alfonso Soriano 1
DP - Soriano-Miles
Chicago Cubs
Ryan Dempster 6444441 5.00
Neal Cotts0000200 3.38
Carlos Marmol (BS,1) 1211000 1.35
Kevin Gregg 2000020 6.00
Aaron Heilman 1000100 1.17
Angel Guzman (W,1-0) 1000110 5.40
HBP - Greene (by Carlos Marmol)
Pitches-Strikes - Ryan Dempster 103-61, Neal Cotts 8-0, Carlos Marmol 25-17, Kevin Gregg 24-17, Aaron Heilman 11-7, Angel Guzman 23-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ryan Dempster 5-9, Carlos Marmol 1-2, Kevin Gregg 3-1, Aaron Heilman 1-1, Angel Guzman 2-0
Batters Faced - Ryan Dempster 26, Neal Cotts 2, Carlos Marmol 6, Kevin Gregg 6, Aaron Heilman 3, Angel Guzman 4
Game Information
Attendance - 40878
Game Time - 3:50
Temperature - 69
Umpires - Home - Dan Iassogna, First Base - Charlie Reliford, Second Base - Larry Vanover, Third Base - Sam Holbrook