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St. Louis at Chicago

Scoreboard
Final
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R
H
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St. Louis
(49-42)
003000000362
Chi. Cubs
(43-43)
30010030x791
W: C. Zambrano (5-4) L: K. Lohse (4-5)
HR: STL - None   CHC - M. Hoffpauir (8), C. Zambrano (3)

Cubs' Zambrano homers, beats Cards in DH opener

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

CHICAGO -- Carlos Zambrano shrugged off his latest home run, admitting that being a starting pitcher makes it easier for him to hit.

Whatever the reason, Zambrano is far more dangerous than most pitchers when he comes to the plate.

Zambrano went deep for the third time this season and pitched six solid innings, helping the Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-3 on Sunday in the first game of a day-night doubleheader.

Zambrano has 19 career homers, tops in franchise history for pitchers, but isn't interested in a regular opportunity to hit.

"My job is to pitch. That's the thing I know best," he said. "I think being an everyday player, hitter it makes it tough because pitchers study you and know how to pitch. If they figure out how to pitch to me every day I don't think I would hit that many home runs."

Micah Hoffpauir had a three-run homer for the Cubs, who closed within 2½ games of the NL Central-leading Cardinals. Zambrano (5-4) yielded three runs and five hits.

Albert Pujols was 1 for 4 with two RBI for the Cardinals, but also committed a two-run error in the seventh inning.

"He doesn't get enough credit what he does defensively," Cubs shortstop Ryan Theriot said. "Albert always seems to be in the right spot at the right time. Yeah, that was definitely a surprise."

  Game 2: Cards 4, Cubs 2

St. Louis starter Kyle Lohse, who was activated from the 15-day disabled list before the game, struggled in his first appearance since leaving an outing against Cincinnati on June 3 because of a strained right forearm.

Lohse (4-5) surrendered Theriot's one-out double in the first and walked Alfonso Soriano before Hoffpauir hit his next pitch for his eighth homer.

"Soriano put together a really good at-bat. Hoffpauir's first pitch [was] a curve," said Lohse, who surrendered four runs and eight hits in five innings. "It wasn't a bad pitch but he jumped all over it. As the game went on I pitched pretty well."

St. Louis rallied to tie it at 3 but Zambrano hit a solo drive in the fourth to give the Cubs the lead again.

"He swings a big bat. He can hit," Theriot said. "It's no surprise. I think everybody knows if they throw one way where he is swinging he is going to hurt you."

Zambrano settled down after a slow start, striking out six of the last 10 hitters he faced. He finished with seven strikeouts and two walks.

The Cubs added two more in the seventh, taking advantage of two errors. With one out and the bases loaded, second baseman Skip Schumaker made an errant throw that moved catcher Jason LaRue off the plate that allowed Soriano to score. Hoffpauir and Milton Bradley came home when Koyie Hill hit a routine grounder that went between Pujols' legs for his seventh error of the season.

LaRue thought he got his feet on the plate for the forceout on Schumaker's throw, but plate umpire Randy Marsh disagreed.

"He was out," LaRue said. "It basically appeared the way I tried to get back to the plate that I didn't get it, but, I know I got it."

Pujols hit a two-run double off Zambrano in the third to give him 87 RBI on the year, and Joe Thurston also singled in a run in the inning.

Notes

  • To make room for Lohse, the Cardinals optioned reliever Blake Hawksworth to Triple-A Memphis.
  • In the fifth inning, Pujols hit what looked to be a routine infield popup. Theriot lost the ball in the sun and dropped it. Pujols was running hard right out of the box and tried to get to second, but was tagged out by second baseman Jeff Baker right before hitting the bag.
  • Cubs 1B Derrek Lee was out of the lineup after leaving Saturday's game with neck spasms, but was expected to start the nightcap.
 
Copyright 2016 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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Carlos Zambrano fans seven over six innings and hits his 19th career homer in the Cubs victory.  (AP)
Carlos Zambrano fans seven over six innings and hits his 19th career homer in the Cubs victory. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

M. Hoffpauir
AB 4
R 2
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
St. Louis

A. Pujols
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
 

Related Video

St. Louis Cardinals
Skip Schumaker, 2B4110010 .301
Colby Rasmus, CF3100110 .277
Albert Pujols, 1B4112000 .337
Ryan Ludwick, RF4020011 .256
Chris Duncan, LF2000211 .234
Joe Thurston, 3B4021012 .227
Jason LaRue, C4000024 .241
Kyle Lohse, P2000002 .263
    Jason Motte, P0000000 .000
   a- Rick Ankiel, PH1000010 .219
    Todd Wellemeyer, P0000000 .121
    P.J. Walters, P0000000 .000
   b- Nick Stavinoha, PH1000010 .239
Brendan Ryan, SS4000010 .287
Totals33363310  
a-struck out for Motte in the 7th
b-struck out for Walters in the 9th
Batting
2B - Albert Pujols (22, Zambrano), Ryan Ludwick (9, Marmol)
RBI - Albert Pujols 2 (87), Joe Thurston (22)
2-OUT RBI - Joe Thurston (10)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Albert Pujols (7, Misplayed grounder), Skip Schumaker (7, Throwing)
St. Louis Cardinals
Kyle Lohse (L,4-5) 5844322 4.26
Jason Motte 1000000 4.59
Todd Wellemeyer 0.1130200 5.56
P.J. Walters 1.2000110 7.71
Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Lohse 96-60, Jason Motte 6-5, Todd Wellemeyer 12-2, P.J. Walters 29-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Lohse 6-7, Jason Motte 2-1, P.J. Walters 4-2
Batters Faced - Kyle Lohse 26, Jason Motte 3, Todd Wellemeyer 4, P.J. Walters 8
Chicago Cubs
Kosuke Fukudome, CF4000110 .252
Ryan Theriot, SS5120003 .299
Alfonso Soriano, LF3220101 .236
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
   a- Mike Fontenot, PH-3B1000010 .230
Micah Hoffpauir, 1B4213101 .245
Jake Fox, 3B5020002 .316
    Kevin Gregg, P0000000 .000
Milton Bradley, RF1100301 .237
Jeff Baker, 2B3010014 .176
   b- Sam Fuld, PH-LF1000000 .308
Koyie Hill, C4000005 .218
Carlos Zambrano, P3111000 .225
    Sean Marshall, P0000000 .231
   c- Andres Blanco, PH-2B1000002 .222
Totals3579463  
a-struck out for Marmol in the 8th
b-hit into fielder's choice for Baker in the 7th
c-flied out for Marshall in the 7th
Batting
2B - Ryan Theriot 2 (16, Lohse, Lohse), Jake Fox (7, Lohse)
HR - Micah Hoffpauir (8, Lohse), Carlos Zambrano (3, Lohse)
RBI - Micah Hoffpauir 3 (25), Carlos Zambrano (5)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
E - Ryan Theriot (8, Dropped fly(Pujols reached on Theriot's dropped pop up, out advancing))
Chicago Cubs
Carlos Zambrano (W,5-4) 6533270 3.53
Sean Marshall (H,4) 1000010 4.05
Carlos Marmol 1100110 3.64
Kevin Gregg 1000010 3.32
Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Zambrano 94-56, Sean Marshall 14-10, Carlos Marmol 17-11, Kevin Gregg 11-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Zambrano 4-7, Sean Marshall 2-0, Carlos Marmol 1-1
Batters Faced - Carlos Zambrano 25, Sean Marshall 3, Carlos Marmol 5, Kevin Gregg 3
Game Information
Attendance - 40701
Game Time - 2:43
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Randy Marsh, First Base - Dan Bellino, Second Base - Lance Barksdale, Third Base - Angel Hernandez