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St. Louis at Chicago

Scoreboard
St. Louis (54-44)0200101105111
Chi. Cubs (45-53) «10302000x691

Cubs 6, Cardinals 5

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Although the Chicago Cubs might be too far gone to be big winners this season, rookies Starlin Castro, Tyler Colvin and Andrew Cashner have the team excited about their future.

Castro and Colvin homered to complete an outstanding first week atop the batting order and Cashner used his triple-digit fastball to pitch out of two late-inning jams Saturday as the Cubs held on for a 6-5 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

"He's mature beyond his years," Ryan Theriot said of the 23-year-old Cashner, though the second baseman also could have been talking about Castro, 20, and Colvin, 24. "We've got some talented kids here."

The Cardinals finally scored after being shut out the previous two days but didn't get enough clutch hits to avoid their third straight loss.

"We had some chances," manager Tony La Russa said. "It was frustrating in a couple of places."

They had runners on the corners with nobody out in the seventh when Cashner came on to face Albert Pujols, one of baseball's most feared hitters. Pujols worked the count full and fouled off two 100 mph fastballs before hitting a deep sacrifice fly to make it 6-4.

Asked what he was thinking as Pujols dug in at the plate, Cashner said: "Not giving in. If I'm going to get beat, I'd rather get beat with my fastball."

After Jon Jay was caught stealing, Cashner -- who had a sore throat that required postgame treatment -- got Matt Holliday to ground out. An eighth-inning error by Theriot let a run score and put runners on first and second. But Cashner got Randy Winn to fly out and Tyler Greene to ground into a double play.

Carlos Marmol pitched a hitless ninth for his 18th save. La Russa felt umpire Tim Tschida called out the inning's leadoff man, Aaron Miles, on a pitch well out of the strike zone.

"Their reliever ... was treated like he was Greg Maddux," La Russa said, referring to the former All-Star pitcher who regularly got off-the-corner calls.

The Cubs, who are eight games under .500 and nine games behind St. Louis, built a 6-3 lead thanks mostly to Colvin and Castro. Since manager Lou Piniella decided last Sunday to put his two youngest position players atop the order, Colvin and Castro have combined to hit .385 with 13 runs and 11 RBI.

One of the majors' lowest-scoring teams, Chicago has averaged 7.2 runs in the six games since the move, winning four times.

Colvin led off with a homer for the second straight day, the first Cubs player to do so since Alfonso Soriano in May 2008. He leads all rookies with 15 home runs.

After the Cardinals went up 2-1 on Greene's two-run second-inning single -- snapping their 21-inning scoreless streak -- Colvin drew a one-out walk in the third and scored when Castro homered on Blake Hawksworth's next pitch to put the Cubs ahead to stay.

Castro also doubled and singled. He is batting .489 with eight runs and eight RBI in his last 11 games.

Colvin is impressed that after hitting .227 in June, Castro is batting .389 in July.

"He adjusted so quickly," Colvin said. "He scuffled a little bit and now he's hitting every ball hard."

Tom Gorzelanny (6-5), in Chicago's rotation only because Carlos Zambrano was suspended after a June 25 dugout altercation with teammates, has won his last four starts. He allowed three runs on seven hits and three walks in six innings.

Hawksworth (4-6) left after allowing fifth-inning singles to Castro and Aramis Ramirez. Mitchell Boggs then walked Marlon Byrd and threw a wild pitch that let Castro score. Catcher Yadier Molina misfired while trying to throw out Castro, and Ramirez came home on the error to put the Cubs up 6-3.

"The only chance we had to throw him out was for [Molina] to make an incredible throw," Boggs said. "He tried to, and I did the best I could to catch it. It just didn't happen."

Byrd added a third-inning RBI double for the Cubs, who on Sunday will go for their first sweep of the Cardinals in four years.

Notes

  • St. Louis RF Ryan Ludwick came off the DL (left calf) and went 1 for 3 with a walk.
  • On the one-year anniversary of his Cardinals debut, Holliday extended his hitting streak to 10 games but was retired on a soft liner to end the game.
  • Colvin's 15 HRs are the most by a Cubs left-handed-hitting rookie since Mel Hall had 17 in 1983.
  • The Cubs agreed to terms with second-round draft pick Reggie Golden, an outfielder from Wetumpka, Ala.
 
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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Ryan Theriot, left, looks to first after forcing out Albert Pujols during the first inning. (AP)
Ryan Theriot, left, looks to first after forcing out Albert Pujols during the first inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

S. Castro
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 2
St. Louis

T. Greene
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 
St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Aaron Miles, 2B5120011 .327
Jon Jay, CF4021010 .386
Albert Pujols, 1B2001201 .301
Matt Holliday, LF5010002 .306
Ryan Ludwick, RF3210101 .273
Yadier Molina, C4010012 .235
Brendan Ryan, SS4120000 .192
Blake Hawksworth, P2000022 .000
    Mitchell Boggs, P0000000 .000
   a- Felipe Lopez, PH0000100 .269
    Dennys Reyes, P0000000 .000
    Jason Motte, P0000000 .000
   b- Randy Winn, PH1000002 .250
    Fernando Salas, P0000000 .000
Tyler Greene, 3B4122004 .273
Totals34511445  
a-walked for Boggs in the 6th
b-flied out for Motte in the 8th
Batting
2B - Jon Jay (11, Gorzelanny), Brendan Ryan (11, Gorzelanny)
SF - Jon Jay (1), Albert Pujols (4)
RBI - Jon Jay (12), Albert Pujols (69), Tyler Greene 2 (8)
2-OUT RBI - Tyler Greene 2 (5)
CS - Jon Jay (3, 2nd base by Cashner/Soto)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Ryan-Miles-Pujols
E - Yadier Molina (5, Throwing)
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Blake Hawksworth (L,4-6) 4.1765342 5.23
Mitchell Boggs 0.2000110 2.44
Dennys Reyes 1100020 3.29
Jason Motte 1100000 2.43
Fernando Salas 1000020 0.93
WP - Mitchell Boggs (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Blake Hawksworth 95-53, Mitchell Boggs 14-5, Dennys Reyes 14-10, Jason Motte 8-6, Fernando Salas 15-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Blake Hawksworth 3-5, Mitchell Boggs 1-0, Jason Motte 1-2
Batters Faced - Blake Hawksworth 22, Mitchell Boggs 3, Dennys Reyes 3, Jason Motte 4, Fernando Salas 3
Chicago Cubs
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Tyler Colvin, RF-LF3211121 .264
Starlin Castro, SS4232000 .308
Derrek Lee, 1B4120002 .252
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4110003 .227
Marlon Byrd, CF3011101 .311
Alfonso Soriano, LF4000032 .266
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
Geovany Soto, C3000121 .291
Ryan Theriot, 2B3010101 .279
Tom Gorzelanny, P2000011 .160
   a- Xavier Nady, PH1000011 .218
    James Russell, P0000000 .000
    Andrew Cashner, P0000000 .000
    Kosuke Fukudome, RF0000000 .251
Totals3169449  
a-struck out for Gorzelanny in the 6th
Batting
2B - Starlin Castro (16, Motte), Marlon Byrd (28, Hawksworth)
HR - Tyler Colvin (15, Hawksworth), Starlin Castro (3, Hawksworth)
RBI - Tyler Colvin (36), Starlin Castro 2 (30), Marlon Byrd (43)
2-OUT RBI - Marlon Byrd (22)
CS - Ryan Theriot (6, 2nd base by Reyes/Molina)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Ramirez-Theriot-Lee, Castro-Theriot-Lee
E - Ryan Theriot (8, Misplayed grounder)
Chicago Cubs
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Tom Gorzelanny (W,6-5) 6733330 3.22
James Russell0211000 4.40
Andrew Cashner (H,4) 2211000 2.45
Carlos Marmol (S,18) 1000120 2.72
Pitches-Strikes - Tom Gorzelanny 100-63, James Russell 4-4, Andrew Cashner 28-21, Carlos Marmol 20-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tom Gorzelanny 6-8, Andrew Cashner 3-2
Batters Faced - Tom Gorzelanny 27, James Russell 2, Andrew Cashner 7, Carlos Marmol 4
Game Information
Attendance - 41009
Game Time - 2:52
Temperature - 78
Umpires - Home - Tim Tschida, First Base - Bob Davidson, Second Base - Angel Campos, Third Base - Alfonso Marquez