St. Louis at Chicago

Scoreboard
St. Louis (55-44) «020001000014151
Chi. Cubs (45-54)000120000003120

Lopez delivers in 11th with solo shot to push Cardinals past Cubs

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

CHICAGO -- Felipe Lopez was simply trying to get on base when he hit his go-ahead home run.

Lopez hit a tie-breaking solo shot in the 11th inning to help the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Chicago Cubs 4-3 on Sunday night and avoid a weekend sweep.

"Games like these, we have to find a way to win because the other team isn't going to let up," he said. "We've got to get as many wins as we can."

Lopez did his part by driving a 3-2 pitch from Brian Schlitter (0-1) over the right-field wall with two outs in the 11th for his sixth home run of the season to put the Cardinals back in the NL Central lead, a half-game ahead of Cincinnati.

The big hit came one day after Lopez was scratched from the starting lineup for reportedly arriving late to the ballpark. It also made a winner of closer Ryan Franklin (5-1), who pitched two innings.

The Cubs had one last chance, but Dennys Reyes struck out Kosuke Fukudome with the tying run on second for his first save, pumping his left fist as a wild game came to an end.

"Today it was a great effort, so it was a great game to win, and if we'd lost that one, it would have been a tough one to take," manager Tony LaRussa said.

That's exactly how it was for the Cubs. They went 6-4 on their longest homestand of the season, and the way manager Lou Piniella sees it, "We should have been 9-1. The games we hit in, we won. The games we didn't, we lost."

Chicago scored two off Chris Carpenter in the fifth to take a 3-2 lead when Albert Pujols led off the sixth against Ryan Dempster with his 23rd home run. He barely missed a two-run shot in the seventh with a fly to the left-field warning track after Ryan Ludwick singled with two outs.

"Guys pitched well out of the pen, it was back and forth, back and forth both sides, and we were able to come out on top," Carpenter said.

He and Dempster each gave up three runs and nine hits over seven shaky innings, and both teams wasted big opportunities late in the game.

The biggest chances came in the 10th. The Cardinals got one-out singles by Matt Holliday, Jon Jay and Skip Schumaker -- his fourth hit -- against Schlitter before Yadier Molina grounded into a double play to end the threat.

In the bottom half, Fukudome led off with a single to right against Franklin and got forced on Tyler Colvin's bouncer to the mound. Cubs fans booed, thinking the throw to second pulled shortstop Brendan Ryan off the bag, and Piniella came out for a mild argument.

Colvin then stole second and dove back to the base, barely beating the tag after the throw bounced toward center. Starlin Castro got hit in the left side, and after Derrek Lee popped out, and Aramis Ramirez drove a hard one-hopper that Schumaker booted for an error.

That loaded the bases for Marlon Byrd, who struck out looking at a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.

"It was a great homestand," Lee said. "It would have been great to get this win and really set off the homestand. It didn't happen."

Now, as the Cubs begin a six-game trip, the question is: Is this a send-off? The non-waiver trade deadline is July 31, and several players could be trade candidates.

One possible candidate is pitcher Ted Lilly, whose name has surfaced in reports. He said the Cubs have kept him informed "to some degree."

"There's no guarantee," he said. "One thing that I can do is just prepare to pitch Tuesday."

Notes

  • Holliday has an 11-game hitting streak.
  • The nine hits allowed tied a season-high for Dempster.
  • Bobby Valentine would like to manage the Cubs. The ESPN analyst and former New York Mets and Texas Rangers manager said he's interested in taking over for the retiring Lou Piniella after this season. Valentine, who led the Mets to the NL pennant in 2000 and managed the Texas Rangers, called the Cubs job "one of the most coveted positions in all of sports" and added "anybody who thinks of himself as a manager would love to be considered as one of the people who might take his place."
  • Carlos Zambrano will likely make one more appearance with Triple-A Iowa before rejoining the Chicago Cubs next weekend. Piniella said he'll probably return during their series at Colorado.
 
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.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Felipe Lopez provides some rare power as he clubs a go-ahead homer in the 11th inning.  (AP)
Felipe Lopez provides some rare power as he clubs a go-ahead homer in the 11th inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

S. Schumaker
AB 4
R 1
H 4
HR 0
RBI 1
Chicago

R. Theriot
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 

Related Video

CBSSports.com Shop

MLB Majestic White Grapefruit League Spring Training Map T-Shirt Shop Now!

St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Felipe Lopez, 3B5111110 .268
Ryan Ludwick, RF5020022 .276
    Ryan Franklin, P0000000 .000
   a- Randy Winn, PH1000000 .248
    Kyle McClellan, P0000000 .500
    Dennys Reyes, P0000000 .000
Albert Pujols, 1B4111101 .300
Matt Holliday, LF5010001 .305
Jon Jay, CF-RF5120010 .387
Skip Schumaker, 2B4141100 .262
Yadier Molina, C4010113 .236
Chris Carpenter, P2010012 .119
   b- Aaron Miles, PH1000002 .321
    Jason Motte, P0000000 .000
    Colby Rasmus, CF1000010 .266
Brendan Ryan, SS5021000 .196
Totals42415447  
a-flied out for Franklin in the 11th
b-hit into fielder's choice for Carpenter in the 8th
Batting
2B - Skip Schumaker (13, Dempster)
3B - Jon Jay (1, Dempster)
HR - Felipe Lopez (6, Schlitter), Albert Pujols (23, Dempster)
SH - Chris Carpenter (7)
RBI - Felipe Lopez (27), Albert Pujols (70), Skip Schumaker (23), Brendan Ryan (19)
2-OUT RBI - Felipe Lopez (10), Brendan Ryan (9)
SB - Brendan Ryan (8, 2nd base off Dempster/Soto)
CS - Brendan Ryan (2, 2nd base by Dempster/Soto)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Ryan-Schumaker-Pujols, Ryan-Schumaker-Pujols
E - Skip Schumaker (13, Misplayed grounder)
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Chris Carpenter 7933140 3.09
Jason Motte 1000000 2.38
Ryan Franklin (W,5-1) 2200010 3.12
Kyle McClellan (H,15) 0.2100010 2.03
Dennys Reyes (S,1) 0.1000010 3.25
HBP - Castro (by Ryan Franklin)
WP - Ryan Franklin (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Carpenter 108-72, Jason Motte 18-10, Ryan Franklin 42-30, Kyle McClellan 12-6, Dennys Reyes 5-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Carpenter 9-5, Jason Motte 2-1, Ryan Franklin 4-2, Kyle McClellan 1-0
Batters Faced - Chris Carpenter 28, Jason Motte 3, Ryan Franklin 10, Kyle McClellan 3, Dennys Reyes 1
Chicago Cubs
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Tyler Colvin, RF-LF5010033 .262
Starlin Castro, SS4011001 .307
Derrek Lee, 1B5110003 .251
Aramis Ramirez, 3B5010001 .227
Marlon Byrd, CF5021014 .312
Alfonso Soriano, LF4020002 .269
    Brian Schlitter, P0000000 .000
   a- Xavier Nady, PH1010000 .224
Geovany Soto, C4100104 .286
    Jeff Baker, PR0000000 .246
Ryan Theriot, 2B5121011 .281
Ryan Dempster, P1000001 .135
   b- Mike Fontenot, PH1000010 .287
    Sean Marshall, P0000000 .000
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
    Kosuke Fukudome, RF2010011 .253
Totals42312317  
a-singled for Schlitter in the 11th
b-struck out for Dempster in the 7th
Batting
2B - Derrek Lee (18, Carpenter)
3B - Ryan Theriot (2, Carpenter)
SH - Ryan Dempster (12)
RBI - Starlin Castro (31), Marlon Byrd (44), Ryan Theriot (20)
2-OUT RBI - Starlin Castro (10)
SB - Tyler Colvin (3, 2nd base off Franklin/Molina), Jeff Baker (1, 2nd base off McClellan/Molina)
CS - Tyler Colvin (1, 2nd base by Carpenter/Molina)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Marlon Byrd 1
DP - Ramirez-Theriot-Lee, Theriot-Castro-Lee
Chicago Cubs
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Ryan Dempster 7933441 3.71
Sean Marshall 1200000 1.74
Carlos Marmol 1000020 2.66
Brian Schlitter (L,0-1) 2411011 10.80
IBB - Molina by Ryan Dempster
Pitches-Strikes - Ryan Dempster 103-62, Sean Marshall 19-17, Carlos Marmol 11-7, Brian Schlitter 34-25
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ryan Dempster 9-4, Sean Marshall 2-1, Carlos Marmol 1-0, Brian Schlitter 2-2
Batters Faced - Ryan Dempster 30, Sean Marshall 5, Carlos Marmol 3, Brian Schlitter 9
Game Information
Attendance - 41406
Game Time - 3:41
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Bob Davidson, First Base - Angel Campos, Second Base - Alfonso Marquez, Third Base - Tim Tschida