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Chicago at St. Louis

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Chi. Cubs (49-68) «021000000371
St. Louis (65-50)100001000290

Cubs' Zambrano picks up first win since suspension

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

ST. LOUIS -- Carlos Zambrano may no longer be the Chicago Cubs' stopper, but he played the role Saturday in a ballpark where he's had a lot of success.

Zambrano won for the first time since his banishment for a dugout tantrum in June, helping the Cubs win for just the third time in 17 games, 3-2 over St. Louis, snapping the Cardinals' four-game winning streak.

"St. Louis has good hitters and any time I face them I have to give a little extra," Zambrano said. "Today everything was working -- split-finger, my sinker and my slider."

Aramis Ramirez homered on the first pitch he saw after missing three games with sore ribs, and was 2 for 4. Derrek Lee also hit a solo home run for Chicago.

Chris Carpenter (13-4) gave up three runs in six innings. He was 4-0 with a 1.79 ERA over his previous six starts.

Zambrano (4-6) allowed seven hits in 5 2/3 innings, struck out three and walked two. He is 5-0 with a 1.85 ERA for his career at the new Busch Stadium.

Carlos Marmol got the final five outs for the save, his 20th in 24 chances but his first since July 26.

St. Louis manager Tony La Russa watched from a private box as he finished up a two-game suspension for his role in a brawl Tuesday at Cincinnati.

"You just don't feel like you're part of it, other than a fan," La Russa said. "You've got a helpless feeling but it makes it look a lot easier from up there than it is from on the field."

Zambrano has had a tough year -- a 5.46 ERA entering the game and a dugout blowup with Lee on June 25 that led to the Cubs placing him on the restricted list. He was solid in his return start at San Francisco on Monday, allowing two runs in five innings in a no-decision, and better Saturday.

"He had more velocity, threw more strikes," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "He looked more confident on the mound. I told him after the game, 'Just keep improving."'

Zambrano said he felt more comfortable this time.

"Today was more calm and just go out there and have fun," Zambrano said. "You just throw the ball and whatever happens, happens."

Zambrano struck out Colby Rasmus three times and cooled off one of baseball's hottest teams -- St. Louis had scored at least four runs every game this month and was hitting .306 for August coming into the game.

Carpenter is certainly used to the stifling heat and humidity of a St. Louis summer, but admittedly struggled on a 93-degree day with a heat index of 107 degrees. TV showed him in the dugout after the third inning with a wet towel draped over his head, and he said that the heat initially took a toll.

"It was hot. It got to me, but I was able to come up here and change, toweled off. I was able to collect myself and then get back where I needed to be," he said.

The two Cardinals aces -- Carpenter and Adam Wainwright -- were a combined 20-2 at Busch Stadium this season. Carpenter was 9-2 with a 2.75 ERA at home before Saturday. He allowed six hits, struck out three and walked none.

The Cardinals scored in the first on a single by John Jay, a double by Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday's sacrifice fly.

Ramirez hit the first pitch of the second inning 408 feet for a homer, his 17th, into the Cubs bullpen in left field. The Cubs added another run in the second on Koyie Hill's RBI single.

Lee hit his 14th homer with two outs in the third.

St. Louis missed a two-out chance in the fifth when Holliday grounded out with the bases loaded. The Cardinals cut the margin to 3-2 in the sixth on a two-out single by Skip Schumaker, a wild pitch and a single by pinch-hitter Randy Winn.

The Cardinals had one last chance in the ninth when Aaron Miles led off with an infield single and went to second on Ramirez's throwing error. But Brendan Ryan popped out trying to bunt, Felipe Lopez fouled out and Allen Craig struck out.

"He's not the easiest guy to bunt," La Russa said of Marmol. "Those are the ones you have to get down because they're tough to bunt. You don't have any margin for error."

Notes

  • Lopez was 0 for 4 and is 2 for 32 since Aug. 6.
  • The Cubs have used 15 rookies this season, tied with Detroit for the most in baseball.
  • The sellout crowd of 46,313 was the second-largest of the season at Busch, behind only opening day.
  • Kosuke Fukudome made a strong over-the-shoulder catch as he slammed into the right-field wall to rob Holliday of a fourth-inning hit.
  • Pujols was 2 for 4 but failed to score a run for the first time in 12 games.
 
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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Carlos Zambrano gets his first win since June and just the third for the Cubs in the last 17 games. (AP)
Carlos Zambrano gets his first win since June and just the third for the Cubs in the last 17 games. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

A. Ramirez
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
Chicago

C. Zambrano
IP 5.2
H 7
ER 2
BB 2
K 3
 
Chicago Cubs
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Kosuke Fukudome, RF4000001 .255
Starlin Castro, SS4010000 .319
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
Derrek Lee, 1B4111021 .248
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4121000 .232
Tyler Colvin, LF4000011 .250
Marlon Byrd, CF4110000 .308
Blake DeWitt, 2B3000011 .272
Koyie Hill, C2011100 .219
Carlos Zambrano, P2010001 .241
    Marcos Mateo, P0000000 .000
   a- Alfonso Soriano, PH1000011 .258
    Sean Marshall, P0000000 .000
    Darwin Barney, SS0000000 .000
Totals3237315  
a-struck out for Mateo in the 7th
Batting
2B - Marlon Byrd (30, Carpenter), Koyie Hill (6, Carpenter)
HR - Derrek Lee (14, Carpenter), Aramis Ramirez (17, Carpenter)
RBI - Derrek Lee (54), Aramis Ramirez (55), Koyie Hill (10)
2-OUT RBI - Derrek Lee (20), Koyie Hill (7)
CS - Starlin Castro (5, 2nd base by Boggs/Molina)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
E - Aramis Ramirez (13, Throwing)
Chicago Cubs
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Carlos Zambrano (W,4-6) 5.2722230 5.27
Marcos Mateo (H,1) 0.1000000 3.38
Sean Marshall (H,15) 1.1100010 2.36
Carlos Marmol (S,20) 1.2100020 2.67
WP - Carlos Zambrano (6)
Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Zambrano 96-62, Marcos Mateo 1-1, Sean Marshall 20-14, Carlos Marmol 20-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Zambrano 8-6, Sean Marshall 1-2
Batters Faced - Carlos Zambrano 26, Marcos Mateo 1, Sean Marshall 5, Carlos Marmol 6
St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Felipe Lopez, 3B4000102 .247
Jon Jay, RF3120000 .373
   a- Allen Craig, PH-RF2000011 .188
Albert Pujols, 1B4020011 .315
Matt Holliday, LF3011003 .309
Colby Rasmus, CF4000032 .271
Yadier Molina, C3000101 .254
Skip Schumaker, 2B4110012 .260
    Kyle McClellan, P0000000 .500
Chris Carpenter, P2000000 .115
   b- Randy Winn, PH1011000 .235
    Mitchell Boggs, P0000000 .000
    Aaron Miles, 2B1010000 .321
Brendan Ryan, SS4010002 .219
Totals3529226  
a-lined out for Jay in the 7th
b-singled for Carpenter in the 6th
Batting
2B - Albert Pujols (26, Zambrano)
SF - Matt Holliday (2)
RBI - Matt Holliday (73), Randy Winn (19)
2-OUT RBI - Randy Winn (11)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Pujols-Ryan
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Chris Carpenter (L,13-4) 6633032 2.95
Mitchell Boggs 2100120 4.06
Kyle McClellan 1000000 1.93
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Carpenter 94-57, Mitchell Boggs 31-15, Kyle McClellan 8-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Carpenter 9-5, Mitchell Boggs 2-1, Kyle McClellan 3-0
Batters Faced - Chris Carpenter 23, Mitchell Boggs 7, Kyle McClellan 3
Game Information
Attendance - 46313
Game Time - 2:41
Temperature - 94
Umpires - Home - Bill Welke, First Base - Mike DiMuro, Second Base - Tim Welke, Third Base - Jim Reynolds