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Chi. Cubs (65-81) «001000420791
St. Louis (74-70)001001100380

Cubs sweep Cards in St. Louis for first time in 22 years

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- Carlos Zambrano decided to try a different approach after he struggled during his pregame bullpen session Wednesday night.

Since he was pitching in St. Louis, of course it worked out just fine.

Zambrano tossed six innings of two-run ball, Tyler Colvin hit a three-run homer and the Chicago Cubs beat Chris Carpenter and the sliding Cardinals 7-3 to complete their first three-game sweep in St. Louis in more than 20 years.

Zambrano (9-6) allowed an earned run and four hits, improving to 6-0 with a 1.37 ERA in his past seven starts. He is 7-1 with a 1.29 ERA in 12 career starts in St. Louis, including 6-0 in seven outings at the new Busch Stadium.

"When I come here, for some reason I feel good," Zambrano said. "I said before the game, any time you face [Adam] Wainright or Carpenter, you got to come with your 'A' game. Those guys are not easy matchups. They're two of the best in the league, and you got to come dealing, too."

Zambrano was struggling to get his fastball up to 90 mph before the game, so he decided to improvise. He told pitching coach Larry Rothschild he planned to use his breaking stuff more.

"When you see the gun and your fastball is only 88 or 89 you have to pitch with your other pitches," Zambrano said.

It was the Cubs' first three-game series sweep in St. Louis since June 10-12, 1988. Chicago also has won five consecutive games at the Cardinals for the first time since June 18-Aug. 14, 1983.

"I'm thrilled to win games," interim manager Mike Quade said. "To come in here and play like this against a club that's fighting like a son of a gun to get the division makes it even better."

Colvin connected against Carpenter (15-7) in the Cubs' four-run seventh inning, becoming the fourth Chicago rookie to hit 20 home runs in a season. Teammate Geovany Soto was the last to accomplish the feat, hitting 23 in 2008.

Micah Hoffpauir also doubled in a run in the seventh and Aramis Ramirez added a two-run drive in the eighth.

Carpenter pitched 6 1/3 innings before leaving with a right hamstring cramp. He was charged with five runs and seven hits.

"I felt like I threw the ball well," Carpenter said. "Colvin hit a good pitch. That's what was kind of weird. I was fine the whole game."

Not even the return of Albert Pujols could help the Cardinals, who fell eight games behind Cincinnati in the NL Central with 18 games left on their schedule. Pujols missed Tuesday's game with inflammation in his left elbow, but he started Wednesday and went 0 for 2 with two walks and was hit by a pitch.

"We're struggling," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said. "The scores weren't really close; that's troubling. We're all troubled."

The Cardinals loaded the bases with one out in the ninth but Carlos Marmol struck out Matt Holliday and Colby Rasmus to record his 31st save in 36 chances. He now has 122 strikeouts, tops among all major-league relievers.

Holliday, Rasmus and Molina each drove in a run for St. Louis.

Something seemed to be bothering Carpenter when the Cubs rallied in the seventh. Ramirez led off with a double to right and went to third on Xavier Nady's infield single to third. After Alfonso Soriano struck out, Colvin hit a 3-2 off-speed pitch into the right-field stands to make it 4-2.

Colvin said Carpenter left the pitch up just enough for him to hit it out.

"He didn't put it down in the dirt and I was able to get it pretty good," Colvin said.

Carpenter then allowed back-to-back doubles to Koyie Hill and pinch-hitter Hoffpauir before he was lifted for Jason Motte.

Notes

  • Due to concerns about his workload, the Cardinals decided to have Jaime Garcia skip his next scheduled start Saturday. Garcia, who is coming off Tommy John surgery, is 13-8 with a 2.70 ERA in 163 1/3 innings but has lost his last two decisions.
  • Zambrano has won five consecutive starts for first time since he won six straight from July 2-30, 2006.
  • The home run was the 20th allowed by Carpenter; he allowed only seven all last season.
 
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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Tyler Colvin backs up a good outing by Carlos Zambrano with this home run in the seventh inning. (US Presswire)
Tyler Colvin backs up a good outing by Carlos Zambrano with this home run in the seventh inning. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
Chicago

T. Colvin
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
St. Louis

R. Winn
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Chicago Cubs
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Blake DeWitt, 2B4001032 .258
Darwin Barney, SS5000012 .281
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
Marlon Byrd, CF4120000 .300
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4222001 .245
Xavier Nady, 1B3110000 .264
    Scott Maine, P0000000 .000
    Marcos Mateo, P0000000 .000
    James Russell, P0000000 .000
   a- Brad Snyder, PH-LF1000000 .000
Alfonso Soriano, LF3000132 .256
    Andrew Cashner, P0000000 .000
    Starlin Castro, SS0000000 .312
Tyler Colvin, RF4113010 .254
Koyie Hill, C4220011 .223
Carlos Zambrano, P2000002 .261
   b- Micah Hoffpauir, PH-1B1011100 .194
Totals3579729  
a-flied out for Russell in the 8th
b-doubled for Zambrano in the 7th
Batting
2B - Marlon Byrd (37, Hawksworth), Aramis Ramirez (19, Carpenter), Koyie Hill (10, Carpenter), Micah Hoffpauir (3, Carpenter)
HR - Aramis Ramirez (23, Hawksworth), Tyler Colvin (20, Carpenter)
SF - Blake DeWitt (3)
RBI - Blake DeWitt (48), Aramis Ramirez 2 (75), Tyler Colvin 3 (55), Micah Hoffpauir (3)
SB - Koyie Hill (1, 2nd base off Carpenter/Molina)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Barney-DeWitt-Nady
E - Blake DeWitt (14, Missed catch of throw)
Chicago Cubs
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Carlos Zambrano (W,9-6) 6421330 3.75
Scott Maine (H,2) 0.2111010 3.86
Marcos Mateo0100100 7.63
James Russell (H,5) 0.1000010 5.36
Andrew Cashner 1.1200010 5.40
Carlos Marmol (S,31) 0.2000020 2.86
HBP - Molina (by Carlos Zambrano), Pujols (by Carlos Marmol)
Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Zambrano 104-58, Scott Maine 15-11, Marcos Mateo 6-1, James Russell 6-3, Andrew Cashner 23-15, Carlos Marmol 13-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Zambrano 9-6, Scott Maine 1-0, Andrew Cashner 1-2
Batters Faced - Carlos Zambrano 26, Scott Maine 3, Marcos Mateo 2, James Russell 1, Andrew Cashner 6, Carlos Marmol 3
St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Skip Schumaker, 2B3110210 .271
Randy Winn, RF5130011 .254
Albert Pujols, 1B2000202 .307
Matt Holliday, LF5011025 .307
Colby Rasmus, CF4121025 .274
Felipe Lopez, 3B3010012 .232
Yadier Molina, C2001000 .258
    Matt Pagnozzi, C0000000 .333
Brendan Ryan, SS3000003 .226
   a- Jon Jay, PH1000010 .308
    Dennys Reyes, P0000000 .000
Chris Carpenter, P2000001 .121
    Jason Motte, P0000000 .000
   b- Nick Stavinoha, PH1000000 .245
    Blake Hawksworth, P0000000 .000
    Aaron Miles, SS1000000 .297
Totals3238348  
a-struck out for Ryan in the 8th
b-grounded out for Motte in the 7th
Batting
2B - Matt Holliday (42, Mateo), Colby Rasmus (26, Zambrano)
SF - Colby Rasmus (4), Yadier Molina (5)
SH - Felipe Lopez (3)
RBI - Matt Holliday (94), Colby Rasmus (62), Yadier Molina (55)
2-OUT RBI - Matt Holliday (47)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
PB - Yadier Molina (7)
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Chris Carpenter (L,15-7) 6.1755161 3.21
Jason Motte 0.2000020 2.45
Blake Hawksworth 1222011 5.05
Dennys Reyes 1000100 3.86
WP - Dennys Reyes (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Carpenter 99-67, Jason Motte 11-8, Blake Hawksworth 16-13, Dennys Reyes 11-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Carpenter 7-6, Blake Hawksworth 1-1
Batters Faced - Chris Carpenter 27, Jason Motte 2, Blake Hawksworth 5, Dennys Reyes 4
Game Information
Attendance - 41145
Game Time - 2:51
Temperature - 78
Umpires - Home - Marvin Hudson, First Base - Derryl Cousins, Second Base - Mike Estabrook, Third Base - Jim Joyce