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St. Louis at Chicago

Scoreboard
St. Louis (12-7) «001003010590
Chi. Cubs (6-13)000100000160

Freese backs Lynn as Cards avert sweep

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

CHICAGO -- David Freese wanted to make sure the Cardinals weren't swept. So he took matters into his own hands.

Freese homered and Lance Lynn threw eight strong innings to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-1 win over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday afternoon.

"You lose two emotional games like we did, you never want to get swept, to get that third one heading back home is nice," Freese said. "We came out of the gate so hot, this game will even you out real quick."

Lynn (4-0) held Chicago to six hits in becoming the first four-game winner in the majors and helping the Cardinals avoid a three-game sweep.

"What Lance was able to do set the tone for everything," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "Whenever he did get into a little trouble, it was a lot like what we saw with [Adam Wainwright on Tuesday] -- just made better pitches."

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Freese's two-run blast in the sixth capped a three-run, two-out rally against starter Chris Volstad. Freese added an RBI double in the eighth.

"We put up enough runs -- we'd still like to put it on the opponent a little harder, a little more, but we'll take this one," Freese said. "Our pitchers are doing a phenomenal job, we just have to keep scrapping."

Volstad (0-3) threw six solid innings, retiring St. Louis in order during four of them. But he's still 0-8 in 15 starts since July 10, 2011.

Bryan LaHair homered to lead off the fourth for Chicago's only run. LaHair has four of Chicago's seven home runs, the lowest total in the majors this season.

"I'm going pretty good when I go the other way," LaHair said after his second straight day with an opposite-field homer. "They're attacking me away right now. They'll probably start coming in, which is a good thing, too."

The Cardinals avoided being swept at Wrigley Field for the first time since July 27-30, 2006. The Cubs took the first two games of the series in their final at-bat, winning their first series of the season under new manager Dale Sveum.

Lynn threw 110 pitches, only the third time this season a Cardinals pitcher has surpassed 100. He's done it on two of those occasions, not bad for a pitcher who only became a starter because rotation stalwart Chris Carpenter went on the disabled list with a shoulder problem. His eight innings marked the longest outing by a Cardinals pitcher this season, and he lowered his ERA to 1.33.

"Early on they were putting good swings on ball," Lynn said. "I was able to start making the ball move a little bit more and getting quicker outs later in the game."

Freese led the Cardinals offense with two hits and three RBI. Carlos Beltran doubled, walked, scored two runs and stole two bases.

Beltran has five steals this season, already his most since 2009.

The sixth-inning double snapped an 0 for 18 slump for Beltran. Matheny planned on giving Beltran the day off Wednesday, but the 35-year-old asked to be in the lineup.

"You love that from a veteran player, who's just begging to be in there a day game after a night game," Matheny said. "Yesterday was his birthday. The guys were all over him about trying to make something happen."

"He was excited to make something happen today."

Notes

  • Shane Robinson singled three times and stole a base for St. Louis. His three hits matched a career high.
  • The Cardinals are headed back to St. Louis for a six-game homestand beginning Friday against Milwaukee and Pittsburgh.
  • The Cubs embark on a seven-game trip, with a four-game set beginning at Philadelphia on Friday. They also play three at Cincinnati.
  • Cubs reliever Kerry Wood threw a bullpen session on Tuesday without incident. He's on the disabled list with right shoulder fatigue. While Wood is eligible to come off the DL on April 29, Sveum said no timetable has been established for his return.
 
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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'You never want to get swept, to get the third one heading home is nice,' says David Freese, who homers for a 3-RBI day. (Getty Images)
'You never want to get swept, to get the third one heading home is nice,' says David Freese, who homers for a 3-RBI day. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

D. Freese
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
St. Louis

L. Lynn
IP 8.0
H 6
ER 1
BB 2
K 7
 
St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Rafael Furcal, SS5110004 .338
Matt Carpenter, 1B4011010 .250
Matt Holliday, LF4000003 .205
Carlos Beltran, RF3211100 .265
David Freese, 3B4123000 .339
Yadier Molina, C4000001 .270
Daniel Descalso, 2B4110010 .208
Shane Robinson, CF4030000 .433
Lance Lynn, P3000033 .273
   a- Erik Komatsu, PH1000001 .176
    Kyle McClellan, P0000000 .000
Totals3659515  
a-grounded out for Lynn in the 9th
Batting
2B - Carlos Beltran (1, Volstad), David Freese (2, Camp)
HR - David Freese (4, Volstad)
RBI - Matt Carpenter (12), Carlos Beltran (10), David Freese 3 (18)
2-OUT RBI - Matt Carpenter (5), Carlos Beltran (4), David Freese 3 (11)
SB - Carlos Beltran 2 (5, 3rd base off Volstad/Clevenger, 2nd base off Camp/Clevenger), Shane Robinson (1, 2nd base off Marmol/Clevenger)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Descalso-Furcal-M. Carpenter, Lynn-Furcal-M. Carpenter
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Lance Lynn (W,4-0) 8611271 1.33
Kyle McClellan 1000010 3.60
WP - Lance Lynn (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Lance Lynn 110-72, Kyle McClellan 8-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Lance Lynn 13-2, Kyle McClellan 1-1
Batters Faced - Lance Lynn 30, Kyle McClellan 3
Chicago Cubs
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
David DeJesus, RF3010100 .262
Tony Campana, CF4000022 .385
Starlin Castro, SS4010013 .333
Bryan LaHair, 1B4111021 .364
Alfonso Soriano, LF4010010 .234
Ian Stewart, 3B3000101 .175
Steve Clevenger, C3010001 .500
Darwin Barney, 2B3010011 .294
Chris Volstad, P2000011 .000
    Scott Maine, P0000000 .000
   a- Blake DeWitt, PH1000000 .095
    Shawn Camp, P0000000 .000
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
Totals3116128  
a-grounded out for Maine in the 7th
Batting
2B - Steve Clevenger (5, Lynn), Darwin Barney (3, Lynn)
HR - Bryan LaHair (4, Lynn)
RBI - Bryan LaHair (11)
Team LOB - 5
Chicago Cubs
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Chris Volstad (L,0-3) 6644021 6.14
Scott Maine 1100020 0.00
Shawn Camp 1111110 4.50
Carlos Marmol 1100000 5.40
WP - Scott Maine (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Volstad 97-66, Scott Maine 21-13, Shawn Camp 17-11, Carlos Marmol 15-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Volstad 10-6, Shawn Camp 1-1, Carlos Marmol 3-0
Batters Faced - Chris Volstad 24, Scott Maine 4, Shawn Camp 5, Carlos Marmol 4
Game Information
Attendance - 34894
Game Time - 2:34
Temperature - 53
Umpires - Home - Jeff Nelson, First Base - Bill Welke, Second Base - Tim Tschida, Third Base - Chris Conroy