|Chi. Cubs (28-40)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||2||5||2|
|St. Louis (45-25) «||0||0||0||2||0||0||2||1||x||5||8||0|
ST. LOUIS -- Known for his defense, Yadier Molina is putting together an impressive offensive season.
Molina had two more hits Monday night against the Chicago Cubs, including a two-run double, to help the Cardinals to a 5-2 win in the opener of a four-game series. Those two hits raised his average to a National League best .355.
Although Molina has topped the .300 mark the past two seasons, hitting .305 in 2011 and a career-best .315 last season, he seems to be at a different level in 2013, though he appears afraid to he might jinx himself.
"Next question," Molina said when asked about leading the league in hitting. "I'm glad we got the win for
After waiting out a rain delay of 1 hour, 59 minutes to start the game, Miller (8-4) pitched five scoreless innings to get the win for the Cardinals. He left after five innings with cramps in his right leg.
"He did a great job," said St. Louis manager Mike Matheny. "Had a little warning there that his calf had tightened up [and] we didn't know exactly what we were dealing with. We found out it's just a cramp. He should be fine."
Miller allowed just two hits and struck out five in the shortest start of his career. His previous shortest stint was 5 1/3 innings at Los Angeles on May 26.
"I guess I was a little dehydrated this week," Miller said. "But if feels OK. We'll see how it feels tomorrow."
Kevin Siegrist and Seth Manness followed Miller and combined for two shutout innings before Trevor Rosenthal allowed a run in the eighth on a broken bat single by Nate Schierholtz. Edward Mujica gave up a homer to Darwin Barney with two outs in the ninth, but still earned his 20th save in 20 opportunities.
Chicago fell to 8-22 against the National League Central, the lowest winning percentage by any team in its own division (.266). The Cubs are 5-23 when they score three runs or less, including Travis Wood's last three starts. Wood (5-6) was again a hard-luck loser, as he gave up four runs on seven hits. He has dropped three straight games despite having a 2.70 ERA in those contests.
It's tough for the team," Wood said. "We're scratching and clawing trying to get everything we can right now and trying to put together quality ball games.
"We're falling a little short right now, but it's a good group of guys. We're going to eventually get it together and string together some wins."
Molina was happy the Cardinals were able to break through against Wood.
"He beat us in Chicago," Molina said. "Tonight, we executed pretty good.
The Cardinals took a 2-0 lead in the fourth. Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday started the inning with singles, and Beltran then went to third on Craig's long fly out to right. Molina then drove both Beltran and Holiday home with a double to the gap in right center.
St. Louis began the seventh the same way, with Molina and David Freese getting singles. Molina would score on a throwing error by first baseman Anthony Rizzo and Freese came home on Robinson's sacrifice fly.
Craig's sacrifice fly in the eighth gave the Cardinals a 5-1 lead.
|Catcher Yadier Molina boosts the Cardinals with a pair of hits and two runs driven in against the Cubs. (USATSI)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Luis Valbuena, 3B||2||1||1||0||2||0||1||.247|
|Starlin Castro, SS||4||0||1||0||0||2||2||.241|
|Nate Schierholtz, RF||3||0||1||1||1||1||2||.297|
|Alfonso Soriano, LF||4||0||0||0||0||2||4||.253|
|Anthony Rizzo, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||1||3||.241|
|Ryan Sweeney, CF||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||.301|
|Welington Castillo, C||3||0||1||0||1||0||0||.262|
|Darwin Barney, 2B||4||1||1||1||0||0||2||.214|
|Travis Wood, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||1||.276|
|a- Julio Borbon, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.211|
|Henry Rodriguez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Dioner Navarro, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.259|
|a-struck out for Wood in the 8th|
|b-lined out for Rodriguez in the 9th|
|HR - Darwin Barney (3, Mujica)|
|RBI - Nate Schierholtz (26), Darwin Barney (12)|
|2-OUT RBI - Darwin Barney (7)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|E - Anthony Rizzo (3, Throwing), Alfonso Soriano (5, Misplayed grounder)|
|Travis Wood (L,5-6)||7||7||4||3||0||4||0||2.74|
|HBP - Beltran (by Henry Rodriguez)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Travis Wood 83-55, Henry Rodriguez 9-6|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Travis Wood 5-12, Henry Rodriguez 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Travis Wood 28, Henry Rodriguez 5|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Matt Carpenter, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.316|
|Carlos Beltran, RF||3||2||1||0||0||0||0||.306|
|Matt Holliday, LF||4||1||2||0||0||1||0||.271|
|Allen Craig, 1B||3||0||0||1||0||1||1||.309|
|Yadier Molina, C||4||1||2||2||0||0||1||.355|
|David Freese, 3B||4||1||1||0||0||0||2||.290|
|Jon Jay, CF||2||0||0||0||0||0||1||.245|
|Pete Kozma, SS||3||0||2||0||0||0||0||.259|
|Shelby Miller, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.069|
|a- Ty Wigginton, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.184|
|Kevin Siegrist, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Seth Maness, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Shane Robinson, PH||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||.222|
|Trevor Rosenthal, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Edward Mujica, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-struck out for Miller in the 5th|
|b-hit a sacrifice fly for Maness in the 7th|
|2B - Yadier Molina (22, Wood), Pete Kozma (13, Wood)|
|SF - Allen Craig (3), Shane Robinson (2)|
|SH - Jon Jay (4)|
|RBI - Allen Craig (52), Yadier Molina 2 (38), Shane Robinson (7)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Shelby Miller (W,8-4)||5||2||0||0||2||5||0||2.08|
|Kevin Siegrist (H,1)||1.1||0||0||0||1||1||0||0.00|
|Seth Maness (H,5)||0.2||0||0||0||0||0||0||3.43|
|Edward Mujica (S,20)||1.1||1||1||1||0||0||1||2.03|
|WP - Shelby Miller (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Shelby Miller 83-52, Kevin Siegrist 21-11, Seth Maness 5-3, Trevor Rosenthal 19-14, Edward Mujica 14-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Shelby Miller 3-7, Kevin Siegrist 1-2, Seth Maness 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Shelby Miller 19, Kevin Siegrist 5, Seth Maness 2, Trevor Rosenthal 5, Edward Mujica 5|
|Attendance - 44172|
|Game Time - 2:43|
|Temperature - 69|
|Umpires - Home - D.J. Reyburn, First Base - Bill Welke, Second Base - Adrian Johnson, Third Base - Field Culbreth|