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St. Louis at Chicago

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St. Louis (16-16) «0210000025111
Chicago (11-18)000200101450

Cardinals edge Cubs on Yadi's clutch two-run single in ninth

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Yadier Molina had a simple goal for his ninth-inning at-bat with the bases loaded and the score tied on Sunday.

"I was looking not to strike out," he said.

After fouling off some tough two-strike pitches, Molina hit a ground-ball single up the middle to drive in two runs and the St. Louis Cardinals snapped out of an offensive funk with a 5-4 victory against the Chicago Cubs.

"I got a little lucky that they were playing me to pull," Molina said. "It was a good at-bat. I was able to put the ball in play and good things happened."

The defending National League champions had lost four of five to fall a game below .500. The Cardinals scored all their runs with two outs.

Molina, moved into the No. 2 spot to jump start the lineup, was 0 for 4 before coming through in the ninth.

But it was a wild pitch in the seventh inning that allowed the Cubs to tie the score at 3 that had Molina more frustrated. The pitch from reliever Carlos Martinez was in the dirt and trickled through Molina's legs, allowing Luis Valbuena to score.

"I was there," Molina said. "I don't know. It's one of those things. I was ready for it and the ball still goes through my legs."

Kevin Siegrist (1-1) earned the victory in relief, while Trevor Rosenthal picked up his eighth save in as many opportunities despite a scare in the ninth inning.

Hector Randon (0-1) took the loss for the Cubs, who were attempting to win four straight games for the first time since July.

While Cardinals manager Mike Matheny had looked for Molina, one of his hottest hitters, to get the offense going, it was a couple of struggling batters at the bottom of the lineup that got things started early.

With two outs in the second inning and Jhonny Peralta on first base, Randal Grichuk drilled a triple into the right-center field gap for a 1-0 lead. Mark Ellis, who went 3 for 4, followed with a double to left-center to make it 2-0.

Both Grichuk (.167) and Ellis (.143) entered hitting well below .200.

St. Louis stretched the lead to 3-0 in the third as Matt Adams doubled home Matt Holiday.

The Cubs pulled within 3-2 in the fourth with some clutch two-out hitting. With one out, Ryan Kalish singled and John Baker walked. After a groundout moved the runners to second and third, Cubs starter Jason Hammel singled to right to drive in both.

Molina's go-ahead single to center came on the sixth pitch of the at-bat from Randon.

"I thought I made a good pitch today, but something happened," Randon said.

Molina seemed more relieved that the wild pitch wasn't a factor than he drove in the game-deciding runs.

"[Molina] does a good job of not wearing his emotions and how frustrating that is for him," Matheny said. "It's hard to count the number of balls he keeps in front of him, the number of runs he saves. It's something we don't take for granted."

Valbuena doubled in a run with two outs in the ninth to make it 5-4, but Rosenthal got Anthony Rizzo to ground out to end the game.

"Guys kept grinding it out," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. "We just fell a little short."

Notes

The ESPN broadcast team of Dan Shulman and John Kruk worked from the bleachers. ... While making a rehab start Sunday with Double A Springfield, LHP Jaime Garcia (shoulder) was hit by a pitch on the left elbow and left after two innings and 28 pitches. "I think they went in and took precautionary X-rays," Matheny said. "I haven't heard anything back yet." ... In the same game, RHP Jason Motte threw a scoreless inning, striking out three, in his first rehab outing. ... Rizzo entered with a .429 on-base percentage, which was fifth-best in the National League. ... The Cards open a series in Atlanta on Monday, with RHP Shelby Miller (3-2) facing RHP Aaron Harang, while the Cubs host the crosstown White Sox with RHP Jeff Samardzija (0-3) going up against LHP Jose Quintana (1-2).

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Yadier Molina comes through in the clutch again, this time with a two-out two-run tiebreaking single in the ninth.  (Getty Images)
Yadier Molina comes through in the clutch again, this time with a two-out two-run tiebreaking single in the ninth. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

R. Grichuk
AB 3
R 2
H 1
HR 0
RBI 1
Chicago

L. Valbuena
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 
St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Matt Carpenter, 3B4020120 .264
Yadier Molina, C5012001 .336
Matt Holliday, LF4100122 .265
Matt Adams, 1B4021000 .339
Allen Craig, RF4000012 .207
   Kevin Siegrist, P0000000 .000
   Trevor Rosenthal, P0000000 .000
Jhonny Peralta, SS3110110 .222
Randal Grichuk, CF-RF3211101 .200
Mark Ellis, 2B4131000 .205
Lance Lynn, P2000012 .077
   a-Jon Jay, PH1010000 .267
   Carlos Martinez, P0000000 .000
   Peter Bourjos, CF1000012 .154
Totals35511548  
a-singled for Lynn in the 7th
Batting
2B - Matt Adams (10, Hammel), Mark Ellis (1, Hammel)
3B - Randal Grichuk (1, Hammel)
RBI - Yadier Molina 2 (17), Matt Adams (9), Randal Grichuk (1), Mark Ellis (4)
2-OUT RBI - Yadier Molina 2 (6), Matt Adams (3), Randal Grichuk (1), Mark Ellis (1)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
E - Matt Carpenter (6, Misplayed grounder)
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Lance Lynn 6322450 3.51
Carlos Martinez (BS,2) 1111110 3.12
Kevin Siegrist (W,1-1) 1000030 3.29
Trevor Rosenthal (S,8) 1111110 5.02
IBB - Rizzo by Carlos Martinez
WP - Carlos Martinez (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Lance Lynn 102-64, Carlos Martinez 16-9, Kevin Siegrist 14-9, Trevor Rosenthal 22-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Lance Lynn 8-6, Carlos Martinez 2-0, Trevor Rosenthal 2-0
Batters Faced - Lance Lynn 26, Carlos Martinez 5, Kevin Siegrist 3, Trevor Rosenthal 5
Chicago (N.L.) Cubs
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Emilio Bonifacio, CF3100211 .321
Luis Valbuena, 3B4121110 .227
Anthony Rizzo, 1B4010114 .294
Starlin Castro, SS4000025 .302
Nate Schierholtz, RF4000010 .202
Ryan Kalish, LF3110000 .259
   a-Junior Lake, PH-LF1000010 .247
John Baker, C3100121 .080
Darwin Barney, 2B4000011 .122
Jason Hammel, P1012100 .083
   Carlos Villanueva, P0000000 .000
   b-Chris Coghlan, PH1000000 .000
   Justin Grimm, P0000000 .000
   Hector Rondon, P0000000 .000
   Wesley Wright, P0000000 .000
   c-Welington Castillo, PH1000000 .282
Totals33453610  
a-struck out for Kalish in the 8th
b-grounded out for Villanueva in the 7th
c-grounded out for Wright in the 9th
Batting
2B - Luis Valbuena (5, Rosenthal)
3B - Luis Valbuena (1, Martinez)
RBI - Luis Valbuena (5), Jason Hammel 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Luis Valbuena (3), Jason Hammel 2 (2)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Nate Schierholtz 1
DP - Schierholtz-Rizzo, Schierholtz-Rizzo-Valbuena-Barney-Rizzo, Schierholtz-Rizzo-Valbuena-Barney-Rizzo-Valbuena-Rizzo
Chicago (N.L.) Cubs
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jason Hammel 6733250 2.43
Carlos Villanueva 1200000 9.45
Justin Grimm 1000010 2.13
Hector Rondon (L,0-1) 0.2222220 1.69
Wesley Wright 0.1000000 1.86
WP - Jason Hammel (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Hammel 101-62, Carlos Villanueva 15-10, Justin Grimm 12-6, Hector Rondon 28-17, Wesley Wright 1-1
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Hammel 6-5, Carlos Villanueva 1-1, Justin Grimm 2-0
Batters Faced - Jason Hammel 25, Carlos Villanueva 4, Justin Grimm 3, Hector Rondon 6, Wesley Wright 1
Game Information
Attendance - 30023
Game Time - 3:14
Temperature - 44
Umpires - Home - Angel Hernandez, First Base - Adrian Johnson, Second Base - Paul Nauert, Third Base - Larry Vanover