The Cardinals topped the Cubs 6-1 in a rain-shortened game at Wrigley Thursday. The rain forced officials to end the game with two outs in the ninth inning. With the victory, the Cardinals technically clinched the National League Central title, even though their magic number is still at one. If the Cardinals and Astros finish with identical records, St. Louis would own the tie breaker because they won the season series. However, the Cardinals have decided not to celebrate until they get the magic number down to zero.
The Cardinals got on the board first on Thursday, when Larry Walker doubled in David Eckstein to make it 1-0. John Rodriguez grounded in Albert Pujols and Abraham Nunez reached on a run-scoring infield single to take a 3-0 lead into the bottom half of the first.
Starting pitcher Jeff Suppan held on to that 3-0 lead and got even more help in the eighth, when Walker, Rodriguez and Yadier Molina all drove in runs to make it 6-0. In the ninth, Derrek Lee hit a solo homer off Suppan (15-10), for Chicago’s only run of the game. It was Lee’s 43rd homer of the season.
Al Reyes was able to record two outs before the game was called.