The St. Louis Cardinals have dropped the first two games of their weekend series with Chicago, losing a lopsided 8-1decision to the Cubs at Busch Stadium.
The Cubs broke a scoreless tie in 5th inning, scoring early and often, as they put 7 runs on the board. Back-to-back doubles by Jacque Jones and Henry Blanco brought Jones home with the game’s first run. Starter Carlos Zambrano sacrificed Blanco to third base. Alfonso Soriano walked. Blanco then came home with game’s second run on a Ryan Theriot single. Soriano, who had gone to second on Theriot’s single, scored on a Derrek Lee double, making the score 3-0 for the Cubs.
After an intentional walk to Aramis Ramirez, Cardinal starter Adam Wainright was taken out of the game. Lefthanded reliever Tyler Johnson came in relief, but couldn’t put out the fire. A fielder’s choice hit into by Cliff Floyd brought in Theriot from third with the Cubs’ fourth run. A single by Mark DeRosa then loaded them up for Jacque Jones, who stepped up to the plate for the second time in the inning. He wasted no time smashing a triple to left centerfield, emptying the bases, giving the Cubs a 7-0 lead.
The Cubs scored their 8th run in the top of the 7th. Derrek Lee led off with a walk, moved to second on a Mark DeRosa single, and scored on Jacque Jones’ third hit of the day, a single to left-centerfield.
The Cardinals finally scored in the bottom of the 7th when Albert Pujols belted a 421-foot lead-off home run to left-field, his 6th of the season and 256th career round-tripper. The homer moves him into sole possession of second place on the Redbirds’ all-time home run list, ahead of Ken Boyer. Only Stan Musial, with 475 homers, has more as a Cardinal.
Chicago starter Carlos Zambrano (2-2) pitched 7 strong innings for the win, giving up only one run on the Pujols homer. St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright (1-2) lasted only 4-and-a-third innings, giving up 6 earned runs on 7 hits.
With the Cards’ loss and the Cubs’ victory, both teams are tied at 10-13 on the season.